Thursday, June 1, 2017

Oh, Okay...So NOW It's Final

I was smacked in the face with the finality of our decision, of our outcome in this whole family building thing on Tuesday, when the woman who provides things to women who are pregnant without it being the preferred option as they start their new lives as parents came to pick up the contents of our nursery, of our kitchen drawer, of our back room storage area.

It was overwhelming. The giant pile of things, of hope, of all the love and support, everything we had for a baby so very wanted and so very hoped for...gone. She teared up as she saw just how much we had to donate, and hugged me and told me how sorry she was that things turned out this way.

I helped her load up her car, and then mine when it became apparent that not only would it take several trips otherwise but that the crib was definitely not going to fit in her car, ever. She hadn't wanted me to do anything, but I didn't feel right sitting on the couch while she loading everything up, and additionally my neighbors decided that this was the perfect time to hang out on the street and have a chat and I felt a little like there was a bit of a spectacle. Having some strange lady taking baby stuff out of our house and into her car without me would probably be stranger than me trying to look cheerful while helping.

Trying. At one point when I offered to help drive stuff she said, "you probably just want this over as fast as possible" and I teared up and said "I just can't look at it all sitting here anymore." And then I cried the entire way home, after we unloaded my car first and she said she'd unload her car, that I could absolutely go and take care of myself.

I am pretty sure that this was the hardest day. It felt worse than any of the other days that have peppered this journey to nowhere. The absence was overwhelming.

I figured out what it is. It's truly, absolutely over. Even if I was like, "WAIT! Let's reopen our homestudy!" (which I'm not), we have no baby gear anymore. We have made our decision and it is final with a capital F. There's no going back. We are definitely resolving our journey childfree. Right now it feels a lot like childless, since I had all these things for a child who existed in my heart, and now that dream is gone. It shifts and morphs between the two -- childless which to me captures the loss, childfree which captures the empowerment of a life that, once we scab over the rawness, will be full of other dreams, other possibilities. Even if it wasn't our desired landing spot.

It reminds me of my uterine surgery -- once that was over, I had absolutely zero chance of getting pregnant, ever. It was pretty close to zero before, but there was no going back, no deciding to reopen the treatment route, no way to have a spontaneous pregnancy "miracle." At first it made me sad, but I was so done with the treatment aspect of things and of birth control that made my body go nuts that I embraced the finality. It came after almost two years of knowing that IVF wasn't ever going to work for me, though. It came after trying other things and having them not work, and then saying, "Okay, uterus, I'm done with you. I'm locking this door and throwing away the key." It was a relief. It frees me to not be as sad when others get pregnant, because that's no longer an option for me whatsoever. I've let it go entirely.

Donating the baby gear is similar, but it happened at warp speed. We only made this decision a month and a half ago, really. I haven't had time to acclimate. Having a nursery you know you aren't going to use is painful, on a daily basis, the kind that saps you slowly. Donating everything all in one day and loading it all up and getting it out in a space of about an hour is excruciatingly painful, but then it's gone. Then the healing can start. Then the empty space in the living room that held the pile of things can be replaced with new furniture, a reading nook where my desk used to be since now my desk is where the nursery used to be. (Well, sort-of-desk. Still the plywood setup.)

I feel like everything is a series of Before and After pictures.

So much stuff. This pile goes about eight feet from one side to the other. 
After I got home and it was all gone. Strangely like the decal-free wall upstairs.

But it's also a series of transformations. That space was only empty for so long before we filled it with a rearranged, new-furniture setup in our living room. A living room that doesn't need space for a pack-n-play, a living room that can have light colored upholstery because there won't be any little sticky fingers wielding markers here. But it's cozy, and each new thing is a step towards embracing this new life we have ahead of us. The After we can look forward to that has a duller sort of pain, and a new kind of promise.

Not empty anymore.
So much seating now! 
It feels good to have change, to have movement, to have things not stay the same anymore. It's a soothing balm on the raw ooziness of letting our dream go.


  1. Struggling to put into words the emotions I feel from reading this. And these are my emotions seeing this through my eyes, getting a glimpse from you based on what you've talked about. It's huge and brings a lot of change. Ooziness combined with crystallization from healing.

    So I'll stop with words. Instead I'm sitting with you on this. Feeling all the feels and sending you so much love as you continue.

  2. Your living room looks beautiful. I sympathize with wanting the baby stuff gone and embracing the finality. I would describe what you are doing as resolving conflict by confrontation: Not angry confrontation in this case, but naming and understanding the obstacles in your life, and ceasing to run from them. It sounds like a tough step, but cathartic too. I can't help being sad for you and Bryce but I don't want you to be sad forever and I'm sure nobody does, so I hope this is the first step to many new wonderful things.

  3. Been thinking about you. So much letting go. Heart is heavy, and abiding with you. Hugs.

  4. You are able to make such beautiful spaces in your life. One of my spiritual teachers has counseled me lately to pay more attention for awhile to the space than the stuff. It strikes me that you may be one of my teachers in this, as you are doing so authentically and with grace.

    I really like the way you talked about childless and childfree.

  5. Oh Jess, I can see how the finality of everything would be heartbreaking. Huge hugs to you and Bryce. I suspect things are going to be hard and raw for a while.

  6. All of these steps, the letting go and the cleaning up, will ultimately help you heal from this excruciating pain and loss. You are strong. And you are brave..."the bravest girl in the world," as you sang to yourself as a child. You and Bryce have each other, to have and to hold, to grieve and to heal. Together.

  7. Jess, in so so sorry that having toyou're experience this pain. I found that those weeks after it is all over were the hardest. It's the finality of it all, the realisation that there is no hope (for this outcome) any more. It's the phase where, as I call it, we reprogramme our brains to accept the new reality. And that can be a painful process. Here are two posts I've written about this that might help you to know you are not and never will be alone: (written in my first month of this blog)

    The childless and childfree descriptions are too black and white to be accurate, especially in these early days for you. I don't really like either description. Just be who you are and feel how you feel. Healing will come, but it takes time.

    I wish I'd been able to be more present for you these last few weeks as you face this. Sending love.

    1. Thank you, I love these posts. I feel as you felt -- very much childLESS at the moment, feeling so much absence even as we plan our vacation that is most definitely something to look forward to. I definitely don't presume to define things for others, just that how I feel at the moment is that space between childless and childfree, and a balance between the abject grief and the power of choosing a different life and an end to this godawful limbo. For me, anyway. :) Thank you for your love, and all the helpful posts on reprogramming reality. I am definitely in the messy bit and probably will stay there for a while.

  8. I hope this WAS the hardest day & that all the days from now on just keep getting better & better, although I know (from experience!) that it won't happen overnight. I am so glad this woman appreciated how difficult it was for you to hand all your lovingly collected things over. (((HUGS)))

    1. Oh, me too. Sometimes harder than others, but that was a raw, raw, oozy day. It was lovely to have all of our baby booty so well-appreciated and received by the lady who was going to gift it to people who need it. It was hard, so hard. Interesting to think some of those things might be with a baby now. Sigh.

  9. I'm so bad at putting my emotions into words. I read this with tears, at the finality, at what you must have been experiencing. See, if I could sit down and have a cup of coffee with you, I could be so much more articulate. So I'm sending you a hug and hope the best days are yet to come for you guys (starting with your honeymoon). <3

  10. Sending so many thoughts and hugs. What a hard, hard thing to do and such a tough day. I hope the days get better from here for the two of you.