I am good. I have accepted where we are. Acceptance is not the same as as never being sad about it, it's just knowing that this is our life, and we are going to live the shit out of it as it is now. We are not looking to change anything about our status. We have accepted that this is the life we have, and frankly I am grateful for all of the wonderful things that we are capable of doing and can pursue.
And I am grateful that we are no longer chasing something that flitted frustratingly out of reach every single time. My forehead has healed from all of the wall-banging that never led to a secret door to "the other side." There is an incredible lightness in letting that go.
I know that I've gotten to an acceptance point because I had this really weird dream about a month ago, one where Bryce came home and was like, "Hey, there's this baby boy, and we can adopt him, I've worked it all out and I think we can do this, it just sort of fell into place." I was in shock, because I can't see Bryce coming home and nonchalantly being like, "hey, let's go pick up a baby sometime later today," EVER, even in the dream world. It was weird. And what was weirder was I wasn't excited. I was like, "um, that's great and all, but where will we put this magical baby?" And then I thought, Oh man, I REALLY don't want to lose my office. I LOVE my office. And then I woke up.
I woke up feeling kind of guilty, but also...settled. When I told Bryce about the dream, his reaction was, "that's awesome!" Which at first seems odd, but the reason why is that it means that I am in a headspace where our home is no longer a place where we wait for something lifechanging to happen that just...doesn't. Our home isn't a depot of stunted dreams, not anymore. Our home is just what we want it to be (for the most part), and it is getting cozier and more efficient and useful and filled with spaces that just bring us joy. I felt guilty because it was like, "oh man, here I was in my dream with the baby that finally arrived, and I wanted my office instead!" But then I realized...NO. The baby isn't my dream anymore. That wasn't something that happened for us, and trying to make it happen for years and years through multiple processes didn't bring us closer, it actually almost destroyed me. So, yeah -- I love my office.
|The clean half of my office, ha ha ha. So important for me to leave those decals up.|
My office is a new space that's about me and my dreams and my life, NOW. Something I can enjoy in the present and not strive and push for things I want but aren't something I can make happen. So that makes sense.
|Ever so slightly more cluttered side, but a joyful mess.|
What doesn't make sense to me is that others seem to have a difficult time accepting. Not close friends and family, because they know fairly intimately what it was like for us during those years, especially the last one, and how torturous and exhausting and dangerous the quest for a baby became. But when I see the odd person who hasn't been aware that our quest for parenthood is done, there is an incredible sadness. And then a need to offer up alternatives to our sad childless fate, to ask if we're sure, or if we should just take a break, or if we've considered fostering. Or the "well, you never know! Crazy things can happen!"
|Look! A real dining room! |
New furniture seems to be symbolic of our moving forward.
I get it, I mean, when I was lying facedown on the floor a lot last year it definitely felt tragic. So I guess it's unfair to expect people to get to my point in acceptance in the 15 minutes after they find out that our journey is over. And it is nice to have acknowledgement of the loss, because...yeah. It is a HUGE loss.
Somehow though I want it also acknowledged that it's wonderful to have this new life, to end that sad chapter and move towards a life we build without pushing and pushing for something we just couldn't make come to fruition. That this new life is beautiful, and peaceful, and SO MUCH HEALTHIER than the end of our journey where I was willing to sacrifice my physical and mental health to the cumulative stress and grief of trying and failing to have a child. I feel sometimes like the mantra of "never never give up" makes it seem like our decision in the end was a failure, was a lack of perseverance, when in fact I see it as a victory -- taking control of our destiny in a way we simply weren't able to no matter how we tried when it came to family building. There comes a time when continuing stubbornly on with no results and more and more collateral damage is just insanity. That "one more try" isn't going to be the magic sauce for you. That "one more year" just isn't feasible if you want to still be homestudy eligible, which is highly ironic. We chose the life we have. We chose to move forward into a future that seems a hell of a lot brighter now that we've let things go that for whatever reason (and I don't believe there is one) just weren't ours to clutch.
I think about my office and the way that we've reworked our home as very similar to when I had my uterine surgery and removed my lining -- there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY I can get pregnant now. I don't have to think about it, or worry about it, because I shut and locked that door. And with our nursery becoming my office, there is no way that we could change our minds -- we shut and locked the door on bringing a child into this house. We don't have the space for it anymore. We donated all of the things. I didn't feel that we had truly committed until Memorial Day Weekend, when everything got packed up and picked up and there were scant few baby related things left in the house. It was like a cleanse. And it made it so that the decision WAS THE DECISION. No room for waffling.
It is good. Living in limbo was godawful. I can mourn what didn't happen, what can never be, but it is SO MUCH EASIER to mourn that knowing that it can never happen than to hold my grief and my hope together, not being sure at any given moment which has the stronger pull and which is more damaging. So I am grateful for an end. I am grateful to my new space, my new childfree home.
Acceptance is finally not difficult, for me.