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The Childless Mother

Dealing with infertility and finding happiness

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adoption

Infertile and more honest than ever!

As we set out on our journey to become parents. Fresh faced and still having sex just for fun ….. imagine!! Ahh those were the days. I was ever the optimist.

I believed that the world had something to teach me out of every mistake or struggle….. like for example, when I was 16 and drank cans of special brew before a party and wore stupidly high heels, I promptly fell flat on my face trying to dance and injured my best mate (sorry Manda!) still the scratch can be seen today 😬😬, I knew the world was teaching me that I was not a drinker. That and the huge hang over contributed to me being almost T total ever since. I was the sensible one. No more drunken falls for me……. ummm well almost none 😬😬. See positive from the negative!

While I had the niggle for years that something may be wrong. I don’t know why. I just always thought I might struggle to have children, despite my monthly showing up aged 10 and being regular as clockwork AND a doctor telling me not to share even a tooth brush if I didn’t want to get pregnant. Yeah that was an accurate diagnosis πŸ™„πŸ™„.

As time progressed and it was becoming obviously there really was a problem I was showered with the usual, well meaning words of comfort. I would nod and smile and thank them or accept the suggestions of treatments and anecdotes of friends or family members that tried x and y and finally bamb. Pregnant!! Miracle.

I would hide my hurt from people. I always knew they meant well however wrong they got it. I would make excuses telling them not to feel bad that I was ok. The overriding thought being , it’s not their fault I can’t have kids. Why should they watch what they say to me.

For years that continued. I would smile and then cry silent tears when I was alone or with my husband. Why us. Why do I have to put a brave face on it.

As time moved on the anger started to seep out. I realised something.

I blamed myself for this. I felt I deserved it. I felt bad for making them feel uncomfortable at having to tell their Barron friend or family member about their pregnancy. Poor them I would think, poor them for being made to feel so bad for something so wonderful.

With my last miscarriage came a rage, a moment of FUCK THIS SHIT. (Sorry mam). I wrote about it publicly, you all know this that’s how my blog was born. But I started to think about all those other women and men out there making excuses and glossing over their pain. And then the realisation hit me.

ITS NOT OUR FAULT EITHER!!!!!!

It’s not my fault that my body is rejecting our babies. It’s not my husbands fault he fell in love with a woman that can’t have children. For my own sanity I had to STOP making it ok for people to say things that hurt us. To be honest.

Some people will never understand, perhaps they got their family easy and they don’t remember the yearning or haven’t experienced it. Perhaps they see our lives and think wow you have so much to be thankful for don’t wallow in what you can’t have. Perhaps they are ok with not having kids themselves and haven’t felt the pure desperation, of the anticipation of that one pregnancy test that will change everything. That will make us feel complete. Perhaps they have never sat through a scan while a nurse desperately tries to find the heartbeat that will never come. Perhaps they haven’t seen their friend or family member crumpled on their bathroom floor, broken and sobbing as their baby leaves their body. Another baby lost to heaven. Another imagined life never lived.

So you see. Were many would read my posts and our comments and perhaps judge us as bitter, I would tell you to look deeper to imagine that pain. Damn right it’s made me bitter at times. I am not a bad person. I’m surviving this the best I can, we all are. And in the very small space where we can all meet and not be judged we can be honest. We can draw strength from each other to push back to tell people. I’m not ok. I don’t need to fake it anymore and I can be happy for you but sad for me.

No one has the right to tell us how we should be dealing with this. Sometimes I want to scream and break plates against the wall I’m so angry. Sometimes I don’t want to get out of bed. Sometimes I feel so completely alone that the only Ray of light I can find is in my husbands arms and with you beautiful people on here. Some days I feel happy again. Some days my smile is real.

It’s ok to feel anger. It’s messy and ugly this journey. We can’t all feel the higher purpose and move on so easy. I’m incredibly proud and happy for anyone that’s there it gives me hope that one day I will feel the optimist I used to be.

Some people may never understand it and get angry in return when you can’t share their joy completely. We may get called selfish and unreasonable. Told that it’s not their fault. But remember it’s not yours either. I think some people forget this. They think we are in control of how we feel and can just “adopt” or “move on” these are the people that can’t understand and you will waste too much energy on trying to change their minds.

The best thing I can take from this journey is that I’m ok with people disliking me now. I no longer have the need to not upset people. If other people’s happiness comes at the expense of my sanity it’s not worth it. There has to be a happy medium.

The anger gets less and less as time goes on. Thankfully. I don’t feel the urge to hide away so much but I think part of this is because I do feel confident to say now,

“NO I don’t want to do that. I am in too much pain to pretend anymore. ”

You hope that people understand. Most people do. If they don’t then that’s ok too. As much as it’s my choice not to fake it any more. They have the right to be upset if they feel that way too. You can only be responsible for your own happiness. It’s a tough lesson to learn, but once I accepted this. Things have become a lot more simple for me. I’m a frickin’ infertile unicorn.

Happily Ever After …

As a child I loved fairytales. I completely bought into the Prince Charming saving the princess and living happily ever after. I believed in wishes coming true. I believed the Disney version of life. I knew one day I would get married and have kids just like the stories told me I would. Because that’s what being happy looks like.

Princess meets prince who saves her and they get married and have a family πŸ™„πŸ™„. Now how much those expectations have changed and I feel cheated. Over time, that picture I built fades and as I move further away from it I try to see something different.

If I had been granted wishes as a kid no doubt I would have used them for superficial things. How I looked probably. To be beautiful. As I grow older those wishes change.

Now as an adult I would simply have one wish. To be a mother. Well actually, that’s not true. I would take two wishes, one to bring Gavin back and for him to have never been ill or felt one moment of pain and then I want to be a mother. Would I want to go back and erase all of my bad experiences to get my wish? No I don’t think I would. That pain, as hard as it has been, it has shaped me. It’s made me stronger. It’s made me appreciate my husband so much and the life we have.

I feel like these stories have set me up for a massive fall. There is only ever one version of a happy ending and it’s not the one I am living. Childless in your late thirties character’s would probably only make it as the evil spinster or witch in the Disney version. No one really ever thinks to write about the happy ever after for the childless couple. Perhaps it’s hard to imagine.

Am I happy? Absolutely. I may be a little broken and of cause I’m still grieving but I don’t want that to stop me from living in the now.

I think that there are probably pros and cons of both versions, with or without children. I’m sure some of our friends with children may envy some of our lifestyle, as we do theirs. It’s human to wonder what it’s like to have different things but that doesn’t mean that I’m not happy. I at least got my Prince Charming ….. well in truth he’s more of a grumpy character but he’s mine all the same πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚. I am no princess either. I most definitely do not need saving.

I hope as time moves on the happy ending tales perhaps include alternative endings. Time is already starting to change that. Some people may not understand why that needs to happen, I would say to those people. Be thankful that you haven’t ever felt like the outsider. That your story has probably been told over and over again as the ‘normal’. Maybe those new versions need to be told to offer hope and strength to those who just want to feel less alone.

The differences in all our stories are what make us so wonderfully human. I would wish one day that no one would ever experience infertility. ……See I’m getting greedy with the wishes now πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆπŸ˜‚. That couples would never have to experience the heartbreak and sheer devastation of losing a pregnancy or a child.

Adapting to the new version of our story has taken some time. Yes sometimes I feel like I have wasted time always looking forward, it’s hard not too when you are always thinking that you may be pregnant this time next year or have a new baby. The more years that pass and it doesn’t happen it has taken its toll on my optimism. It’s also forced me to look at a different future. That alternate ending for us. For me that looks like many more years happy with my husband, appreciating how lucky we are to have each other. I hope to be traveling as much as we can.

Maybe one day I will be writing something like this….

“and her heart was no longer hurting, she no longer felt her arms ache from the burned of emptiness. She found contentment in just being the two of them, no longer wondering what if. They lived happily ever after. The End.”

πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ One day. Who knows. ❀️❀️

β€œWhy don’t you just adopt?”

I’ve mulled over the idea of this blog for a while now. It’s a tough one to write about because I have so much respect for those families who have adopted or are going through the adoption process. Let me start by saying that.

But.

So many times people have said to us “You could just adopt”. Here’s my issue with that statement, while being from a good place. It’s probably one of the worst things to say to me as someone who can’t have kids. Bare with me.

Don’t get mad.

This is why. ….. the word “just” is the killer for me. It makes it feel like they are suggesting it as a runner up prize. Adoption if you choose this route is so much more important than that.

Adoption is not a fertility treatment. It’s not a quick fix for the years of desperately trying. Adoption is a completely separate decision that any family can make if you can or can’t have children.

For me if I were to go down this route. I would need my husband 100% on board with it. It needs to be a decision you are both happy with and both healed enough to move forward, because if not, that’s not fair to any child that may be placed into your care.

My issues with not being able to conceive and carry my own child are issues that are about me and my body. I don’t feel adopting a child would magically fix those aches. I long to carry a child in my own body, I even want to experience giving birth. I want to feel that baby moving inside me. Most of all I yearn to hold a child that’s a little bit of me and a little bit of my husband, who’s the love of my life. Not everyone does feel that need, but I do.

While I know for sure if we do go down that route the child placed with us would be ours. No question. I believe that blood doesn’t always make a family. But the place I am at right now, I know I’m not ready to give up on the dream of having our own child and when someone suggests that we should adopt. Here’s what I feel.

GUILT.

I feel bad about every little life out there that needs a home and a loving family. I know we would make great parents but it’s not fair of us to half arse it and that’s just me being honest. So this suggestion just adds to my pain.

The adoption process is a difficult and emotional one. Deciding if you are willing to take a certain age, a child with difficulties or disabilities, would you take a sibling group the choices you just wouldn’t have to think about if we just got pregnant. Reading the bios and looking at those photographs, at each beautiful child and trying to decide who would get us as parents that’s something I am not in the right place for. My hearts already broken from loosing our babies, what happens if the process falls through. How would we deal with that?

Moving years into the future how would I feel if the child wants contact with their birth family. Feeling like someone would possibly take my place. Again after going through what we have with our own babies I know that would kill me.

Another consideration for many people not in the UK is the cost. It can cost a lot of money to start the adoption process. Not everyone is in the position to do that.

People often are curious about the Infertility journey. Some people it comes from a place of love, they want you to feel less pain so they say things to try and help. For some people it’s just about being a bit nosy. They want to know to satisfy their own curiosity. Others would try to make it about the greater good and “doing the right thing” I’m amused by these people as I am yet to meet anyone offering this piece of advice that has been through what we have or even adopted themselves. Those people will say it like a – “wow don’t moan about it … just adopt” – like it’s something that’s as easy as that. Problem solved. All our pain magically gone.

If when you know that having kids isn’t happening for you and you have grieved the loss of that imagined life enough to feel ready to adopt, I truly applaud you. I really hope one day that I can get there too because having time to contemplate giving a home to a child in need really is an unexpected pain of infertility. I beat myself up about this all the time.

The simple fact is, like the decision to have any children, it’s a personal one.

I understand some people may view this suggestion as a perfect solution. I don’t think you can truly understand the conflict until you have lived it. Some couples know even before they try for children, if it doesn’t work they will adopt. This is so wonderful. I wish that’s how I felt. But we all have to go through this however we can, we do our best to survive it.

The adoption process here in the uk also asks for a set amount of time before starting the adoption process if you have had fertility treatment etc. This is completely the right thing for them to ask in my opinion. Again I will say it. Adoption is not a infertility treatment. The children involved deserve so much more than that. I really hope one day we can heal enough to do that but in the mean time please try to think before you speak.

I don’t mind answering the question ;

“have you considered adoption?”

That’s so much better than saying to me;

“Why don’t you just adopt?”

There’s nothing “Just” about it. It’s a completely awesome thing to do.

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