And frankly the romantic idea that it does just plain sucks. It dawned on me today that I’ve been lying to myself. That I’ve been in complete denial of how things really are. The blame falls square on my shoulders and my shoulders alone. I think the more disheartening fact is that I have no control over it.
As a kid, I dreamed of being a mom. I always thought I was going to have at least three kids. I dreamed of having a couple boys and a couple girls. I wanted to be the mom that had to juggle kid A’s soccer practice with kid B’s music rehearsal. Oh don’t forget kid C needs a couple of dozen cupcakes for a birthday party over the weekend. I wanted to be super mom. When hubby and I got married, I dreamed of giving him the chance to be the dad he always wanted and never had to as many kids as he wanted. We always talked about at least 3. It’s what we wanted.
The reality, at least 3 miscarriages (1 of which was suspected but unable to be confirmed), postpartum hypothyroidism and 9 years of secondary infertility and 1 ectopic pregnancy. I feel very very VERY grateful for my son. We wanted kids right away and started trying shortly after we were married. We had 2 miscarriages and after trying for 4 years, he was my miracle baby. Hubby and I joke quite frequently that our kiddo was our fluke. And with every challenge, I believe whole heartedly that not only was he a fluke, he was just meant to be mine.
I feel very blessed to be a mom to a very smart, funny, compassionate little guy. I know that there are parents who don’t have even this much. But I still can’t help but feel that it’s my fault that my broken body has some how failed me. Most days are good days. Bad days have their way of sneaking in and tossing me onto an emotional rollercoaster. The really hard part…I love babies. I love holding them, I love swaying with them in my arms. I love their tiny fingers and tiny toes. I love the toothless smiles and the deep belly laughs that just make you laugh just as hard.
Hearing about friends being pregnant is really hard. I unconsciously steer clear and advert my eyes of pregnant women at the stores. I am thrilled that there is a baby on the way, but it pulls at my core and tugs at the heart strings. I am tossed into a fit of tears and “What the hell did I ever do to deserve this?” rants. And it goes on all day. I cry in silence, I wipe my tears and go about my day. Then something hits the trigger and sends me back to red puffy eyes and tear streaked cheeks. Rinse and repeat all day.
Today was one of the bad days. And it all started when I asked hubby what we should do with the kid’s baby clothes that we had held on to. I’m not sure what I was expecting. I lie. I was expecting hubby to say “Let’s hang on to them for a little while longer.” Part of me was wishing for that. But deep inside I knew what he was going to say and it’s the same part of me that has been saying the same thing ~Just let it go. Sell it, donate it, give it away. But just let it go and get over it already~. When he said it was that it was probably time to let it go, I cracked. I just could not help but feel like a complete failure. I felt like my body betrayed me. My dreams of a big family were over.
Yeah I know there are other options for having a second child. And that is exactly what they are options. Hubby and I have discussed those options many times and we’re ok with those options. But it doesn’t make the pain, the hurt, the betrayal go away. It doesn’t make the guilt fade. And that’s how I feel. Guilty. Guilty because it’s my fault we don’t have 2 or 3 kids. It’s my fault because my body isn’t working the way it should be.
And part of the whole point of this is because I’ve been suffering silently. I don’t talk about this to any one other than hubby and one of my friends. I don’t even really talk about it with my family. And that is probably my fault as well, but I don’t know if I’m ready to openly discuss it on a regular basis. When family ask when we’re having another one, it’s usually “We’re trying. When it happens it happens” type response and topic of conversation changes.
I take a lot of comfort in the knowing that our decision to finally let go of all the baby clothes (5 large totes full), the swing and bouncy seat, will helping out one of my friends greatly being a single mom on a limited budget. Pay it forward. I was given a large amount of clothes for the kiddo when I really needed it, it’s now my turn to do the same.
My hope that in exposing my soul a little bit here and sharing what I’ve been going through, that it helps someone else to know that they aren’t the only one going through this. That someone else in another part of the world or even right next door is hurting just as much. And that it’s not our fault. That it’s ok to feel sad and to cry. It’s ok to be frustrated and pissed off at the situation. It’s ok to be flawed. It’s ok to be vulnerable.
It’s ok. And that’s when the healing begins.
~ K. Michele