Friday, April 30, 2010

Becoming a Mom again?

I’m participating in a contest at Best Kids Apps, a blog about iPhone apps for kids, for a chance to win an iPad and I had to say that in order to be entered and since their contest is about Mother's Day I am going to use this chance to talk about my struggles...

I have written other posts about being a Mom, about how I love my children endlessly Even though they did not grow in my body, even though by the time they got into my arms they were already pretty damaged, even though sometimes I feel like I am not enough for them, I am still their Mom. I love them with all my heart and I do not think for a minute that I would ever feel any other way about them.

I came to be a Mom through adoption but sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have a baby. To grow a part of me and P inside and then to hold that piece of the 2 of us in my arms. I wonder what it would be like to give birth. I wonder what it would be like to watch that attachment grow in the way that is should. I wonder what it would be like to experience all those firsts that you do with a baby.

Sometimes I wonder if when I am older and that window has closed for good if I will regret not having not ever having had that experience.

Sometimes I think I want that experience. There are days when I think that I would be willing to deal with the medical involvement, with the drugs and the shots and all that is the world of infertility treatment because in the end I would have a baby. Right? I would not be one of the ones who does not get pregnant. I would not be one of those women who tries for years only to have her heart broken again and again at the disappointment that is infertility. Would I?

What if it never happened? If we went through all that and never had a baby. How would we deal with that?

Sometimes I manage to squish down all the what if's that run through my head and I think that we should try, that we should at least give the fertility world a try and see if we can have a baby because I do not want to always wonder about what may been.

Then I have a morning like today and I wonder again if it would be worth it.

I was do my bit as a reading volunteer this morning and all the staff at Calvin's school is mourning the loss of a colleague’s child. This teacher went on maternity leave last month, her baby was born and died early this week in her arms while she called 911 because her brand new daughter was turning blue. She had a heart condition that no one caught and she died at 2 weeks old. I know that this woman struggled with infertility and miscarriages, this baby was a miracle in many ways and then she only lived for 2 short weeks.

Could I handle if something like that happened to us because it would not just happen to P and I it would happen to Calvin and Fudge too.

Are there any easy answers to all these big questions? No, there are not. I know that.

I (we) did not adopt because of our infertility issues, long before P. I said I was going to adopt, I knew that this was a part of how I wanted to build my family. For a long time I thought that I would do it as a single parent and then when P and I finally got together we decided that this was how we would start our family.

I never thought that I would long for baby like I sometimes I do. I never thought I would want to know what it is like to have a life grow inside you and yet here I am, wondering, longing, uncertain.

Ultimately I know that P and I are going to have to make some choices and be happy with the choices we make because I do not have the rest of my life to make this decision, it has a best before date and if wait to long the date will of come and gone.

But sometimes I wish there was an easy answer because infertility makes things really complicated.


Corey said...

I would like to say that these feelings go away, but I don't know as they do. I have felt such deep grief in the last year or so with "Daniel's" disruption and dealing with Vivi that I think about pregnancy and wish that I would accidentally (not likely with an IUD) get pregnant so that I could have another baby. Because I long for that nurturing and attachment and the ease with which it happens with a baby; your baby that you grow and love and nurture right from conception; one that GETS everything it needs.

And yet, I do not have it in me to plan a baby and have a baby and criminy, I am THIRTY-EIGHT and that is just getting a little old for babies given that my other "baby" is in high school.

GB's Mom said...

I once faced that decision, or at least a similar one.I could have babies, but each would have a 50% of having the hereditary bone disease my sister and I have. At twenty four, I chose not to. There have only been a few times when I revisited that decision. It is never easy and always personal. GB was 4 months when she became ours, but the prenatal damage was already done and added to 4 months of neglect, she was never "normal". Yes, I would like to understand what people are talking about when they discus their pregnancies. Just not enough to role the genetic dice. I will pray for that poor family. I can only imagine what they are going through.

Diana said...

Those are all tough questions that don't have any concrete answers. The reason there are no concrete answers is that they are different for every person. What is right for one may not be for the other.

Whatever ends up being the right decision for you, don't let fear and "what ifs" dictate the choice. Reality is there is no way to know how it will turn out. There's no way to know how it will affect your boys. There are no guarantees everything will be just fine, nor is there any firm reason to believe that something bad will happen because of it. It might work and be the most wonderful blessing your family has ever seen or experiences...or it might be one of the biggest challenges. If you trust math and statistics, though, your chances are much higher that it will be the former rather than the latter.

I've ridden all the roller coasters myself. After 5 years of infertility, we were blessed with our beautiful bio daughter. There's no rhyme, reason, or answers as to why she came along or why we weren't blessed with more bio babies after her. But we are grateful for her. We're grateful we had the opportunity to experience the whole process of pregnancy and birth and having a newborn. My pregnancy with her wasn't the easiest and there were some touch and go moments. But all ended well.

We then tried for another 3.5 years after she was born to have more bio kids. It wasn't to be. So, we closed the door on that chapter of our lives and locked it tight. We then moved forward with our plans to adopt.

Who knew that it would take 5 more years? Who knew we'd end up with RAD? Who knew it would be so exhausting, so frustrating, and so rewarding? Who knew it would forever alter my life...for better and for worse?

Personally, I am glad we exhausted all our options (not every single one out there, just the ones WE felt were right for US) for having bio children. I'm glad we were able to experience all the ups and downs and ins and outs (and even the heartaches, too.) I couldn't always say that, and especially not at the time, but I can now. Through those experiences we KNEW when we were supposed to be done.

Yes, it was HARD and yes, there was a big time grieving process to go through after shutting that door, (a process that is much like accepting RAD, actually...its hard, it hurts, and most people around you don't get it.) But I'm glad I had the chance to do it. I'm glad I was able to let the whole infertility thing go and make friends with it, so to speak. We'll never be pals, but we now we have a much better understanding of each other and fully accept each other for who and what we are.

But most importantly, I never, ever wonder or long for "what might have been." I don't need to. I already know.

Best wishes on your decisions!

Carol said...

I know exactly what you're talking about. DH and I adopted DD 9 years ago, when she was 8 and I was "only" 34. I knew that after we got into a "routine" (yah right, I know) with her, I wanted bio kids too. Well, DD "settled in" right around the time DH became unstable and was eventually diagnosed as bipolar. By the time he was finally on the right meds, and I could take a second to think again, I was 40. Fertility tests have now told me/us that it will be very difficult for us to conceive, probably not likely at this point. And I'm afraid that with DH's diagnosis, it will be very difficult to adopt, too. When I take the time to really think about the injustice of it all and the choices I might have made differently if I had had a crystal ball (like maybe I should've started working on bio kids and then MOVED ON to adoption....) I grieve. It's so unfair. But then I try to count my blessings. There are people worse off than me, for sure.