Thursday, November 25, 2010

In Mind, Out Of Sight

A dream is a smile, a grin from ear to ear.
Invoking happiness, hope, and a sense of meaning.
A dream holds ideas.
For what are we?
Who are we?
Without our dreams.

I often wonder how much infertility has changed me. I know it has brought me to the lowest of lows and the highest of highs. When I think about what my life would be like if having a child had been effortless, I'm content in knowing that my path to motherhood has given me more than I could have imagined six years ago.

One of the most difficult things about a life-changing situation is being forced to reimagine your future. Once I realized that the family I had always envisioned would probably take on a new form, I grappled with what my children would look like, be like, and how many, if any I would have.

I did try to imagine a life without a child. There was a point where I considered this option because we had been through too much pain. Strength and determination to continue trying to conceive were diluted by exhaustion and grief. How many disappointments can one endure? The pregnancy announcement to my parents, the choosing of names, the baby shower, the number of children I longed to have all became fragments of dream I was losing. I began to reimagine my role as a mother to just one child. If only I could be lucky enough to have one baby, then I would be grateful.

After the last failed in vitro procedure, the hope of a pregnancy was gone; we finally conceded to our reality. Biological children would not be possible. I would never get pregnant.

Even though I had been exploring adoption for two years it was at this point that I finally began imagining my life as an adoptive mother. I was happy with this thought. To love a child and take care of them was most important.

Becoming a parent through adoption has been amazing. I have no idea what I would do if my son were not in our lives. Who would I be? He has changed me for the better and enriched my life in such beautiful ways. I am deeply in love with every embrace, giggle, funny comment, and tidbit that make him who he is.

As my son grows older the desire to give him a sibling surmounts. But how will we do it? Unfortunately financing stands in our way. Like most we already spent thousands upon thousands of dollars to become parents. The thought of finding more money that could pay off debt, send our son to college, or go in a retirement fund is perplexing. But I have always said that we can find a way. I never want money to be the reason that we did not fulfill our vision of family.

There is a bit of irony, however that at this point I find that we have several options for family-building. At one point I did not think we had any options at all. Now with the passing of time and the resolution of grief I feel that we have choices for possibly having a second child. Going back to a fertility specialist is an option we have not ruled out. Starting fresh with the diagnoses we worked over two years to discover and a new mind set may just lead us to a successful pregnancy. We are also thinking of a domestic adoption rather than international.

The amazing part is that life is full, and the extreme sense of urgency to have a child that comes with infertility has dissipated. I have let go of the fact that I am older than I would have liked to be when having children. My son will be at least 5 years older than his future sibling. Ultimately I always wanted 3 children, and even though that dream will most likely never happen due to circumstances, the picture in my mind of 3 cute faces staring at me in the rear view mirror just will not fade away.

For those of you reading who struggle daily to reimagine your life as a parent I hope you find some comfort in my words. Reimagining may be difficult but can offer great rewards. Speaking about life in general we all had plans. Looking back as someone in my early thirties I see that the plans that fell through are what have created the most memorable and wonderful parts of my life. This is something I remind myself of whenever I am caught off guard with the emotions of infertility. My journey is not over, and reimagining life keeps the possibilities coming.
*Please leave a comment if you can relate to this post. I always love to hear what readers have to say. Thank you.


MoonNStarMommy said...

Infertility changes anyone who goes through it....I think..we understand all to well disappointment, extreme highs, extreme lows, and issues it all causes with our relationships from fighting with our spouse due to making waves in friendships due to them getting pregnant easily and you not....or just the pure depression....that is just my two cents on it.... I am happy that you were able to adopt...your love for your son jumps off the page....good luck in your search for a sibling..happy ICLW

Geochick said...

I'm still in bitter-mode since we're looking at a wait that will be longer than a year and a half. I like reading this post though because I cannot wait to be on the other side. When my brain stops screaming "Another effing holiday season and I can't send a cute family photo card - come on!" ;-)

Pixie said...

Thank you for this post! I was having a rough day today, dealing with many of the issues you've talked about here. I'm older than I had thought I'd be as a mom, and although we knew we would adopt one day, we never imagined it would be the only option we had to become parents. I love the word "reimagine" because that's exactly what we are doing!

Alex said...

Beautiful post. I think every woman that goes through infertility is changed forever, and usually for the better. But it takes us awhile to get there...

A. said...

Thank you so much for this beautiful post. Before we started trying to conceive, we always assumed we would have a big family and given that there was no indication we would have any problem getting pregnant, always assumed it would happen simply because it was what we wanted. As time passes, I find myself constantly re-imagining my future family - how long it will take, how many children, and how we will get there. Being more open to all options and more flexible in my thinking has actually been incredibly liberating, especially removing the sense of urgency of needing to be pregnant NOW and the expectation of many children. Anyway, just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed this post.

Kristin said...

I so identify with this. My heart still longs for another child but, due to the many infertility issues and time delays, it may not happen.

Saige said...

The thing I love most about this post is that you are not giving up on continuing to grow your family. That speaks multitudes.

I can completely relate to giving up the dream. I have to constantly remind myself that even though I am only 31 and technically still have many child bearing years left, I might not get the family with 3-4 children I always dreamed of too. My body just does not wish to cooperate. Sometimes it is hard to realize there might not be any more in the picture because of the incredible amount of love and joy just one brings into the world. It makes you absolutely ache for more. Knowing that my daughter may be my one and only makes me appreciate her that much more.

I hope and pray that you are able to add another to your family very soon.


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