Thursday, January 08, 2009

Thinking

Back in the fall My Beloved and I set an arbitrary sometime in January deadline for sitting down and talking about where this nearly 6-year journey of ours is heading.

The plan was for us both to come to the table, having had two months to mull it over quietly on our own, with some thoughts. Maybe even conclusions.

But, uh, I'm not sure I have any. Thoughts yes, conclusions, no.

Although lately I've had a vague sense that I'm moving into acceptance mode. That I'm recognizing and coming to terms with the fact that our time for having more children may have passed. Entirely. No biological babies, no adopted babies.

For some reason that notion seems to be sitting in my head, making a lot of sense.

It's desperately sad, yes. I think I would have made a good mother to a living child. I had a very good role model, and I had many quiet, happy daydreams about the ways I was going to mother our children. Making them feel cozy, safe and loved.

But we've had six years of loss, fear and sorrow. I'm not entirely sure I have the mental energy that the me of simpler days used to have. I hate to think that infertility and loss have beaten me. I hate to think that after all this time they have finally won.

But maybe they have.

Maybe I just can't put myself - or us - through this anymore. Maybe it's time for My Beloved and I now. Just us. Moving on and finding peace and happiness together; making the most of the life we have and the love we've always shared.

I'll be 39 in a few months, My Beloved 40. I know people will throw up their hands, stomp about and vehemently deny that we're too old to be parents. But the thing is, we're older than most people our age. We've seen a lot and we've lost a lot. Too much. Too much.

We're tired. I'm tired.

I want my life back. I wanted children. I wanted that life so much. But sometimes you have to accept the life you're given instead of spending all your time wishing for the one you weren't. Because that's no way to live at all.

We have tried so hard. I don't think anyone could accuse us of not giving it 100%.

We are a family of three that looks like a family of two. But we are still a family. We had a child. I was pregnant. I was pregnant four times.

And now, maybe, I'm done.

If I am alone when I'm old - if everyone I know has gone before me and I have no children and grandchildren to visit me - I'll just find comfort in new friends. I'll write. I'll read. I'll crochet. I'll try to pray. I'll keep searching for whatever makes me happy and brings me peace. One day at a time.

And eventually I'll see my babies again. And I'll wrap them in my arms, hold them close and then, then finally have a chance to be the mother I should have been here.

I'm not making the decision alone, of course. And as sure as I might sound at the moment, I'm just as liable to change my mind tomorrow.

But then again, maybe I won't.

The last line on one of those epic Christmas letters sent to my Mom from a cousin of hers was, "Hope Kris and her hubby will be successful one of these days. Must be heartbreaking."

I don't want people to see us that way. I don't want them to think we somehow weren't successful at life because our son died and because I miscarried our other four children. I don't want our losses to define us or our marriage.

The letter really make me stop and think about how long we've been running on the hamster wheel.

And about how I think it might be time to step off and just walk quietly and peacefully together instead.

24 comments:

RoseAnn said...

I'm so sorry you're having to even make this decision.

I hope you will find peace with wherever your ultimate path takes you.

loribeth said...

Oh Kristen... as someone who has taken that giant step off the hamster wheel, I am in tears after reading this. I could have written just about every single word -- it all rings so very true.

Whatever you decide -- whether to get off the wheel or give it a few more spins -- I wish you all the best.

Molly said...

So no adoption? I know it's a huge ordeal (and expensive), just wondering why that might not be an option either.
I just feel like there is something out there for you, child-wise!

Rachel said...

I hope you make a decision and find peace with it soon. I found your post very moving, and I of course have no suggestions at all as to how to reach such a decision.

Julia said...

It's a moving and poetic post. It's a decision that I would never wish on anyone, and I am so sorry you are facing having to make it. I am not sure I would ever have the courage to step off the wheel... and it's probably because of that that I am finding it so unfair that this road has been so long and so difficult for you, and that this is the place you find yourself now, all these years after setting off. As always, I wish you peace. I know you already have great love. And for that I am grateful.

Mrs.X said...

I, too, got a little teary reading this post. It hits so close to home. I used to think making the decision to start having children was difficult. Now, I know that it is the decision about when to stop trying.

Six years is a long time and four pregnancies should be four children. I don't think that if you were to get off the hamster wheel that IF and loss will have won. By taking yourself off the wheel, you win by exercising the one thing we all want over this process: control.

I wish that none of us had to even have these thoughts. But, I also know this is where our strength comes from. And, you have shown amazing strength.

Whatever decision you make, I hope that you find the peace that you want because regardless of what does happen, you fought the good fight.

Abby said...

And eventually I'll see my babies again. And I'll wrap them in my arms, hold them close and then, then finally have a chance to be the mother I should have been here.

Wow. Just wow. It's not very often that words take my breath away, but that did it.

No one should have to make decisions like the ones you guys are having to make, but I hope whatever you decide, you have peace about it and can move forward knowing that you did the right thing for you.

Because that's all that matters.

H&S!

Catherine said...

I don't want people to see us that way.

The only thing that matters is how YOU see you.

Melissa said...

I really don't even want to think about this decision that you are facing and don't want to accept it and I am no one who even matters. I hate that life keeps plodding along one day at a time unrelentingly and sometimes it should just freaking stop for a while.

stat763 said...

"We're older than most people our age."

How true that is. As another one who got off the hamster wheel, I also teared up reading your post. Whatever you decide, I wish you peace in your decision.

B said...

This moved me to tears too.

Standing with you in this time. Your courage is boundless as is your love. It is so unfair and I wish for something else for you. I'm finding it hard to accept this for you...... how must it be for you?

I pray that God sees and honors your faithfulness, love and courage, that these things are important to Him and that He holds you dear in His heart as he stands beside you in your ongoing pain and healing. I pray for a time of rebuilding, of creating beautiful things, and of togetherness. I pray that your little family is energised to live wholly and freely, and that the abundant love you have will find a place where it is needed and recieved, in this world and the next.

much love

Barb

Kami said...

I saw your comment on Barb's blog and followed it here.

I am so sorry for all of your losses. I won't pretend to have any advice. I have only read this one post so I don't really know you, but we have had a somewhat similar journey.

It was our choice to try donor egg (original diagnosis was MFI) after 6 years of trying, one neonatal death, 2 miscarriages and 1 chemical. It worked and we are very happy about that. I think we would have used donor egg and donor sperm if it hadn't and then we would have moved on. At least that was the plan. I was 39.6 when we conceived. Yes, we have been through hell, but I like to think it made us better parents.

I don't tell you this to convince you to keep trying or, God forbid, "give you hope". I guess I wanted to just say that you are not too old, but it is your choice.

I wish you peace and happiness no matter which path you choose.

No one should need to go through what you have gone through.

Woman who knits said...

I'll be there when we're old to teach you to knit with whatever decision you make. I'll eventually turn you!!

Seriously, I hope that you find what you're looking for. Whatever that maybe. You deserve happiness, love, and most of all peace of heart.

Lori said...

You have such an amazing heart.

May all of the losses of this life be redeemed just as you described one day. That truly moved me.

I wish you peace Kristin. And happiness. And, well, everything... I wish you everything good.

Anna said...

Wow. Your ability to still have some trust and wisdom and acceptance and to still appreciate the blessings in your life, even after all the loss -- it is so beautiful. Whatever your ultimate decision, you are walking the right path, asking the right questions.

Whatever you decide, there *is* a rich, full, rewarding, connected life for you, even with the pain.

Heather said...

This was a heartbreakingly beautiful post. I hate that you have to think about this. Peace to you, whatever you decide.

BethGo said...

This must be so hard for you. I'm shaking my head here in helplessness.
Your statements about loss are something I can totally relate to. As an adoptee I have to tell you that I felt a great deal of loss throughout my life. While I had a great adoptive family, I also had a huge question mark hanging over my head my entire life.
It wasn't until I was 34 years old and reunited with my biological mother that I learned why I had those feelings. She spent three days with me in the hospital and was then forced to relinquish me by a family member. We had bonded in utero for 9 months and then for three days after my birth and then she was gone. It's really quite sad when you think about it.
Adoption can be a wonderful thing but relinquishment in any situation is heartbreaking for the child. There is great loss in being relinquished.
I think, especially after what you have gone through that this is an important thing to know.
With that said, my heart still breaks for you. I have been following your blog for quite some time and all I can say is that none of this seems fair or right.
I hope you find YOUR answers for you and your dear husband. You are the ones who know what is right for you.

Aurelia said...

Hon, I know this is very hard for you to do, so I will respect it.

Two pieces of assvice on it? Make sure that you and your husband really do mean it when you decide you are done, and that you are not just trying to please each other and deny your own feelings. I have seen too many couples fight because one decided it was over and the other felt forced into ending it.

So both of you need to be sure.

And the other? Just because the IF journey ends, doesn't mean that your health won't be impacted by it. I know so so many women who think it's done, (sometimes after kids, sometimes no kids) and never get another ultrasound, or blood test, or don't bother with vitamins, meds etc. Meantime, they have osteoporosis, or blood clots, or heart problems.

Please take care of yourself. You matter.

Rosepetal said...

Oh Kristin, I wish this wasn't a choice you even had to face. But whatever you and Sandy decide, I believe you have already been "successful" at life. Just reading about how close you and your Beloved are shows that.

I wish you many many successes in the future, in whatever form they may take.

Gaile said...

Hey Kristin, didn't even know you had this blogger...just wanted to say that God has a plan for all of us. Whether you are to be with or without child is up to Him. You and Sandy have been through a lot of turbulence. You have found love in one another, and that will get you through anything!
BTW, I'm up for coffee anytime! ;)
Xx

Artblog said...

Oh gosh this post brought tears to my eyes. It was beautiful and sad all at the same time.

I cant tell you to carry on, you do sound like you'd make a great mother, but it probably hurts too much to carry on, I get that, really do.

I don't know what else to say except I wish you lots of wonderful friends to keep you company in your old age crocheting together, you deserve it but I'm sorry it turned out this way for you :( Peace.

HUGS xxxxxxxxxxxx

Sherry said...

I, too, am sitting here in tears after reading this entry.

Only you and S know what's right for you and what your threshold for pain is. But, I will continue to hope and pray with all my might that you're one day blessed with an earthly miracle.

XO

Megan said...

You would so clearly be a wonderful mother to any baby lucky enough to be with you.
I hope you and Sandy can make the right decision for both of you.
I have been lucky enough – I know now it's merely luck! – to have a little one after a full-term loss and a miscarriage.
But like you, there was a point when I found myself wondering if I could go on trying.
I was talking to a single friend who in passing told me how much she envied my long, happy relationship.
I realized then that I had something rare and special – whether or not we ever had a child.
No one who reads what you write about Sandy could deem you unsuccessful.
You have so much love, whether you ever get to share it with a child as I hope you will...

cjzben said...

Kristin, I am sorry you are here at this point on the path, I have no words of wisdom to help guide you forward, just know that you and S are loved very much and that there will always be many hands there to help steady you if you falter.