Saturday, January 02, 2010

Since you asked

I generally don't directly address comments here, for no other reason than it feels kind of strange in some way - like we should be stepping into another room and talking privately, even if the conversation isn't something that actually needs to be private.

But in lieu of actually having a room to step into...

Alex, thank you for your comment. I do understand that you meant no harm, and that you're simply puzzled by my desire for a child and my unwillingness to take additional steps to have one, biologically or otherwise.

The simple answer is: you can't always get what you want. And you have to be wise enough to know when enough is enough - when trying to get what you want means peeling away the last remaining protective layer around your heart and mind, leaving yourself completely exposed with absolutely no guarantee that you haven't just pulled the grenade pin.

Yes, we wanted a child. Children, plural. We lost five of them trying. I could list, in great gory detail, all the steps - the surgeries, ER visits, fertility treatments, catastrophic (and life-threatening) complications, mental and physical damage - that collectively make up our attempts to bring home a live child since we started trying in 2003.

I could, but I won't. Because it probably wouldn't help you to understand. You need to feel what I feel. You need to have seen what I've seen. And there's no way to do that save to climb inside my head and sit there awhile amidst the memories, grief, guilt, fear, and frustration.

I just don't have anything left. My proverbial tank is empty.

We are spent. And so, instead of pushing ourselves to the breaking point by undertaking yet another potentially fruitless campaign, we're choosing instead to live the life we were given. We have learned the hard way that there are no guarantees, and we just don't have it in us to take anymore leaps of faith with our fingers crossed, hoping for a happy ending.

We leapt, Alex. Trust me. Over and over again we've held hands, closed our eyes and leapt.

The thing is, we have happy, right here. Yes, it's a childless version of happy. And yes, I'm bitter and angry sometimes, even still. Clearly. But we do have happy. It's our weird version of it, but it works.

We laugh like idiots. We hold hands when we're out for walks. We send stupid e-mails to each other during the day. We snuggle close at night. We indulge in the simple things that make us happy and let us forget, for just a while, that there are things that make us sad.

And why shouldn't we be allowed to have that fragile peace we've so carefully carved out of the mountain of grief we were handed?

You can't always get what you want. So, as they say, the secret is wanting what you've got.

And that's what we're trying to do. Every day. We know this isn't what we planned. We know there are other options. But this is what we have to do, for a million reasons no one but My Beloved and I will ever totally understand.

I get that people will always look at us wonder why, and I get that it probably seems frustratingly simple when you're on the outside looking in.

But from here on the inside, things look very different.

I guess the short answer to your question is that I have done everything I can. It may not look like it to you, but I have.


Claire - Lucas and Lyla's Mom said...
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Claire said...

Kristin, there are really no words to describe the eloquence of this post. Simply achingly raw and honest...just beautiful. Sending you much love my friend.

Mrs. Spit said...

One of the most powerful posts I've read in a very, very long time.

Your resilience amazes me. Astonishes, astounds and inspires me.

ladywithasong said...

That makes perfect sense to me...even from the outside. ((hugs))

Sherry said...

Nobody needs to "get" your decision. Only respect it.



BethGo said...

I love this post.

Alex said...

Thank you so much for replying. I honestly didn't know if you certainly didn't owe me one, but I appreciate hearing what you meant. Just as I wasn't commenting to try and get your to reply...simply to let you know another perspective on why "outsiders" don't "get it".

But your post was very good at letting me see why. I have read you for a long time and could clearly see why you would want a child and why I think(as much as you can about strangers on a blog) you would be a good parent. But when I read your explanation...that you are empty I did "get it" as closely as I can. I haven't spoken to my parents in over 5 years because(and this has NOTHING to do with my being adopted-they are my parents)my mother hit menopause and changed and became a person that speaks before they think(the fast explanation) and I finally stopped talking to her because I had no more to give. I explained to people that felt I should give her one more chance again...that MY tank was empty. So...I understand having nothing left to give for something you do want. I want a relationship with my parents. But not at the cost of my "sanity." So your discription was very VERY good for explaining it to someone that hasn't been through the battles you've been through.

I have no doubt you have a happy life. You probably couldn't decide to live child free if you and your husband weren't a strong, loving team. And thats wonderful that you each have someone so special to lean on.

I appreciate your stuggles and I appreciate your openess. You really are an amazing woman. Your strength and grace is inspiring. Thank you so much for helping me understand.

loribeth said...

This is an amazing post -- so very true. Thank you so much!!

Trinity said...

Feeling at a bit of a crossroads this morning, your post gives me hope. Your perspective is just what I needed--a thoughtful, articulate reminder that there can be peace in childlessness. Thank you...genuinely.

Sending best wishes for a happy new year!

S said...

Here reading for the first time from LFCA.

I really related to this post. I have not gone through a fraction of what you have, but I share your feeling that the time has come for me to simply accept what is.

I know others think we have not done everything we can, but I believe that, for us, we have.

Expectant Duck said...

a pure post for sure, and one that makes absolute sense to me, we all have our lines in the sand, we all have the point where we just want to be happy again (or at least I know I do).
I am glad that you have found your happiness.

RoseAnn said...

I am so glad you have returned to this blog! I kept up with the crochet blog but missed your wonderful writing about other topics.

I think I must be your polar opposite. I feel out of place admitting that I am childfree by choice. My heart breaks that you can't follow the path you would choose but instead are making the best of the one you ended up on.

I will start checking back more often again now that I know you have returned!

M.M. said...
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an insight into me said...


If you read my blog, you will completely understand why I'm thanking you.

You could have written this post about me.

My strength some days amazes me, yours astounds me.


Polka Dot said...

I'm so glad you're back to posting here. I didn't know, so I hadn't checked in a couple of weeks (I don't crochet lol).

I wish I could put things into words the way you do, to explain myself in a way that would get the point across without going overboard or getting muttled.

Even though we talk of adoption, have chosen an agency, and have the paperwork, it's going on 2 yrs now since all that was done and we have yet to turn the paperwork in. Which leaves me to wonder sometimes ... what if we miss our chance and don't have a child?

Which, in turn, does sometimes end up with me noticing the things we won't be able to do once (if) we do bring a child home - stay out / up as late as we want, not worry about pricing daycare, being able to have friends over for many many drinks and raunchy jokes.

You're not alone in that respect, dear friend *hugs*

kate said...

This is a beautiful post.

I am glad you are back posting here! I just realized this today, sorry, i'm a little slow on the uptake.

Tee said...

Wow Kristin, just wow. I would love to share this with some of my childless-not-by-choice friends, whom I am sure you have just spoken for with this post. Wow
I hope I never implied that my way (adoption)was the way, because I certainly have not walked in your shoes, although our paths converged at some points along the way. You are one amazing woman.