I feel, for the most part, that I'm on the upswing in terms of accepting a childless life. I had some scary complications (both after Thomas was born and after I lost the twins) that made the idea of continuing to try less appealing than it otherwise would have been, and I love the life I've built with My Beloved in the last few years since my most recent loss. Plus an end to the crazed hamster wheel of shots, drugs, raging hormones, timed sex, and dildo cams? Well, that's been nice too. Very, very nice indeed.
I feel almost normal.
Actually, in truth, I probably now feel as normal as I ever will.
The big secret no one ever tells you is that sorrow doesn't go away. Time doesn't heal all wounds. It simply makes the scars less angry and harder for people to see. But the scars, they stay etched on your soul for the rest of your life. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise, because there's nothing worse than thinking you should have to stop missing your baby - that that's the healthy thing to do.
I assume no mother with living children ever simply forgets they exist. And so just like those moms, I never forget my son. And I will never forget the other three times I found out I was pregnant, nor the hope and joy those positive tests brought to my life and to the lives of the people who couldn't wait for those children to be born.
But the thing is, that's all feeling more and more like a chapter I just finished reading. Trying to conceive, miscarriages, losing Thomas, fertility treatments - that all belongs to a different part of my life.
I've gently, quietly turned a page. Almost without noticing.
Maybe it's partly because I'm so focused on my mom & dad and the extra help they need right now, I don't know. But it really does feel like the time for children has well and truly passed, and the idea doesn't fill me with the same overwhelming grief it once did.
It's a decision we made about a year ago, but it's settling in with me in a comfortable sort of way now. And I'm as surprised as anyone that I'm making peace with the hand we were dealt. Because it was a fucking awful hand - right out of one of the most horrific nightmares imaginable.
It'll never be fair that we didn't get to be parents to living children. And I will always grieve for that beautiful life I thought we'd have. I want to scoop up those two silly kids who sat on my sister's patio and talked about having children on one of their first dates back in the summer of 1999. I want to scoop them up, hold them close and tell them how sorry I am that things turned out this way instead.
And then I want to tell them how proud and amazed I am of the way they're going to weather the shitstorms to come.
It shouldn't have been this way. But somehow we're making it work.