Monday, April 30, 2012
Mourning My Fertile Life
I think this is the third time I've started this post, because I've had the feelings and thoughts but have been unsure how to form them coherently.
That was until I watched this video (again) and realized that sometimes I, like NieNie, mourn for the loss of the woman I thought I was going to become. By now I thought I was going to be a young mom with 4 kids under the age of 6 with one on the way and planning on having at least 2-3 more. I wanted to have that beautiful family of young children causing raucous during church with my hair frazzled and exhausted at days end because I had worked so hard at being a pregnant mom trying to wrangle my small but growing family. That woman I imagined had been bred for motherhood glory, endowed with child-bearing hips and so many babysitting opportunities in her youth it would make anyone's head spin! She was everything every other mom looked to as a pillar of strength because she fulfilled all her responsibilities with her young family and still served others willingly and faithfully and kept her home cute and beautiful. Her life was far too perfect to be actually real for anyone to be living. It was unrealistic, sure, but in some sense plausible.
Occasionally, more often as we go through adoption paperwork, I mourn over the loss of that once idealistic scenario of mine. That picture in my head of that woman I thought I would become fades with every passing day that I am not pregnant or not adopting another child. I do--I really mourn that woman because I know she will never exist. At least not how I pictured her...not how I pictured myself and my life and my family. Many tears have been shed over her, and many more are still to come, I'm certain of that.
I am already 25, almost 26, and have only one baby and there are currently 4 exposed nails pounded into my walls where frames have been removed and nothing has replaced them. The mother and homemaker at one time I thought I would be at this point is a fantasy, and sometimes when I linger on that fantasy I forget about the fantastical life I do have.
My husband is a wonderful provider, financially, spiritually, emotionally, et cetera-ly for our family. He loves me and we just celebrated a wonderful 6th anniversary together this past Saturday.
My daughter is a miracle in our family placed with us for time and eternity by two wonderfully amazing parents who love her as much as Nick and I do. Not many parents have people in their children's lives that love their children as much as they do, but our children do/will.
I had the opportunity to get an advanced education where learned so many fascinating things, but mostly that I am capable of doing things I never thought I could. In that vision I had of myself in the past, I never ever was doing data analysis and really enjoying my work. That wasn't my "area" of skill or interest.
I think perhaps the thing I am most grateful for that I could not have ever guessed as a younger woman was that I would eventually be so incredibly grateful for the trial of infertility as much I am today. How could I have known that the experiences related to my greatest trial (so far) would shape my faith and the way I serve others and the compassion I have for others and the love I have for my husband and daughter so abundantly that I can't imagine my life without those experiences? And why would I want to?
I have such a wonderful life and I am blessed everyday to be living in it! Sometimes thoughts of that once-fantasy life creeps in my mind and I once again take a moment to mourn the loss of that young mother who has it all and can grow her family whenever she wants. Sure those thoughts come, and I honestly don't want those thoughts to ever go away completely. While the specifics can't be as I thought they would be, the happy home and family I imagined certainly can be. That vision, while different, is a lot closer and more attainable than I sometimes think it is. And those visions I receive of that version of me who has "it all" keeps me striving for "it all" (as much as I can control) in my current circumstance.
And even if I never have another child, or a dog, or a home that is the envy of the neighborhood, I still have such a beautiful life! And I am grateful for it everyday!
I honestly wouldn't change a thing...except for maybe those exposed nails on the wall. Something must be done there.