Infertility Grief Revisited

Here I am, a 37 year old, educated, seemingly enlightened woman in this second melinnium, proudly parenting the most beautiful boy ever, and married to Prince Charming a wonderful, generous, and patient man who I love and who loves me no matter what. 

And I feel like crap.

My motherly instinct tells me its time to bring a little brother or sister on board for the Woob.  That’s the nurturing, giving side of me.  The other more selfish side of me is already grieving the Woob’s babyhood that passed by in the blink of an eye, and my arms are again aching for a little bitty person to fill them.

Four years ago, I happily put away all the syringes, ampuoles, doctors appointments, insanity, anger and sadness associated with the world of infertility.  Locked ’em all up tight into the top shelf of the bathroom cabinet.  We took time off, got our heads together and jumped headfirst into the shiny new world (for us, anyway) of adoption.  I realized I didn’t (and still know that I don’t) have to be pregnant to be complete.  It would be a wonderful thing, but its NOT something I just MUST DO OR I’LL DIE.

So here I am, feeling these urges to be a mommy a second time over.  But to what end?  I’m tellin’ ya, the Cosmos must be laughing right now.  Let me tell you what’s going on.

Over the past several months I’ve been living adoption through our personal lives with the Woob, our families, and Woob’s mother in one way or another (and all that goes along with that).  I’ve been reading, reading, reading, to learn about all sides of adoption, good and bad.  I’ve been doing this reading for myself and for those I work with through my employment, which provides some adoption services.  I want so badly to do things right and make positive impacts on people I work with (because I’m weird like that).  I’ve definitely come to some conclusions about the type of information I present to people and the type of worker I want to be and the type of agency I want to represent.  I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that since there are so many ethical issues to consider, that I’d probably not put myself in that place again, and if I did, there would be limits on what I’d do.  So…

Exactly 13 days ago, after some discussion with DH, I made an appointment with my family dr. so I could get a referral back to an RE, you know, just for a consultation.  See if there was anything missed before, see if there was any use in going back to some of the “lighter” treatments.  Despite the fact that I still hold out little hope that our past diagnosis of “unexplained infertility” would change or that treatments (the first-line ones that we are willing to try) will result in pregnancy, and despite the fact that I started remembering with utter dread how all-emcompassing and timed fertility treaments are, I found myself becoming a little excited at the prospect.  And its kind of one of those now-or-never deals because, remember, I’m 37 and as much as I’d like to think “37 is the new 20,” it ain’t, folks.

Fast forward to Sunday morning after church.  A family friend approaches while I’m talking to my parents planning brunch.  “I need to talk to you about something.  Would you and DH consider adopting again?  There’s a girl…” (IN FRONT OF MY MOTHER SHE ASKS THIS!!)  Talk about put on the spot.  Stammering.  Well, you gotta know my mama was glued to the spot listening.  So I spouted off some insane thrown together throughts very reasonable conditions about IF this could happen, or IF that was the way things were, then we would consider adopting again, but only IF.  These “IFs” of course concerned openness, the type of counseling this YOUNG woman would need to make a decision, and on and on.  And my mom’s still listening…and the family friend is looking at me like I have three heads because why would I want all these “IFs” and openness and counseling and information and so on…but tells me she’ll get more information as it comes.  And all my wonderful thoughts and opinions about the problems in adoption and how things SHOULD be done fly out the window as I think about this opportunity to build our family.  Also, it crosses my mind that I can tell the RE to shove it, I don’t need his stinkin’ treatment…

So I go home to bring this up with DH, but basically he has no chance to digest this because immediately the baby needs something and his brother arrives from across the country and will be staying with us while he’s in and the topic is officially closed by default.  This morning was the first time we were alone long enough for me to bring it up again.  It didn’t go well.  DH said something about having our “own” child would be nice.  Picture my guts twisting with that phrase being said.  I know DH loves our son more than life itself.  He hates being made to be politically correct in his language.  He refuses to watch his words.  I’ll defend him here at the same time as I’ll hate the way he said that.  Hate the fact that it even makes me angry that for him to voice a desire to have the experience of parenting a child with his/our DNA to me sounds like an insult.  Its not and it shouldn’t be a crime.  I think its truly the way humans work.

Regardless, here I am conflicted about SO many things, and pissed off that I have to be conflicted at all.

IF our bodies would just work right, there’d be no issue here.  We could (maybe) make rational choices about how and when to build our family, that didn’t have to hinge on what dr’s appointments would conflict with what work appointment, or if another baby comes along, how will that affect our little one and his mother.  If we miraculously concieve with medical intervention, will Woob always think he’s second best because he doesn’t carry our genetics?  Will N. think we or the agency lied to her when she received the information that we couldn’t have children?  Is it even going to matter anyway, once we find that treatments won’t work and we’re just plain too old to do anything else anyway.

Yes, this is a truly selfish post in which I choose to wallow in self-pity for awhile.  I needed to put it somewhere.  And now I’ll stop and go crawl into a hole.



Filed under adoption, grief, infertility, adoption, motherhood, parenthood, vent

15 responses to “Infertility Grief Revisited

  1. Oh E- We should do lunch sometime. If you ever, ever need someone to listen so you can vent, cry, worry, stress, etc. Call me! I will listen. I will offer a shoulder. I will tell you to load Woob up and come on over. We can have a sob fest or talk or whatever. I am sorry you are going through this. My dh is just the opposite. After talking with you I mentioned TTC to dh and he shot it down before I could even finish the sentence… Some days I am also so torn about adoption, but my desire for kids outweighs it, so we will do it again. But I will have terms this time, as well. (((HUGS)))

  2. Christine

    Wow! I could have written this post. I’m 37, thinking about a 2nd child, and now that I am more educated on adoption and what can be ethically wrong with it, I am apprehensive about going forward full tilt into another adoption. I too, have unexplained infertility, andhave thought about revisiting some of the gentler methods (iui). But then I have worries that with a biological child, my son may feel like he doesn’t belong. Would it make a difference to him if his sibling was adopted? I honestly don’t know. I’m exactly where you are. I think I’ll just wait to see what you decide 🙂

  3. Oh, gosh, Christine, I hope you’re saying that as a joke! 🙂 You don’t want to follow my lead, I’m a total mess! But it is nice to know that someone understands. Thanks!

  4. Christine

    I’m absolutely kidding! 🙂 I know we’re all winging it, and no one has the answers.
    Good luck with everything, though. There is a lot to consider, and I AM going to keep reading to see what you do!

  5. Man, E. I’m so sorry. So, so, sorry. There is nothing like motherhood or the pursuit of it to rip out a woman’s heart. I have no words of wisdom I am afraid but I will pray for God’s leading, provision and peace.


  6. Thanks, Sherri–prayer is good.

  7. trixieintransit

    It must be something in the air! I am having a pretty moody day where even flavor chips aren’t helping…and I threw out chocolate today because “it didn’t taste right.” Then when I whined about something else…Hubbie came over and hugged me and said “I think you just need lots of hugs, spaced continuously throughout the day.” I couldn’t agree more. Our second BMom is now distancing herself from us with only 60 days until the baby arrives. My heart is breaking for a second time in 90 days. At this rate we will be lucky to have #1 before we turn 40! I can’t even imagine how difficult it will be to adopt additional children but I know we will want them.


  8. Things are really serious when chocolate doesn’t taste right! Sorry you are going thru disappointments, too.

  9. Hi, Em. Such an honest and thoughtful post … all valid concerns, questions and thoughts. And when someone approaches you with a possible situation — I can see how the rest just falls away. But you’re heart is in the right place — wanting to do the right thing. And that’s what matters. And you will. You’ll find the path that works just right for you and your family this second time around.

    Such powerful emotions/desires in womanhood and motherhood, aren’t there?

    And yeah — when did the babyness go away? I see a little girl now in Maeve and don’t know where the tiny cuddly bundle of baby went either.

  10. I hear you, it is so hard, isn’t it!!!

    Your allowed to wallow – your allowed to be sad!!!!

  11. As always, a thought-provoking post over at Letter to a Birthmother. Thanks so much for sharing. I hope that you can have some peace of mind with these major decisions.

    And what a weirdo to just bring up a topic so flippantly right in front of your Mom and putting you on the spot like that. Strange…

    Good luck sister. Keep us posted.


  12. Strangely enough, my mother has not called me up every night asking more about it. I will guarantee, however, that she’s been on the phone with everyone else discussing the possibility…I can’t wait to hear who she said what to.

  13. I had un-explained infertility before God allowed us to have our first (got pregnant on a mission trip – go figure) . After I decided to have a sibling and after twice as much treatment, repeat surgerys and stress…. we put our marriage and our daughter first. Now we are considering adoption and since I’m also adopted … I’ve had similar questions. But I’ve learned also to relax with God’s timing…he has a place in this world for each child – some are born and some are placed with us. I think we know when it is his plan (we just spend so much time trying to decide if it’s what we want or not!)

    I used to be a very angry adoptee who felt cheated out of her ‘real’ life. Now I love my mom and my birth mom and I would never trade my experiences because I see God’s hand in it all. I hope when the time comes I can pass this trust onto my duaghter and an adopted child as well.

    I hope you will hear from Him soon enough to set you at peace.

  14. Hello, I just found your blog. I am a birthmother to a 17 year old girl, and her parents went on to have a son after adopting her. I do wonder how she feels about that. However, I am not angry or feel cheated that she finally got pregnant. Mine is a closed adoption, but she was adopted my aunt’s friends, so I know a little most closed adoptions. I was really happy to hear that she wouldn’t grow up as a only child. My excitement wouldn’t change if they adopted again, or carried a baby to term.

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