I’ve written on this blog several times about the anxieties, struggles, and pains that have come as we’ve been trying (and struggling… and failing) to get pregnant for the last while. While I feel like I’ve been fairly authentic and honest about all of the emotions swirling on this platform, that transparency hasn’t translated off of the blog and into other social media–or even into the ‘real world’.
I haven’t talked about this stuff outside the confines of this page.
And I don’t really know why that is.
I feel like I’m a pretty honest (borderline blunt) person when it comes to most things. But on this subject, I’ve internalized and haven’t said much–even when I’ve been really struggling. As I step back and try to analyze my own behavior… I don’t know, maybe some of it was that I don’t want pity and I DEFINITELY don’t want advice.
Slowly over the last month or so, I’ve started communicating and owning it more. I really expected to be received with pity or a kind of dismissive “it’ll happen when it’s meant to happen/you’re so luck you don’t have kids” attitudes and comments, but that hasn’t been the case at all! Instead, the response have all been supportive, respectful, and altogether just wonderfully helpful.
I’ve only initiated this conversations with a handful of people, and they’re the ones that I felt would be most impacted by my emotional outbursts or my strong need to retreat when everything gets too raw and overwhelming. So I told the women I work with at church (I’m in Young Women’s) and one of my co-teachers. It was nerve-wracking to vocalize all of these vulnerabilities, but the outpouring of love and support was more than I could’ve anticipated.
That response led me to break the ice on the wide world of Facebook.
I shared a blog post addressed to “the Mom that never had to wait” and it beautifully summed up my complicated feelings towards the friends/family members/acquaintances that were blessed with starting a family so easily. I really didn’t want to stand up on the Soapbox of Status Updates to make a formal announcement and publish the trials and challenges we were going through, but I did want to just…address it. I felt like this article would open a door so conversations could originate more organically.
And oh my heart did it ever!
The response was incredible. There were a lot of comments and even more private messages, expressing just love, support, and prayers. It definitely started those conversations.
But the biggest reward wasn’t just about feeling supported. The reward came in seeing WHO commented not only with sympathy, but with empathy! A decent number of women from home that I had grown up alongside their children and playing at their homes, commented to share their experiences when they were also struggling. These were mothers of 2, 3, 4, 5, even 6 children! The only capacity I had ever seen them in was that of Mom.
It opened my eyes to seeing just how temporary and short-term all of this COULD be. There aren’t any guarantees and I have no idea the length or the pacing of this adventure.
That’s a huge part of the pain and the fear: this could be a LIFETIME struggle. It could end in incredibly expensive IVF operation with a low success rate. It could end in the long (and also expensive) journey that is adoption. It could just be me and Dean for the rest of our lives. I have NO idea. It’s definitely in my nature to look at all 3 of those options as highly feasible and most likely. This is most definitely a glass half-empty situation.
Seeing all of these wonderful mothers of multiple children stand up to voice that they also struggled, helped me see that it may not be the case. It gave me HOPE. This could end with a big family full of lots of kids and lots of love. Wouldn’t that be incredible?
Recently, Netflix has added one of the most underrated Disney movies “Meet the Robinson’s” and we watched it earlier this week. This is a movie that is adorable and heartwarming and just altogether wonderful. But the end never ceases to make me cry.
At the end of the movie, the main boy Lewis (who is an orphan) realizes that this wonderful family from the future is actually… HIS family. HE’S the father of this family. These are his people. Before, he was really struggling about having to return to ‘his time’ because he was alone and unwanted. But he realizes that THIS is his future. This is what he has to look forward to. Good times are coming. He’s able to go back to his time with hope and he feels content.
And I just cry at the ending every time. Even before all of this baby-fever began and before I was even married or even knew Dean.
How much easier would this stuff be to handle if I just had a time machine? If I could see 5, 10 or even 15 years in the future and just KNOW how it ends?
It’s the not-knowing that’s the hardest part.
If I knew right now that kids just aren’t in the cards for us, I’d mourn (for a WHILE–don’t get me wrong; this would be a whole phase), but I’d shift some priorities around and I’d be able to be like Rapunzel and find that new dream (the Disney parallels are strong with this one). Right now, I don’t have that luxury.
I don’t have that. I can’t see my family of Robinson’s in the future just waiting for me.
I don’t have a time machine, but for the first time… I do have some hope.
Talking about it and sharing it has helped shift my perspective. And even on the days that it’s really REALLY hard and I just feel raw… the hope is still there.
For right now, that’s enough.