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Friday, March 25, 2011

as i heal

I’ve noticed a personal mentality shift recently. I can’t pinpoint exactly when it began, but I think I realized it was happening this week:

I’m not upset anymore about the possibility of never being pregnant. In fact, I don’t want to be pregnant. Not that I would be mad if it happened, but I certainly don’t desire it anymore.

Before this shift, I used to look at pregnant women and stare in awe of the miracle inside of them. I wanted that. Why couldn’t I have that? Now, I can only focus on the downfalls of being pregnant:

Stretch marks
Pain, pain, and more pain
Labor
Complications (sometimes many complications)
Hospital bills
No sex
No wine
No sushi
NO SOFT CHEESES!
Never-ending visits to the doctor
Anxiety (times 1,000)

and the list goes on . . .

I used to walk past Motherhood Maternity in the mall, and I yearned for the day when I could put on one of those cute maternity dresses. Now, I think about how I never have to spend the extra money on clothes I’ll likely wear just once.

All of this sounds wrong, doesn’t it? I feel like a terrible person for thinking these things. And on top of running through a laundry list of negatives, I think about my own, personal fear with pregnancy:

I do not, under any circumstances, want to pass my shitty genes along to my child.

Repeatedly, I’ve thought about what would happen if we got pregnant and I had a girl. How would I feel if, 25 years later, my daughter came to me and told me she was infertile? Would I forgive myself? I don’t know if I could. I’ve often thought about the risks of further fertility treatments on my own body, especially after the breast lump last year, but that doesn’t come close to preparing for the risk of passing along these same issues to my children. It’s difficult enough to watch friends and family members go through the pain of infertility. Watching my own kid go through it would be too much to bear.

I struggle writing about this, because I don’t want anyone to assume I think badly of them for going through or continuing treatment. This is my issue; it is something that has surfaced for me in recent weeks as I heal from yet another surgery. I also know that there is no guarantee our biological children would have fertility issues – or that any child we adopt wouldn’t.

Maybe this is closure to all of those years I spend wanting desperately to carry a child. I don’t know. I'm still working through it, so it's hard to tell if the door is closed and locked or if it remains open just a crack. What I do know is that while I will probably always roll my eyes at the women who get knocked up when their husbands look at them the wrong way, I don’t know that I will envy them anymore. I don’t know that the green monster will ever be as strong as it once was toward pregnant women.

Maybe this isn’t the healthiest way to cope. But it’s a start.

33 comments:

foxinthehenhouse said...

Sounds perfectly reasonable to me. ::HUGS::

myTTCstory said...

What is a healthy way to cope with IF? I'm not sure there is one!

Sending you hugs.
MyTTCstory xx

Secret Sloper said...

This sounds absolutely healthy to me. It's what you are feeling. It doesn't sound wrong or bad at all. You have already admitted in your head that you don't want or need to give birth to a child to be a mother. And now your heart seems to be accepting that, too. I think that's great. I'm proud of you, as always, for the way you handle every bump and turn.

Sarah Q said...

This is actually one of the biggest reasons I was relieved we're having a boy. I was pretty scared about passing PCOS and all my thyroid issues to a girl and watch her go through what we've all gone through.

Rebecca said...

This sounds completely healthy and reasonable to me. It's a great turning point to reach, really.

Stephanie said...

Katie, I agree with everyone else, I think its completely healthy! You are healing and ya know what, whatever you need to do, feel, believe to help you heal is 110% acceptable :) You handle everything that is thrown at you with such grace and strength. I've said it before, but again, you have been such a role model to me as I go through my own IF journey. Hugs to you!

serenity said...

I got through my SIL's pregnancy when we were struggling by thinking "at least I'm not fat." And having been pregnant before, I can unequivocally state that I HATED it. I was uncomfortable for nearly all of it. For me? Pregnancy was a means to an end - to be a mom.

So I CAN tell you that it really doesn't matter HOW you become a mom. When you hold your son or daughter for the first time, you are a mom. No if ands and buts.

And I heartily agree with myTTCstory. What IS a healthy way to cope with IF?

Fact is, you're coping. You're healing. And that's a good thing.

Miss Megan said...

All valid points! And there is no healthy way to cope with IF - well said myTTCstory!
Our twins are both girls and I am terrified that I may have passed my endo on to them, as well as MTHFR. It sucks. When I found out I was pregnant I told my husband that if it was a girl and she had issues getting pregnant that we would help foot the bill for the fertility treatments. He agreed. But that just sucks doesn't it? I would love not to have to worry about that! =).
You're coping well hun! Keep it up!

Willow said...

Sounds extremely healthy to me! I think you've got such a great perspective on it all.

Do I Have to Be a D.I.N.K.? said...

Sounds totally normal to me! Its how you feel so it's very healthy!

April said...

I follow your blog but don't comment often! Just wanted to say that I went through those exact emotions as we went through the adoption process and it is the BEST possible way to feel! It is such a unique and different feeling after spending years in a pile of tears after every pg announcement, birth, (miscarriage of mine), etc. I hope that your healing process continues like mine did and when that sweet little baby is placed in your arms it will be the BIGGEST healing you have ever felt! :)

Kim said...

Sometimes we have to look at the negatives of the "other side" before we can come to terms with letting it go and I think it's completely heathy and good that you see pregnancy isn't all rainbows and butterflies. I too have been spending time thinking about the positive of not having a child, in case we dont get pregnant because we wont be pursuing adoption or anything else. I am too old and tired to continue down this path much longer.

Whatever it takes, to make the shift...I am glad you are feeling better mentally. xoxoxox

Marica said...

My situation is similar to yours.
Last week my husband and I went to a "baby basics" class (we are adopting) and there were 10 pregnant women...
... and I thought that it isn't bad at all to have a baby without getting pregnant :-)

Stefanie Blakely said...

I have so much respect for you & this post, Katie. The most important thing is that we all focus on the things that make us the most comfortable with the situation we're in. Your list of negatives about pregnancy? They all suck-- I dont't think anyone will argue with you there! Much love, sweet girl.

Glass Case of Emotion said...

I am reaching this point now too Katie, thanks for sharing. I've been plotting a post in the past few days, and I may link to yours when I make it. It's a very strange feeling, but I am really okay with it and really... relieved!

Amanda said...

That sounds totally understandable, and I think it's the opposite of denial. You faced your fear head on, and have gotten so much peace out of it. That really comes through in your writing...

Trisha said...

I went through the same thing. Since Tommy has a congenital heart defect, we had those same feelings of not wanting our children to have to go through what he's been through. I think it's helped me to cope with other's pregnancies along the way. I'm glad you're feeling better!

Dawn said...

I think it seems like a fine way to cope. I think we each have our own ways. Being pregnant doesn't make a someone a mother.

myinfertilitywoes said...

So interesting, particularly because I've been feeling this way too. I am actually unsure if I really want a child anymore for many of those reasons...

AnotherDreamer said...

I think they're all valid points, and it's a way to begin coping. Or rather, a new way of looking at life.

someday-soon said...

I think it's healthy to look at all the positives of your situation and be happy for them. We all have to cope with what we are given and this seems like a good way!

I have thought about passing my IF issues to my daughter and I really hope she doesn't have them...I will feel SO responsible =(

Kelly said...

Katie, I so admire you. Truly.

JC said...

I have a lot of these same feelings since we decided to adopt and now that we're actually going through the paperwork process. It's nice to not have all the anger and frustration inside anymore and feel such jealousy. I think it's perfectly normal and probably a good thing =)

Rita said...

What Kelly said. You're amazing. ((hugs))

Kaitake said...

You are a brave and courageous woman, and I think you are dealing with this in a very healthy manner. You are an inspiration :) best wishes

EBC said...

oh my gosh...that's exactly the same thinking i've started to have recently. so good to read that i'm not alone.

Katie said...

What you are feeling is healing and a wonderful place to be for a soon-to-be adoptive mama. I went through the same process before we adopted our daughter and we are a very healthy family unit. I have a close friend who did not go through this healing process before she adopted.... she still struggles with other people's PG and is very bitter. The worst part is the strained relationship between her and her child. Don't feel bad about your feelings. You are learning to appreciate your new reality and love the path your life has taken. Dealing with this now will make you the best mother who finds blessings in adoption. Best of luck to you!

micgruber said...

Infertility brings out all kinds of emotions. You're entitled to feel whatever way you need to feel in the time being. I am not at your stage at the moment but can relate to your feelings pre mental shift.

Waiting Lisa said...

On my best days this is how I think. I strive to have more of these days. Great post. I really enjoyed reading it. I may even come back ever so often and remind myself :)

JJ said...

I think if there is ANYthing in this world that makes you feel even slightly better or more at peace with the shity journey that this can be, then I say 2 thumbs up.

Keeping you in my thoughts!

Kechara said...

I wish I could be where you are and not want to be pregnant. I don't think it's necessarily a "good" thing to get to that point, but it seems to be what's right for YOU at this point, and that is the key.

AL said...

I think this is a healthy step as you get ready to adopt. I think sloper said it based, you already know that you don't need to give birth to be a mom, now your heart is just catching up.

hugs

Cousins Chaos said...

I get it. I honestly was scared to death when I got preggo b/c I knew that if I had a girl, it was very likely that I would pass on my shitty IF.