Years ago, following an official diagnosis of "unexplained infertility" and all the emotional turmoil that comes with it, I held fast to the belief that having a baby would automatically lead to me resolving. As naive as it sounds, the thought was that obtaining that elusive BFP and going through pregnancy would result in my crossing over into a world of bliss and happiness. I believed this so much that my original plan was to shut down this blog once I got the positive pregnancy test.
Then the losses happened.
And I learned about all that could go wrong with pregnancy.
So as I white knuckled my way through this pregnancy, I modified my belief, hoping that once the Beats arrived a lot of the anxiety would disappear. Sure, parenting would be hard, but I subconsciously believed that all that would change if/when I could hold the Beats.
And, obviously, I was still very naive.
Over the past 7 months, both Grey and I have gotten into the habit of checking the Beats every night around 2 am. The ritual is always the same, involving checking their lips to see if they are blue, counting breaths and assessing their quality. At moments where their breathing is so peaceful, making it difficult to detect, we've been mean enough to wake them up. All out of fear that by not checking that the worse will happen. And though this fear is slowly subsiding, the running joke is that these breathing checks will continue well into the time the Beats move out and marry (and will be an interesting thing to have to explain to their future life partners).
As I've reflected on this ritual that both Grey and I have adopted, I've realized my view on resolution being a destination has been a flawed one. After all, infertility has changed and shaped both Grey and me in such a way that we are both very different individuals compared to who we were before this trauma. So to view resolution as a destination, a final point on our map actually is an injustice to all we've been through and learned along the way. Hence I've been modifying how I view resolution, seeing it more as a process, a journey all it's own.
A couple of weeks ago, Mali @ No Kidding In NZ wrote this post where she talks about how she wants to see less gratitude and sensitivity from those who are parenting after adoption/infertility/loss. Her point being one that is completely reflective of where she is in life and one that I hadn't considered. When I argued that she was a "minority of a minority," what I meant was that most people I had meet IRL who had resolved to not to parent following infertility/loss were still addressing the emotions and logistics surrounding this decision. Hence the reason I've been so mindful about the warnings for posts for the Beats. But Mali, as usual, got me thinking more and more about the resolution process. Just as Loribeth had. A similar post from Mo @ Life and Love in the Petri Dish has added to this too.
So here's me taking a leap and being honest with all who read this: the truth is that as much as I love and cherish the Beats, I still am battling the demons from infertility. I'm still in disbelief our babies are not only here, but thriving (and man are they thriving), waiting for me to wake from this dream and find it all gone. I also mourn deeply the loss of our other potential babies, as I now have a more concrete comparison of what we lost. It's not to say that my grief before was any less, but it is different. On top of all of this, I worry that because of all we've been through that I'm actually unfit as a parent, failing these babies on a daily basis. And I still feel unworthy of this gift. Of being able to hold these two at night, feel the softness of their skin against mine, receive their smiles and inhale the sweetness of them.
Recently I found a quote from Haruki Murakami's Kafka on the Shore that seems to summarize this best:
In short, though told that the hurricane that was our journey this past 3 yrs is now over, I'm finding that I don't entirely trust that. Looking back on how exactly this last FET and subsequent pregnancy played out, I'm still in disbelief. Hence resolution isn't a destination at all; for me it's actually been a journey.
“Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn't something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn't get in, and walk through it, step by step. There's no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That's the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine.
An you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades. People will bleed there, and you will bleed too. Hot, red blood. You'll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others.
And once the storm is over you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what this storm's all about.”
One thing is clear, though my journey towards pregnancy is over, this chapter of my life is not. As Grey and I travel down this road, there are some additional things we need to address. But day by day, I'm finding the wounds are healing and I'm becoming less afraid of showing the scars. Still, I have a long way to go. This part of our journey has just started, but I'm lucky in that I have some fantastic role models to follow who have bravely blazed the trail.