Saturday, May 9, 2015

Knowing that you truly want it

This blog has been quiet lately. The quiet here is in direct opposition to everywhere else in my life. Grey is currently home from a conference, preparing for another one followed immediately by an interview for a much desired position. We're both stressed and on edge for what is coming, which has only been compounded by dealing with never ended work obligations and managing others expectations.

I would say we need a vacation, but we both know it's not going to happen.

In the few moments of quiet I get in the evenings, I reflect on the feelings all of this is stirring and how similar these are to the ones we faced while in the trenches. The stress from the uncertainty, the hope of the possibilities and feeling isolated as others around us can't always support us (though this time we are lucky help is readily available and willing).

But most surprising has been the silently sadness that comes with the idea that all of this could fall apart. And I find myself going back to a place I did while in the thick of infertility: the convincing oneself that you truly don't want this.

Steeling oneself from pain is a natural thing. As infant we had the moro response, which had a role in protecting ourselves from falling. As toddler, pushing/hitting/biting was a response when we were unable to verbally communicate our distress. Later we learned techniques like "tuck and roll," how to duck a punch and developing social skills for dealing with social exclusion, gossip and fights with loved ones. But it is in those moments where we encounter pain again and again that steel becomes a valuable coping techniques. Not getting ones hopes up is suppose to dampen the pain, making rejection and defeat all the more bearable.

I remember the months following my second miscarriage questioning myself about my desire to be a mother. There were moments where I would convince myself that I really didn't want to be a parent and that this was actually all for the best. Those moments usually followed encounters with the parade of bellies or seeing sleepy newborns tucked in their strollers. Those moments came following questions about when Grey and I were going to "stop screwing around and get to it" or getting "helpful" advice on resolving our infertility. Those moments came on holidays or special occasions,  where families were put on pedestals. Those moments came following news of uncertainty and failure.

Looking back, I can tell you without a doubt that this wasn't the case.

That those moments of questioning and uncertainty didn't mean I wanted children any less. If nothing else, it demonstrated a thoughtful contemplation that most rarely engage in. And it prepared me in ways that many lack.

Because now when the Beats wake me up at 5:30 am for a morning sippy cup, we spend that time for morning cuddles and bonding instead of groaning over the lack of sleep. Now when we mention that I'm solo parenting while Grey travels, we find ourselves embracing the challenge and learning how to ask for help. Now when the Beats encounter moments of frustration, I find my temper is constantly checked while calmly teaching them to love their friends and use their words. Now it is clear that we wanted this so much, we're willing to make sacrifices without batting an eye.

So for all of you today who are wondering where you really want this. Be it following diagnosis, bad news on the treatment end or uncertainty on the road ahead. You do want this. If you didn't, you wouldn't hurt the way you do. You wouldn't put your body and your heart through this torment without purpose. You do want this.


  1. This is really great. I wish I could write more, but I have no time. Just wanted to say I loved this

  2. I was reading this and wondered where it was going! I remember, as I was grieving losses, that I questioned whether my grief meant that I really wanted it, or whether I was just upset because I couldn't get something so many others could. I think we ask ourselves a lot of difficult questions, and we question our feelings, whatever they might be, when we're feeling low. We torture ourselves - do we deserve to be a parent, do we really want it, did we do something to deserve the losses. We try to find reason in what's happening, even when there is no reason. Your post is a good reminder that we need to trust our instincts, and that we have a right to feel however we feel.

  3. I like your point that self-doubt doesn't mean you don't want something, that it actually can mean you want it more than ever. And this:
    "Now it is clear that we wanted this so much, we're willing to make sacrifices without batting an eye." Yes, that clarity can be a gift.


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