Friday, April 30, 2010
Dudes, I've got some real angst over this.
I've spent all week debating whether or not I want to open my mind again to questions that begin with What if.... after spending well over a year and some significant mental energy training myself to knock it off. Started and stopped more posts than I can track. Tried different angles, different questions, positive spins. It's not that easy.
Of course I want to do something for National Infertility Awareness Week. Of course I want to support my community, my peeps, my strength. But...the what ifs, they slay me.
What if I realized I was going into pre-term labor sooner?
What if we would have been able to save baby J? At least buy her some more time?
What if my babies, my daughters, my children didn't die in our arms?
What if the two daughters we always wanted were here with us today, turning one. Together. With us?
When it comes to loss, we all have lists. Only I'm not as brave as Angie to post mine. Lists of things you could have done or not done that would have somehow made the difference in the life and death of your child. There is a lot of blame. Even more self-doubt. It can do a job on you, esp. when grief has made your mind a little mush to begin with.
And I don't even get into the what ifs that are so far removed from our reality. They are less what ifs and more hypothetical wouldn't it have been cool ifs.....
Wouldn't it have been cool if we could have conceived without significant medical intervention and someone else's eggs?
wouldn't it have been cool if we actually had a chance of conceiving again with my own body?
Wouldn't it have been cool if fertility was seen as an important part of surviving cancer?
But this is all old news. That part is past. And now the new what ifs emerge:
What if we can't move forward with our gestational carrier?
What if we do move forward and it doesn't work?
What if we run out of options and/or run through our line of credit - both of these feel perilously close.
What if we never, ever, ever have a child to love?
or, as Mrs. A asks:
What if I have to learn to live childfree with a smile….forever?
I'm not sure that I can.
And then the inner dialog begins because, sorry, I have a tendency to talk to myself:
well, guess what? You might HAVE to.
Ok, but living is very different than living with a smile. Obviously, I can exist in this space. But it doesn't mean I like it, or that its easy. Here's a what if for you, what if every day wasn't a struggle?
But sometimes it's not.
Yes, you're right. Sometimes its not. I bet, if I had to, I could live this life. After all, I've already had some practice. If we had to live without any living children, I suppose we would make it work. There would always be a space, an absence that wouldn't fill. A remark, a photo, an innocuous TV ad that would bring feelings and sadness to the surface. There will always be cliffs and ledges we will need to pull each other from, but we could survive. We'd have to.
For I. and for J., we'd have to. We owe them that.
As per Mel's instructions, I'm ending this post with a positive What if.... One that I really haven't allowed to enter my mind just yet.
What if our journey towards a family with our gestational carrier actually works? What if this time next year there is a happy, healthy baby in our arms?
Damn, that's a nice what if.