I am My Own Worst Enemy-Part 3

Today, I left session 3 of therapy with a lot to think about.  If you have been following along with my sessions, you may recall that I said I wanted to keep track of what I “took” from each one.  Let’s break this reflection up into 2 pieces–the “us” and the “me.”

The “Us”

Some questions Dr. G asked us to think about and share at my next visit:

  • Why do I want to be a mother? 
  • Why does my husband want to be a father? 
  • Are our reasons the same or different?
  • If I cannot carry our child to term, are there any other routes we are okay with taking to get to parenthood or to not get to parenthood for that matter? For example, a child-free life (talked a lot about this one), adoption, gestational surrogacy, sperm donor, etc.
  • Are our (acceptable) paths to parenthood the same? If not, is there a compromise we can come to? How? 

I quickly asked Dr. G if she thinks there is a right or wrong answer to these questions.  She reassured me that any answer is totally acceptable (which I was glad to hear), and that the purpose of the questions is to know where we are going with all of this.  Knowing what extremes we are both willing to or not willing to go through in our quest to parenthood will provide a sense of security and comfort as we move forward.  I completely agreed when she explained this to me, and as I type this, it makes even more sense to me now, and I couldn’t agree more.

In the past, when I was miscarrying, I never knew what we were going to do after it was over.  Of course, I was grieving the babies I lost, but looking back, I was also grieving our future and the uncertainty of it.  I can still remember the exact spots I sat and cried in as I wondered what we would do next.  

While I know that infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss take away a lot of control and planning, trust me I do, I also know that our future path to parenthood is something we can control.  You heard me right…we can control it!

We can choose to be child free now, after another loss, and/or after our embryos are gone.

We can choose to use a gestational surrogate now so I am not subjected to the possible physical and mental anguish of another loss, or when/if another miscarriage occurs. 

We can purse adoption if we both feel it would satisfy our desires of parenthood.

Like Dr. G reinforced, when it boils down to it, we have not really drawn our lines in the sand.  Revisiting why want to be parents, and how we can we satisfy this desire if the current path we are on does not work is important.  And sooner rather than later.  Dr. G pleaded with me not to wait until something traumatic happens for us to make those tough decisions.  Her reasoning was simple-during a crisis we will not be in the frame of mind we are now.  Again, I agree with this.  Pretty basic thing, but hearing from an outsider can put it into perspective.

The “Me” 

Dr. G started off the session with me telling her how my week went.  I told her it was pretty uneventful, with the exception of Saturday of course.  Saturday was the day I went to the lab and had my blood drawn and dropped off my urine sample. At the lab, I encountered the very pregnant woman, a newborn and 2 sets of grandparents that I blogged about.  What I didn’t blog about was what came later on that day.  We went to 2 birthday parties, one for a 3 year old and one for a 12 year old. At both parties, there were pregnant women and newborns, forget all the kids running a muck.  At one point, my husband and I were trapped in a room listening to a pregnant couple discuss their nursery theme.  Talk about a day from HELL!

Aside from that bizarre day, I told Dr. G I haven’t really been my usual IF self the past week.  What I mean by this is, I haven’t been as consumed by it all.  I haven’t been thinking or talking about it as much.  To be honest, I haven’t even felt like blogging about it all as much, which is really strange.  She told me that I *may* be learning to compartmentalize through our sessions together.  Dr. G said some patients do this, and some don’t, and that “compartmentalizing” looks very different for each person. I might be starting to put some things aside that I normally wouldn’t have, because I know I will be able to discuss them with her during our hour session each week. Sounds like it could very well be the case, at least I’d like to think so anyways!

In addition to how my week went, we discussed the memorial “box” that we had talked about a week ago. At the end of our last session, she asked me to consider a few things about the box, such as why I felt the urge to hurry up and finish it once I started it, and what it would be like if I didn’t.  I did think this over and I came to the conclusion of what not finishing the box could mean to me.  It could represent that my babies are still here with me, and I can visit the box and work on it whenever I have the desire to spend time with them. 

As you can see, lots to ponder.  As always, thanks for the support, friends!


Angels Among Us

Recently, I went for a drive later in the day one afternoon just before dusk. I decided to pull over when I saw a large lake with a pretty fountain at the center. I had never been here, and I always like to find new “spots.”  There were little gazebos such as the one above placed sporadically around the lake perimeter.  There were various animals present, ranging from turtles and bunnies, to sand-hill cranes and blue herons.

 I walked a little ways and stopped at the first gazebo I saw.  I sat inside on the wooden bench, quietly watching the families as they enjoyed the great Florida outdoors during springtime.  Not too hot, not too cold.  Palm trees swaying in the breeze with the sky lit up pink and orange, signs of a true southern sunset.  Some of the families were walking, while others rode their bikes or jogged. A few of the families had their dogs with them.

There wasn’t an enormous amount of people circling the lake, which was fantastic (I wasn’t in the mood to say hello to a new face every 5 seconds). Most public lakes are overly busy. This one was a little off the beaten path, and thankfully, I ended up only having to say hello two times. I hate to sound so unfriendly, but my goal in going for the drive in the first place was to have some alone time.

I watched one family, made up of what appeared to be a husband and wife with their daughter. My guess is that the girl was probably around 7 years old.  The parents were jogging together as the little girl rode her bike ahead of them.  I couldn’t help but wonder about the dynamics of their family as I observed them.  I watched the little girl get off her bike and race her dad as the mom stood back smiling.  I wondered what it would feel like to watch that with my family.

One other family stuck out to me.  This one consisted of what appeared to be a husband & wife with their 2 children, and 2 dogs.  They really weren’t doing anything special, just walking and talking.  The kids were young, a girl and a boy, both probably under the age of 5.  The parents seemed pretty young too.  The dogs were cute, 2 little white poodles.  Again, my mind drifted.  I thought about us & our twins that were lost.  What it would have been like if they made it.  We always loved the idea of having 2 babies with our 2 pups.

And then, I don’t really know what came over me.  I started to cry, tears slowly pouring down my face.  As I was sitting on that bench in that gazebo, I saw every baby that we lost sitting in there with me.  I was sitting in the center, and there were just enough spots on each side of me for each of them.  I saw them smiling and laughing, talking to each other, and swinging their legs as they sat like all kids do.  Both girls and boys.  They were not babies anymore, they were around 4 and 5 years old. Everyone of them was so happy!  Some even had juice boxes and were chewing on their straws.  I gazed back and forth, from my left to my right, and my right to my left.  All of my babies were with me.  It felt so very real.  What’s more, Nacho even showed up for a minute, too. It was incredibly hard for me to get up and walk out of that gazebo, but I eventually did.

I chatted with one of my dearest friends shortly after all of this happened.  I shared with her how I don’t know if I can ever truly get past all of the loss we have endured.  She reassured me that what had just happened was God letting me know how all of our babies are here with us everyday. She’s right, it’s true.  While I don’t know if it’s humanly possible to ever get over it, I know I have to keep on and try to be strong.

With another due date quickly approaching us on May 3rd, I know it won’t be easy. Actually, far from it. But I also know our babies are all around us. Even though it hurts like hell, I will forever cherish that moment my babies and I just spent together, and I look forward to the day we all get to do it again.