This post was originally puplished on Cats in the Cradle. It’s being republished here at the request of the Town Criers. If you would like to read along as the rest of my story unfolds, just send me an e-mail so I can invite you to the new private blog.****
Well, it is official, our last IUI (how many was that anyway??**) is over and AF is here yet again. We are done with the biological route to parenthood.
Are we sad?
Are we relieved?
Yes, in a way that is also true.
Are we glad we already started the homestudy for domestic adoption?
(I would truly be drowning in panic and pain right now if I did not already have the next step well underway. )
It’s hard to really express all I feel right now. I am truly happy to be moving forward with adoption. I am truly ready to embrace all it’s ups and downs. And I also mourn the idea of creating a life, creating a family, in the usual way. I used to think I would give anything to make sweet love with my husband and create a baby together. But it’s not true. I wouldn’t give anything. I would not give my soul, my sanity, my joy for living. There has to be a limit to what we endure. The things I feel saddest about are things like letting go of the idea of seeing my husband’s eye’s or smile in my child’s sweet face. I don’t mourn so much the pregnancy or the childbirth but I do mourn those lost months of connection to our child. I mourn the fact that I will not be able to make sure that every day of the child’s first nine months will be healthy, safe, smoke and drug free, etc. But most of all I mourn the autonomy of having a biological child. I am coming to grips with the fact that I will forever share our child with another set of parents. I will be my child’s second mom. I will also be the child’s real mom, but I will always need to explain that to the ignorant and reassure myself of it when the insecurity creeps in. I’ve always been a fairly generous person. I don’t mind sharing as a basic concept in life. But when it comes to MY child, our child, I’m not so crazy about the sharing part. But, I am willing to stretch and grow until that feels OK too.
So, I’ll end this post saying that I want to share something with those of you who are near the same place I am. If you’re wondering whether to do more ART or give up or adopt or whatever. I know I was not ready to adopt until I was ready. Friends and family may have thought we should give up already some time ago, but it’s a very personal thing and you have to get there in your own time and in your own way. So, I’m not here to say, adoption is better or right for everyone. I am not here to urge you to stop torturing your body and soul. You will know when enough is enough. And you will also find peace in whatever route you take after that (adoption, childfree, all those other choices that don’t feel like choices in times of despair). I wish I had gotten pregnant. I really do. Even this last cycle, I was surprised and disappointed by the BFN. You think I’d be immune, but I’m not. I really thought maybe I could fall into that group that “gets pregnant as soon as they give up.” But I am not crushed like I have been some of those earlier times. I also feel very excited about the prospects of adopting. There is a great relief for me in having a cycle day one when I don’t have to call the doctor and start scrambling around to order meds and rearrange my schedule etc. The biggest “plus” about adoption is that you know it WILL work. It may take longer than you like but it will end in parenthood. So, there is also a real relief in that. There is also a real joy in being able to knit a baby blanket without feeling “jinxed” and there is a real joy in looking at cribs and bedding and clothes and knowing you will actually need these items one way or another. I can look at babies and not want to cry (pregnant bellies not so much).
So, I am sad that we did not win the ART lottery but I really am OK with closing that chapter. I am looking forward to being an adoptive mom because the important part is the mom part!
**I did not blog much about this last cycle. Losing Oscar threw me, getting Jack preoccupied me and really I was way past blogging about follie counts and hormone levels. I did count and here’s the grand tally for those who like numbers:
FSH inj + IUI=4
more FSH + IUI=6
GRAND TOTAL: 16 ART cycles in 3 years.
I was 35 when we started with RE in April 2004 (we tried on our own for 6 months previous to that) and I will soon be 39 in May 2007. Fuck, it has been a long haul.
Enough is enough. This was our limit. Yours may be different.