Monday, April 9, 2012

I Am...

Today marks 13 years with my husband. We started dating at the end of high school and we are. Married for almost 6 years and still loving each other. The last 3 years have been hard. They've been challenging and trying and heartbreaking.

For a couple who have been together so long, not having a child by now feels very incomplete. We took our time in becoming engaged and spent 3 years enjoying married life, only growing our family was not in the cards for us. I'm not sure why this part of our journey has had to be so devastating or why we were 'blessed' to be the 1 out of 8 couples plagued with infertility. I'm not sure why my egg developing ovaries and darn good uterus can't pull it together to give us a baby.

What I am sure of, is Mike.

We have our squabbles and the silent issues that the past few years bestowed upon us, but there isn't a moment I think about giving up. I know he will be in my corner no matter what our future holds and doesn't blame me for what we are going through. This is huge for me, because honestly I carry enough blame around myself. It kills me to see his arms empty after being so close to parenthood. I feel responsible quite often and knowing his love for me allows me to let that blame go for a while.

I know that being a parent is tough, but after the hell of these last few months I know we can handle anything. If I have him to back me up and to lean on, I will be okay. I don't know 100% that we will indeed become parents to a living child, but if it ever comes to a life without...we will find a way to deal with it together.

I was watching Grey's Anatomy last night. There were a couple of storylines that have grabbed me lately and I was a bit surprised at which of them pulled at me the most. Instead of the 25 week gestation preemie barely holding on for dear life, it was Teddy's storyline about trying to accept her husband's death.

During Teddy's grief group meeting, the councilor told her to admit to herself that she was a widow. She's been avoiding the emotions that would arise after facing this hard fact. I can identify with this somewhat.

Facing yourself in the mirror and saying it all out loud is very difficult. I dread ever having to say the word 'widow' myself, but someday it may come. For now, just saying 'my babies are dead' is hard enough. I can barely even say 'dead', choosing to switch out 'passed away' or 'gone'. But that is the reality.

What do I even call myself? Obviously I'm not a widow because that means my spouse died. If my husband and I had died, any living children I had would be orphans. There seems to be a name for those kinds of losses, but not for a parent who has lost a child.

There IS no name or word for what I am. There are new names with-in our small infertility and bereaved circles like 'babylost' or 'babyloss mom'. But there is no label widely known. If people ask you if you are married, but you have lost a spouse, you can tell them you are a widow.

I can't really say, without explaining, that I am 'babylost'.

This just further proves that there isn't a secure place in society for the pain of losing a baby. It's not spoken of enough (even though it obviously happens), to warrant a label. I guess no one wants to acknowledge it. So what do I tell people when they ask if I have kids? Because it happens a lot.

I have debated about this for the last 5+ months and haven't really decided the best answer for this question. It doesn't seem right to say that I don't have kids and disregard the lives of M & A. I had to cremate them for godsake...they were here. They had bodies and hearts and my love.

On the otherhand, saying that I do have kids invites more questions and possibly some awkward explanations and dead air. Strangers or acquaintances don't want to hear I am babylost - that is bound to be uncomfortable.

I am just going to have to make a split decision I guess. So far I have made a huge effort to avoid or divert these possible questions. I will say a quick 'no' and change the subject or ask a question far removed from parenthood. Sometimes I won't even answer the question at all and I probably seem like a weirdo who doesn't listen.

There is no real point to this post, just a lot of things I've been thinking about over the last two days. Thoughts about my little family of two and how I view myself right now. Do I consider myself a mom even though I don't parent? Do others think of me as having children? Who do I think of as being part of my family? Did the twins live long enough for me to feel right in telling people that, yes I have two babies?

This is such a strange place to be.

Thank God I am not a Widow.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe I shouldn't be reading this at work anyway since I almost started to cry. But I'm glad you put your words and thoughts out there for your friends and family to understand, and for those you don't know but who are in the same limbo of being unlabeled. You are a mother. And I hope you will be again very soon.


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