rebirth of a dream

So there we were, moving right along with great forward motion and momentum. We were trying to complete our home study, draft our outreach materials, staying busy at work. We were feeling hopeful even. So it’s no wonder I had a little setback before we went away last week.

There are so many unknown aspects to adoption that it’s natural to have concerns as we dive heart first into what could be a very long and uncertain process. I keep saying I’ll write more about this, and I will, I promise.

Today though, I am pondering the aftermath of infertility and the many years we tried and failed to have a child of our own making.

The wrath of infertility overtook my life. It took life from me. It stole the person I thought I was, the woman I wanted to be, the children I will never have. It stole our dream of our future. 

Now, as I try to integrate this loss into my life as it is, there is That Which I Must Accept, for it cannot be changed. There is the life I must reclaim and reshape into a new future. 

I have no illusion that I will magically become pregnant with a miracle baby now that I’ve stopped counting days. I will never conceive again. M and I cannot create and I cannot carry a child no matter how hard we may try, no matter how much love we make. My body simply cannot sustain life.

With this knowledge, I find I’m becoming more disconnected to my body in a strange kind of way. No longer do I secretly hold out hope each month, only to be letdown. Until my period recently started, I didn’t even know what cycle day it was. Some may find this kind of freeing. I suppose I might have at first. But now I just find it kind of sad.

Now, each cycle is not so much a failure as a reminder that I’m another month older and closer to 40, middle age, and menopause. My childbearing years, if I ever had them, are long over. 

While I have moved beyond the idea of pregnancy and birth to bring a child into our lives — just as good old fashioned sex is out too — it’s still hard not to imagine what our bio-child might have been like. Whose eyes and smile would she have? Whose sense of humor and laugh would he share? How magical would it feel to see the product of our love and ancestry reflected through the beaming eyes of our child?

While I don’t normally think in such terms, this is about when I would have given birth had my IVF and pregnancy been successful (big nonsensical “ifs”). For me, this due date was just an abstraction and would have passed unnoticed, but for the fact that other women are now having babies that were conceived the very month my IVF failed (some coincidentally, others through successful treatment). 

Let me explain that the “glimmer twins” were not really real to me. Sure, at the time, they were as close to a baby as we had been in a long while. They represented every last hope for a bio-child. I spoke to those little cell clusters. I marveled at their perfection and visualized their growth. I tried to will them to stay. Our little lovelies. I was optimistic, hopeful. 

Yet despite the loving energy I bestowed upon those tiny cells, they were not as real to me as our baby who died — our son who made it more than halfway to term before my body failed him too. While I didn’t see him begin as an eight-celled embryo, I watched his growing little body well into the second trimester. I saw his ten wiggling fingers and toes, his perfect little head, his beautiful heart fluttering. We read to him, I sang to him, I felt him. He was real. The day he was due to be born and the day he died are forever etched into my heart. 

Still, the “glimmer twins” represented our last, best and only hope for another baby, a living child. Now, the nine months are symbolic not for birth but the death of our dream of a biological child. I can’t deny that loss, as it will always be a part of me. I accept this. I know I am ready to move past it, to step aside so it doesn’t get in the way of living my life as it is, rather than grieving what it is not. 

It has been said by those who understand that adoption does not cure infertility. Yet to abandon further treatment and move on to adoption I had to accept that becoming a parent is more important to me than becoming pregnant. Adoption may cure childlessness, but it does not remove the pain and loss of living as an infertile.

I accept the harsh reality of grieving my fertility in such certain terms, and I endeavor to make peace with my body, heart and mind.

More than anything, I want to be a mother. I want M to be a father. We want to share our love with a child, however he or she comes to us. We embrace this path to parenthood with full and open hearts. 

I know that any child of ours will be the product of not one but two sets of parents — one who gives life and one who provides care, and ideally all who give love.

I cannot give life, but I can surely love and nurture our child. I am more than ready to embrace our child for who s/he is, rather than who s/he is not.

Our dream of parenthood has been re-imagined, renewed, reborn. I only hope that this dream will still come true, and soon.


~ by luna on September 3, 2008.

22 Responses to “rebirth of a dream”

  1. I so hope it for you too. And soon! And I think you’re very wise to accept that there is a mourning period involved in this as well. It’s that strong, self aware attitude that will make you a wonderful parent.

  2. This is such a profound and moving post, Luna.

    I know that you know this already, but grief isn’t a linear process. There are times when we need to remember, and to mourn anew what we have lost. You are very brave and very wise to be able to acknowledge your continuing grief for your capacity to conceive and carry to term a child, and to be able to accept that these feelings do not in any way diminish your commitment to adoption. It is insights such as this that will make you a wonderful adoptive parent.

  3. I was very moved by your post and though our expereinces with IF are different, could relate to a lot of what you wrote. Thank you for sharing. You are in my thoughts and prayers as you work through your feelings about and experience with trying to have biological children and as you continue to prepare yourself for adoption. (((HUGS)))

  4. This is a beautiful post. The biggest thing that strikes me is that you will not let IF win. It has already taken so much, but you’re standing up and refusing to let it take any more of your life. You are so strong and I really look forward to reading about the day when you do become a parent. IF will always be with us, whether we are parents or not, but we just need to know how to grieve and then move on with our lives. Good for you for taking that step.

  5. What a beautiful post. I really hope your dream comes true soon.

  6. Thank you for this, Luna.

  7. I hope the dream comes true for you both soon also.

  8. Luna–that was beautiful. There is so much grief and loss in the time that came before–and I can’t imagine how this month feels knowing what you had hoped it would contain. Having met you and felt the intensity of your enormous heart, I can second that you have a lot of love to give.

  9. Great post, Luna.

  10. Aw shucks, Luna … these waterworks won’t stop! Thank you for an incredible post. I hope to be at that point in my motherhood journey in the future.

    And thanks for your kind words on my last post.

    I know your dream will come true. You’ve worked so hard for it not to. Big HUGS.

  11. Thank you for such a beautiful and heartfelt post. Sometimes I feel like I need to leave infertility behind, but this post reminds me that it will always be a part of our lives, and that is the reality- and that it will be OK.

    I also love the “glimmer twins” description. Love it.

  12. Lovely post, Luna. I know it must feel like shit, but please know from my couch I’m in awe of your grace and wisdom and perspective. I was just thinking today that I need, really need, to either add an addendum to this saga or close the book in my life. I’m so tired of it beating me up. You’re an inspiration, truly.

    And like Ms. H said above, this process will undoubtedly bring about times like this. I see that as inevitable. Hopefully they will become less painful, and farther in between. Keep writing it.

  13. Hold on to that dream. It will be reality before you know it.

  14. I hope that for you too, so much. I know adopting won’t cure infertility as you eloquently put it, it won’t erase the pain and longing you lived through, but it is a magical, fulfilling journey in it’s own right. I can’t wait to see you live this dream!

  15. I hope it is soon for you as well. What a beautiful post.

  16. You really write beautifully my friend. You couldn’t have said it better re it curing childlessness but not infertility, and about reinventing the dream. It’s so hard to just “decide” to get on with the new dream, I think the old dream will suck us back many a times.

  17. What a beautiful post. You capture the feelings of moving on so well. I agree totally that adoption doesn’t cure infertility. I think it’s one of the hardest things in the world to move on to the goal of becoming a parent rather than the goal of falling and staying pregnant. I wonder often how the old dream will remain with me, in what ways it will twitch from time to time.

  18. Luna- I know that you had so many hopes and dreams for this month. I hope for that you are able to reinvent that dream through adoption- no it isn’t a cure or even a patch or band-aid for infertility. But I know that you would make a great Mom- you are so full of wisdom- and in the meantime, I thank you for sharing it with all of us.

  19. Oh, I hope it’s very soon. You are an amazing person and a loving parent, both to your angel boy, and to the child or children who will find their way to you.I can’t wait for that day.

  20. […] have been re-claiming our lives from infertility. We  re-envisioned our dream of parenthood and allowed it to be reborn anew. Exactly six months ago, I reflected on the summer solstice and […]

  21. […] came to the realization long ago that my body was incapable of sustaining life. Once I accepted that, it made the transition to adoption easy, emotionally. Honestly it came as a […]

  22. […] we stopped actively trying to conceive when we started pursuing adoption in 2008, I could finally completely let go of that phase of my […]

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