“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear”
I’m giving up my ability to have babies. Actually, it was taken from me during my daughter’s birth. I thought I was O.K. and settled with three before she was born, as well as after she was born. When the Doctor gave me the news that having more children was off the table for me, I shrugged, chuckled, thought about the care of a newborn and said, “That’s O.K. with me!”
They wouldn’t do the hysterectomy then because I was under the influence of drugs and not of sound mind to make that choice. Legal Jargon.
My daughter is now 20 months. Her baby is gone. She is developmentally way ahead of where her brothers were at this age. I am well aware that the female brain develops differently than the male brain.
She is more 3 than 1 to me.
Her baby is gone. Her face is thinning. Her motor skills are set. She can eat with a spoon and a fork. She can repeat most basic words prompted to her to and she can communicate in small sentences. She knows her mind. She knows how to get what she wants. I’ve started looking into apartments for her. Height restrictions are our biggest hurdle right now.
Her baby is gone.
My clock ticks on.
I am reminded that I am only 33.
I remember when I was 27, just married and it felt like we had all the time in the world to make babies. I had until 35, and then the risks start to rise. PLENTY of time I thought.
Now here I am. 33. About to give up my ability to have babies permanently.
Between September 13, 2014 and now, there was a small hope that just maybe there would be another.
I scheduled my hysterectomy for December and immediately had these vivid dreams of another baby girl. I had friends also have dreams about another baby for me.
Yet, dreams can be just what they are… dreams. Remnants of hope spun into our psychological webs that stay submerged until very inopportune times.
I canceled my surgery panicked that I was taking God’s plans into my own hands. My hope peaked and my anxiety intermingled with the lies that guilt brings. It led into a downward spiral of me coming to believe that I would indeed conceive another child.
Yet in between December and now my body continued to remind me of just how broken it was. Every month the pain was more than just physical, it was emotional and spiritual. I slowly started to distrust the God who had already provided me with three miracles. I don’t use that word lightly.
We were given a 2% chance of ever conceiving. Not 0%, but damn well close enough.
My two sons almost died during childbirth.
We have one Angel Baby and our third?
Well she was just straight up a surprise. The result of a weeks worth of Margarita mix. ( I am not ashamed. I will tell her that with pride on her 21st birthday.)
I am grateful for the children I have. Trust me. I can’t get enough of them some days. The intensity for which I love them surmounts my being sometimes and I long to hold them so tightly they can’t grow anymore. I long to absorb their smells, textures and joys. I love them with more intensity than anything I can compare.
Which is why letting go of the ability to create life feels like my very breath is being withdrawn from me. The finality of it makes me pause every time my mind hovers over the thought.
Being able to create life and give is more a part of me than I realized. Feeling that life grow and being able to nurture it before it can even experience the world outside of my womb is an honor that I hold sacred.
It’s why woman who have trouble conceiving go to such great lengths in their attempts to do so. My heart mourns for those who never get to experience what our bodies were created to do. I do not ever try to compare my situation to theirs.
I had my chance. I got the desire of my heart. I prayed Hannah’s prayer and it was answered. Four beautiful times.
I know that I can “have” more babies. I know that we will have more through other avenues. I am adopted. I have always wanted to pay forward the gift and chances I was given and adopt my own.
We are in the process of obtaining our foster care license again. Logically I am very well aware that my arms may be filled again with a tiny creature who will depend on me solely.
The funny thing is that although the heart and the brain are only separated by about 18 inches, they are miles apart metaphorically.
I cannot get my heart to believe that everything will be O.K. I cannot get my heart to come to terms or be at peace.
It’s stuck on hope. I have 15 days left until my surgery. They are going to be a terrifying 15 days. They will be filled with anxiety, panic attacks, grief, tears, weeping, heartache, anger, sadness, self pity and a flood of other emotions I have yet to pin down from the swirling menagerie that is occurring within my heart. I fear I’ll always question or second guess this decision.
I know that 16 days from now I will be able to move on. I know myself well enough to know that once it’s done, I will move on. I will awake from the anesthesia, and take a big, long deep breath and sigh out the burden I now feel within me. (I will also take deep long breaths as I try to push that damned ball to the top of the stupid breathing apparatus for ten seconds so I don’t contract pneumonia. )
I will put my ticking clock into another basket and dream of the babies that need a mother to love them. My heart will grow with passion, love and excitement at those dreams come to the forefront of my mind, the seed is planted and the grow within my heart.
It’s the next 15 days I dread.
I’m choosing to find whatever peace I can. I’m playing hymns in my home. I’m choosing dancing music for my kids and I (Owl City is on loop.) I’m forcing myself to put down the electronics and play with my children every chance I can. I’m choosing to hold them close, breath them in and name the things I love about them. Silently and out loud.
Peace will come.
Healing will come.
God’s promises will be preserved.
I’m walking through the valley of death in my own way and grief can be overpowering.
But time will pass and road will be passed underneath my feet and one day I’ll open my eyes to discover I’ve arrived at another mountain top.
I always have a theme song for my life. It changes with where I am at in my life.
This is today’s.
I choose to embrace the hardship of grief.
I choose to recognize that these are beautiful times.
Like I said… Adam Young is on Loop in our house.
Here’s the music video: