I have been cleaning the house, doing laundry, and just hanging out on my day off. I talked to my sister today, and I decided to clean up my computer. I'm getting rid of old blogs, old websites, old emails (if I can ever figure out the passwords), and deleting old files. My computer is full of ancestry photos and documents, portfolio stuff for work & from school, and random pictures. I use my personal computer a LOT for work and volunteering, so I am "Cleaning House" so my computer doesn't get overloaded. I found an old blog that I never really shared with anyone. And I found this old post. I wrote this a few months after my miscarriage. I just felt like sharing it here. It was intense emotions that I was feeling at the time.
One of the greatest blessings in the world is to have your baby healthy and safe in your arms. To hear his little footsteps as your toddler runs across the floor. To hear their giggles turn into a voice. To smell her and feel her breathing as you rock her to sleep. Even preparing to have a little one is exciting. Getting to see the clothes they will soon wear and hear your baby's heartbeat for the first time. To plan how you will raise your child, even though once the baby arrives, you realize your plans just aren't feasible. It's dreamy.
For a long time, I felt bitter. Maybe I still am, and I'll willingly admit it. When I was 17 years old, a doctor told me that I might not be able to have children. Being 17, that's a lot to take in. I'm only a kid with a life to live. I shouldn't have to worry about whether or not I can have kids right now. As I got older, I was ok with putting those thoughts on the back-burner. I lived my life. I had fun during my wild streak. I learned a lot of valuable lessons about becoming an adult. And when I thought I met the man I was going to marry, I saw a different doctor who said the same thing. "There is a 50/50 chance you will be able to conceive." I thought I had a solid relationship at the time. We weren't married or even engaged, but we were in a strong 5-year relationship where all signs were pointing to marriage some day. So, I broke the news to him.... heartbroken. I will never forget the day. After I told him, he watched TV for a minute or two before our friends called asking us to come over and watch a movie. In the car on the way to our friend's place, he was quiet. I asked him what he was thinking. He replied, "I'd like to have a son some day." I replied very melancholy, "I would like to be a mommy some day." And that's when I got a slap of reality.
"If you can't have kids, I'd have to think about whether or not I want to be with you."
That relationship went downhill after that conversation. I moved on with my life and found an amazing guy. Because of what I had been through in my previous relationship, I decided that when we got serious, I would break the news to him early. My friends thought I was crazy telling my boyfriend so early when it'll just scare him with the idea of having children. I didn't care. I was adamant about not falling head over heels to get hurt the way I was hurt before. If it is going to end, the earlier the better. When I told Travis, his reply was, "Oh well. There's always adoption. Plenty of children out there need moms." I was relieved.
After we were married, we found out on our 1 year anniversary that I was expecting. I was nervous, like any other new mother would be. I felt confused. When I was expecting, I had a lot of health issues going on - and all fingers were crossed that this baby would live. Travis was a nervous wreck - like any other new father would be. But, he was mostly worried about my health. We prepared for our little one. I finally felt ready to be a mom. Those words both the previous doctors had told me became very real when I lost my baby. The doctor I had been seeing at this point told me that while I can conceive a child, carrying is going to be a risk. It is very likely that I will have more miscarriages, and very likely that I will be forced into pre-term labor as early as 6 months. Having a baby is not going to be an easy feat for me like many other women. And this is why it is so sensitive for me.
Ellie knows how I feel.
Multiple times, over and over again, I have been told, "It just wasn't meant to be," "It's for the best," "Maybe you aren't meant to be a mother," and the most painful: "You don't know what being a mother is like." All of these comments, I cannot understand how they can make me feel better.
It wasn't meant to be? Like a 14 year old having a baby is meant to be?
"It's for the best." My baby died, and that was for the best?
"Maybe you aren't meant to be a mother." Like some drug addict with multiple children is?
For the last comment, my answer is always: "You don't know what it's like to lose a child you wanted."
People get frustrated with me frequently because this is sensitive to me. I can't help it. I would love to be a mom. Right now, it would be difficult due to our current circumstances, and I am fine with that decision. But you know, Travis and I are preparing ourselves so that we can try to have children soon. We are in the works of establishing ourselves so that we can provide not just for a child - but for losing another child. We are preparing for the high risk pregnancy. We are preparing for the costs that we will endure to have a baby. We are financially, physically, and emotionally preparing ourselves for whatever is to be thrown our way. And I don't feel like I should have to apologize for feeling so sensitive about this topic.
How many mothers out there have ever planned how they wanted to raise their children? How many thought they knew it all before the baby arrived? A MILLION, probably. Many soon-to-be parents have made comments like, "I would never have my child eat that" only to find out that if your child is a picky eater, and as long as they eat something, it's better than nothing! Or, say, "I would never give my child a pacifier that fell on the floor" - and after the child is here, the baby drops their pacifier or hides it in random places and POP it goes right in their mouth. Or, "I'm going to breast feed and use cloth diapers" only to find that they just can't keep up with it due to their lifestyle or because the baby won't take on to breastfeeding. It's ok to make plans. It's ok to have your own ideas of parenting. It's ok to have your opinions - because more often than not, life lessons will show you if that is even going to work for your child or not. So, of course, I have my own opinions on parenting. It doesn't mean I'm right or wrong - it just means that that's my plan as of right now.
I remember talking to my mother about this. Her reply was, "You don't really know what it is like to be a mom, though." And I told her my repetitious remark, "well you don't know what it is like to lose a child you wanted." She went on to say that I can't take those things so personally. But my question is, why is that if I bring up my opinions on how I want to raise my kids, people disregard me because I "don't have a clue," or they take my opinions offensively because I am "telling parents how to raise their children." If I have to be so cautious with the words I say to certain people, then why can't others have the same cautious effort with the choice of words they say to me? If I have to be either considerate of other people's feelings or let them voice their feelings - why can't I have the same? My mother's answer was spot on:
"Because it's depressing."
Yeah.... it is a sad story.
And I can't talk about it.
A dear friend of mine and Travis's knows a doctor that works with high risk/complicated pregnancies. He has worked with intestinal malrotation and my other birth defects - but I have no idea if he has handled them all in one case. Either way, our friend is going to talk to him and see if we can get an appointment to speak with him. Travis and I are serious about having kids. When we have children is still a mystery, but we're going to try to make this work. I want at least one doctor who is going to look at this in a positive light. I'm praying that there is a doctor who will say, "You WILL have a baby." So far, 3 out of 3 doctors haven't given me much positive news. After all, I'm going on 26.... my clock is ticking and I want to hear something good.
I remember feeling heartbroken when I wrote it. Losing Anjelica was a bad dream that came to life. It was as if all the doctors who told me I couldn't have kids were right. This was the proof. And worst of all, I felt less of a woman. I felt less... human, I guess. I know during this time I was incredibly confused. I know I was not in my right mind when I was sick and when we lost our baby. Everything hit me all at once. I was mean. I was bitter. And I probably hurt a lot of people I shouldn't have, because let's be honest - misery loves company. I was miserable. I had racing emotions I couldn't control. All of the bad memories wouldn't leave me alone. While I know I can't give excuses for poor behavior, it's the truth. I am incredibly sorry for anyone I have offended or been rude towards. That is not me. That is not my nature. But I know I did it, and I am holding myself 100% accountable for all the wrong I have done to hurt people's feelings. It is inexcusable for me to be so bitter and cold, especially towards those who don't deserve it.
Travis and I are not planning on having children yet. Obviously, we have our goals that we are working to accomplish. Travis enjoys talking to me about kids. We talk about how we want to raise them. He's going to have to be the bad guy, because I have a feeling it's going to be so hard for me to punish my wittle babies, even if they do wrong. If my child cries, I'll probably turn into a mushy lump and say "I'm so sorry!" Maybe not... but maybe so. But we joke frequently, and we talk about what kind of parents we want to be. Neither of us are ready yet. For now, when we go out, Travis will let me scope out the baby aisles. I get to look at adorable baby clothes, and tell Travis how I'm going to dress our children. I check out baby furniture and live in my dreamy little world. The best part is:
Travis joins in, too.
Someday... just not today. And we are completely ok with that.