Friday, September 24, 2010

In Her Shoes

Yesterday we spent a day at our second session preparing us for the adoption process. It was a whole day, so was quite intense.

(The husband and I are currently putting fertility treatment on hold and since our adoption stuff seems to be having a bit of progress we thought to keep it going, since we have been keen on that too. It is hard to get our heads around it, as it has come up earlier than we'd thought and there are so many massive issues to consider... but we are still looking forward to the possibility!)

In the lunch break, after I wolfed down my vegetable pie, I went to get a baby-gift as there was this cool store close by and I'm never in the area. I have to admit I had to have a little laugh (angry/sad/ironic/what-am-I-doing) on the inside...

Here I was, a woman struggling with infertility and pregnancy loss, attending an adoption info session, stepping into a trendy and gorgeous baby shop, Nature Baby, where immediately I was confronted with clever wooden toys and merino blankets, along with a pregnant mother with her first child in the stroller (oh the jealousy) and another couple bobbing along with their cute newborn.

(I'm sure you are thinking, "Then why did you go in?!!" and yes, I constantly ask myself that too... but I think I am trying to be normal and function like a normal person, or at least pretend to be normal haha. I don't want to be held back!)

Oh how I felt like a fraud. Sure I was buying a legitimate gift, but I felt like everyone could see right through me... like they knew how ridiculous I felt walking around that shop, desiring every ounce of everything it represented.

This is not new for me. I'm sure so many others dealing with infertility know this all too well. There is no where to hide!

This morning I turned on the TV to catch Breakfast on doing a neat tribute to Christchurch and how resilient the community has been in the midst of the earthquake... and there is Pippa the delightful co-host talking who is 20 weeks pregnant with her third child talking about how she's clucky blahblahblah... I'm sorry but I had to turn down the volume as she spoke to the fortunate young couple and their baby born after the earthquake and went to get some laundry into the machine. Clean clothes is a good thing. Clean clothes is a good thing. Clean clothes is a good thing.


One of my most favourite TV shows is Project Runway (love it so much) and the recent season has only just started here a few weeks ago. I caught up on it last night and you know what's coming... the frustratingly super-beautiful and super-fertile Heidi Klum is on with her big pregnant belly staring right at me.

Please know, as I've said before, it is not that I'm actually mad at them and I know their lives are probably not all that simple either, it is just that they hold such stabbing reminders for me.

Before I go off topic haha, what I'd REALLY been wanting to say was... One of the things I've been learning about my journey is that is parallels quite closely with those who are single and desiring to be married, yet have had to wait on this too.

We both desire things that are on the whole positive (for me, to be a parent and for the single person, to be loved and cherished by a special person all your life), things that others seem to do quite naturally or easily, and we both understand that sense of being left behind while everyone else is 'progressing' ahead of you. We also both share the sense of sometimes feeling like the hope gets dimmer and dimmer as time ticks by- this may not be true but it feels like it.

I'm thankful that infertility has grown my ability to empathise with my friends who are single and wanting a husband and family. It has also taught me to be appreciative that I have the husband and am in a marriage where I could not ask for more...

But ANOTHER thing I thought of yesterday, after the adoption info session, was that infertility and loss has also expanded my empathy for birth mothers (women who for various reasons choose to give up their children for adoption). I get that they made a decision to give their baby up and a choice was made, while with infertility/pregnancy loss, it is mostly not as a result of choice... but I think I empathise with the overall sense of loss.

I guess I'm thinking that if pregnant women (why do I notice them all the time and everywhere?!), kids in the play corner, moms with strollers, baby shops, cars with baby seats, diaper ads, baby food aisles, baby showers, baby dedications, kids in supermarket trolleys, etc, constantly remind me of the babies I have yet to have or yet to meet, then it must do something quite similar for some birth mothers too.

The baby that they carried to full-term and gave up to someone else (sure they are very possibly in better care) is not with them and they have surrendered their rights to be parents. I'm sure they miss their child too.

Somehow that struck me quite strongly yesterday as someone spoke about the topic... hmmmm.

8 comments:

Grace said...

girl, i totally get you on this! i *still* feel this way and probably will continue to feel like this even after our boy is home...
hoping things go well with the adoption stuff...it's a lot of work, but worth it! and i'm sure i'll be feeling that even more once he's HOME!

Sas said...

wow you're quick with the response! thanks. yeah... i'll have lots to ask you about adoption eventually i'm sure!

Jen said...

I have a good friend who desperately seeks a husband and family and fears her time is running out every year she gets older. I've often thought about how she must have many of the same feelings I do - though we've never talked about it.

KiwiChristy said...

Thanks for sharing! Appreciate your vulnerability and very insightful about the birth moms. Gave me some things to ponder as well.

Jenni / Jennifer Saake a.k.a. InfertilityMom said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog. I well remember those moments of feeling like a "fraud" for venturing into "fertile" stores. {{{hug}}} The picture on the top of your blog and the title of this post both grabbed my attention because of of the chapter titles in Hannah's Hope is "Put Yourself In My Shoes (Before You Put Your Foot In Your Mouth)".

Teri said...

Sending a big hug your way girl! Love you and your honesty. Will write you soon, just wanted you to know I stopped by and am thinking of you!!

Kathy said...

sista ~ thanks once again for your insights. i love how you 'get yourself' and share it in a way that's completely relate-able even though i have never been where you are and what you're going through. i'm so encouraged by your ability to empathize; this doesn't seem big, but to me, i see this as a most precious fruit of all that you've gone through. the adoption process sounds really exciting! can't wait to read more about it... love ya!!

Amel said...

GREAT post!!! Yeah, it does seem weird that our "pregnant belly" radar seems to be working MUCH more effective now. And sometimes when I look at baby pics in Facebook, I also wonder why I'm torturing myself, but I just can't help looking at them and awww-ing at how precious they are...