This post is written in reference to my last post- More Than a Broken Window.
My friend asked me questions around the lines of, why do I need to mourn the idea of motherhood now, when there are still possibilities for the future? (I think that's what you meant, A? I hope so, haha.) And that is a fair enough question cos' I know it sounds like I'm shutting things down too early...
(Okay. Honestly it feels like I could write a book on this so I'm trying to stick to the point. I hope this makes some sort of sense.)
There are a few 'levels' to what I mean...
One is, it is specific to adoption, like in desiring this future-child, I need to deal with certain aspects of motherhood, like that I won't have that pregnant-to-birth experience, along with him/her not resembling us. This is a more obvious one which you probably already figured.
Two is, for me, I actually delved into the grief of not being a mother right from the start- like right when I found out about my not-so-useful ovaries.
I know this seems a little weird drama or premature (as I am 'young' and there are reproductive technologies, etc.) and it may sound like I lost hope but that is not at all what I mean. My hope recharges all the time- probably only cos' God does it for me and along with that maternal desire He's put in many of us women.
I think when I say,"I grieve the thought of never conceiving, carrying and giving birth and having kids" (or a similar statement), I mean it because it is a reality for me TODAY. Yes, the future may bring something different (and in some ways it already has, as I have conceived previously), but it is my way of accepting my TODAY and making myself give it up to God, because I really don't know what the future holds- no one does. It is a version of 'acceptance' rather than denial- and maybe sorta extreme, which I know is not how everyone processes, but maybe is my way of dealing with this.
It is like a thing that I need to constantly do to think beyond the idea to be a mother, because just maybe that will be my life. I have to untangle myself from seeing a lot of my identity as a woman with being a mother...it is like a way to survive or move forward I think... like making a decision that there is more to life with or without kids... does this make any sense?
Three, not sure if this is even relevant to the question but may help... going through infertility is a hard one to describe.
I think it is like other examples of processing pain/suffering/when-bad-stuff-happens type issues.
(The husband gave me the idea for the following.) Maybe it is like when someone loses their leg, due to disease or accident. Their world changes. You can't do everyday things the same, your job prospects change because you used to be in a physical job, your social life changes because it is hard to go dancing every week, your house layout has to accomodate, you only need to buy half a pair of shoes... your identity and your perspective on what you thought life was going to be is significantly shifted.
One day, you get a new artificial leg that works like 'as good' (or if you are a Kiwi, is 'good as'), that is fab and all- life may even be way better, you may climb mountains for a living and get tons of cash. But it doesn't take away the fact that your 'right' or 'normality' of having two legs is no longer there. It is not a given. Your definition of you is no longer the same. You have to be defined by something more than that.
Sure, you now have two legs again and are doing great but the world looks very different because you have experienced that loss or that 'change of plan' and it doesn't simply just 'rewind' to the day before your accident. (Though you do wonder what it'd be like if it did.)
I think this is sorta like an illustration of infertility for me.
My head tends to always be full of thoughts and words, so this may have been babbly. Hope this makes sense. What do you think?