The other day I spoke to a friend who had just been sideswiped. Like me, she’s been off the “baby train” for several years and has truly come to terms with the fact that she won’t have children.
Then she had a birthday and found herself totally sideswiped, caught off-guard by her grief, and in the kitchen having a meltdown.
She’s not sure and neither was I. Maybe her birthday signified moving one step closer to menopause and the final loss of the possibility of motherhood. Maybe spending time with a friend’s son reminded her of the missing part of her life. Maybe she was feeling alone in her family-oriented community.
The point is that sometimes, even when we’re sure we have it together, even when we’ve done the grief work, even when we’ve cried an ocean and think there’s nothing left to resolve, sometimes we just get sideswiped.
Has this happened to you? What unexpected trigger has caught you off-guard?
The sideswiped was this last Friday. I listened to Make a wish Radio marathon, and I thought about my son Jeremy who we adopted but the biological parents wanted him, so we chose to give him back. I thought about calling I a pledge in his name, and then I thought about what story would I tell the DJ. Then I thought about how he really wasn’t ours from the get go. That pretty much did me in, with the crying all over again. I have grieved and lost many things but letting go of being a mom, along with infertiltiy has taken so many twists and turns and catches you like a punch in the stomach at many times. Why now? My 50 th Birthday coming, September was the month I started talking to the birth mother about him? The royal pregnancy? Who knows? I have given up on the why? This will take as long as it takes. And I may cry many more times over this. I guess what I am learning, is to be gentle with myself, and not be critical of why I am not over this. Being kind to myself and journaling, and going on blogs or websites is what I need to do to help myself heal. I can not say in words of how many women on this website/ blog have helped me feel validated, not alone and still valuable even though I am not a mother. For that I will be forever grateful.
Hugs to all of you!
Wow, this one made me tear up. What sadness to have the roller coaster of adoption and then to have to make that heart wrenching decision in order to save someone (the biological parents) years of grief. You are amazing.
I started my volunteer work as a cuddler at Children’s hospital this past weekend, and as I was rocking a small baby, tears welled up as the grief started taking over. I was depressed the rest of the weekend and hope that I can continue to volunteer without feeling that sense of sadness, and emptiness. I was expecting to feel this way, I was hoping to have a reprieve from the grief.
Yes, being sideswiped is I think quite common. I call them “ouch moments” – and they hit you when you least expect. I haven’t had a baby-related one for a long time, but oddly, had one just in the last week. I was indulging myself watching the first ever episode of Modern Family again, and they have the adopted baby, and the extended family is there welcoming the baby to the family, and … ouch. Just for a moment. But … ouch. Yes these moments still hurt.
The good news though is that they visit less and less often.
Without a doubt, the birth of my younger half-sister’s first child has caused a few of these “ouches” (good word ). The way the birth was the cause for so much family involvement and joy, the adorable first baby pictures, how the baby’s facial expressions are said to resemble my passed father, the intimate world of pleasure and pride the new parents and grandparents inhabit, etc. But it’s true, the “ouches” occur less frequently and hurt less severely than they once did. And every so often, life feels perfectly okay without children. May a contentment with “what is” continue to grow for us all.
Most of my coworkers are my mom’s age… and they’re all having grandbabies! Sigh.
Hugs to you ladies and hopes for healing!
I’m sideswiped all over the place. I’m getting closer to my 40th. My husband and I can never seem to get our stuff together and having children seems to be on that list of things we just can’t seem to make happen.
When I had a meltdown a few weeks ago I cried and told him that one of the many things on my mind was the fact that due to my age and our situation I likely won’t ever get to be a mother. His reply was, “I thought we decided we we’re going to have kids”.
How utterly clueless. And how terrible that we are on such opposite ends of the spectrum and not even realizing it. I was slowly working towards this goal and he’s not even aware.
This funk is overwhelming me and he seems to just be done with it. He’s offering quick fixes and overly simple suggestions on how I should just deal with my problems. After everything we’ve been through I fear he really doesn’t know me at all. Is it time to give up and consider finding someone who might make me honestly happy? Or are these my issues that I need to address before I have any chance of living the good life? This is my second marriage and at 40 I feel like I’ve used up my chances. This is my life.
I sympathize. I also have (had) a husband with very limited emotional and communication skills. This has made it very difficult to cope with the pain of infertility. Once I started to realize that pregnancy wasn’t in my future (or at least I couldn’t take another failed attempt), I began to open up to the possibility of a childfree life. But I realized I didn’t want to spend that life with the guy I’m married to. And then I thought: “If I’m not willing to have a childfree life with him, WHY AM I TRYING TO HAVE A CHILD WITH HIM?!” Look, this is my second marriage too. I am also turning 40 in a few months. The divorce should be final in a few weeks. There is lots and lots of time left for living a happy and fulfilling life, and I feel like the sooner I get started the better it could be.
Lisa Anne says
A sideswipe is always a possibility, if the right (or wrong) circumstances come together. In my life they would ebb and flow. I am old enough now that my friends are becoming grandparents. I hope it is not the same for all of you beautiful women, but this is almost worse. It is the double whammy, or another round. It is another sideswipe.
I was sideswiped just yesterday. Listening to a CD of Billy Joel’s greatest hits & on comes “Lullaby (Goodnight, My Angel)” and I was a complete mess. 🙁 I blogged about it today here:
I don’t have kids. I’ve never had kids. I’m about to enter menopause and I couldn’t be more THRILLED!!! Why would I EVER think that not having children was a loss to grieve over???