emotionally fragile today

no real reason I guess. Just in a weird frame of mind.

too much stuff in my head and heart. Nothing tragic, so don’t freak.

bad hair cut, not really “feelin’ the love” at work right now, just finished reading a very emotionally difficult story about a woman who carried her baby for quite a while knowing that the baby probably wouldn’t live (that’s not why I’m depressed. Angie is really being used by God. Her utter reliance on God through her pain is incredibly uplifting. If you want to know more go to the Audrey Caroline link in my blogroll), but mostly my emotional confusion stems from something that happened last year.

Last year we had two IVF attempts that “failed” the first involved three embryos that were all put back in me on Day 3 and then didn’t “take” The second attempt involved two absolutely perfect little embryos who also didn’t “stick” It took till day 21 though for us to know one way or the other. I went through days and days of doctors saying that I was “chemically pregnant” Which means that you aren’t really pregnant but you aren’t completely “not pregnant” either. Eventually we got all the way to “not pregnant” …….. Lovely.

Just because my tiny little 8 cell kids never attached to my womb doesn’t mean they didn’t exist. The photos I have of them are amazing. Real, living clusters of cells that were random combinations of ME and MARTIN. It was so beautiful to just gaze at them. I tracked the numbers for a while (while we waited for them to “stick”) trying to figure it out. “okay, little ones, today is Day Four, so you are each 16 cells by now” “Alright, rise and shine, today is DAY FIVE, so you are 32 whole cells! wow you are both growing so fast” eventually my math skills were over whelmed by the numbers and I just basked in the wonder of it.

And now, today, for some reason I’m wondering if I should acknowledge that I DO mourn the the embryos that didn’t stick. I often think that I will be condemned by others for thinking of the “failures to stick” as if they were miscarriages. Is that fact that they even existed and multiplied and grew for three days in a petri dish enough to qualify as life? Or am I some kind of poseur for thinking that. There is a myth inside my head that since they never showed up on a sonogram that I somehow don’t have the right to feel the emotional pain. The physical pain was real though. oh buddy was it real. and during a work party/social function too. that was NOT fun.

When people ask if I have children should I say “Yes! Five in heaven and one on the way!”

Should we have named them? I mentioned that to Martin once after the first three didn’t make it and he just shook his head at me and kept staring at the road ahead. He couldn’t even talk about it.

actually I know that the reason I’m stuck on this today is because of Angie and her story about losing her baby, and also the Chapman’s recent loss and Nicole Sponberg’s baby that died of SIDS. I guess my heart is trying to connect? to feel a reason for my sadness. To justify the horrifyingly deep hole that I still have in my heart EVEN THOUGH WE ARE PREPARING TO ADOPT A BABY.

By all logic I should be happy and bouncy and thrilled. I am, but maybe I’m mourning the growing reality that I will never hold a baby from my own body. As much as I laugh and say that I am happy about the fact that my ribs will never be kicked and that my bladder gets to stay where it belongs thank-you-very-much, I am still hurt. I am still jealous of the women with babies growing inside them.

And, now this is ugly ya’ll , I am very jealous of how my co-workers are treating the pregnant ladies here like their happiness and prospects are more real than mine. Just because their babies are growing here in Atlanta where they can be seen and have their bellies rubbed and talked to and mine is growing in another state and in another woman’s body.

I can’t talk to my baby, I can’t feel kicks. I have to wait. and I hate waiting.

LORD HELP! please God. please. this hurts. not as much as losing a baby would, but it does hurt. and I don’t know what to do about it.

***ps. God did help. Our birth mother called this afternoon just to chat. It was so good to hear the sound of her voice. So happy, so pregnant and still so committed to this adoption with us. We laughed together. God is so good to me. Even when I complain and whine. Thank you Lord.

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10 thoughts on “emotionally fragile today

  1. I’m so sorry.

    As an adoptive mother, I have to tell you. . . the moment you lay eyes on your (YES YOUR) baby, you will love him or her immensely and will never mourn not having carried him or her prior to birth. Adoption is a beautiful and splendid thing. The moment you hold your baby, you will know he or she was meant to be your child. It doesn’t matter that you didn’t carry him/her. You are Mommy.

    Oh I know everything will be fine. I am eager to lay my hand on her belly and laugh with her as he/she kicks or moves. I already love our baby that is coming. Never had any doubts about that. I’m just trying to find a response in me to the ones I never got to see live. ya know?

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  2. Okay, time for my 2 cents or as Bruce says mine is worth more like a quarter. First, you must mourn the embryos and the fact that you have infertility issues. Losing the embryos is no different than a woman having a miscarriage in the first trimester. You have every right to mourn and it is best for you to do it now. That is why God is giving you this time. You need to deal with this before you can move on. PAY ATTENTION TO THIS! There are books out there that can help you process the emotions you have about your infertility. The adoption answers the prayers for the child but not about the fertility. That was not healed by God. You need to deal with the fact that God said no to having biological children. This is not a quick fix-this takes time to process. Do not get caught up in the future until you deal with now and now is that (please forgive the brutality) YOU ARE INFERTILE. Please deal with that before your son or daughter comes home.

    Forgive your colleagues for not “getting it”. You can not expect them to get it. Even when I adopted and I had 2 kids already, people didn’t know what to ask or what to do or what I needed. Of course , me being the queen of inappropriateness, just told people what they could do for me. You never had a problem speaking your mind so don’t stop now.

    Love ya,
    Janna

    thanks J. I think this IS my form of mourning. And believe me I have cried LOTS. Most of December actually. I’m not done yet, but please know that I am working through it. I can’t promise that I will EVER be done with it, so it’s hard to say that I could be done before our new baby comes home, but God is in charge of my heart, even when I’m having a complaining, whinning, lousy Friday. 😉

    Love you too.
    Deirdre

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  3. I agree with Janna — you have just as much right to mourn as anyone else who suffered the loss of a baby — especially the loss of five babies. Perhaps even more so. Hurt is hurt and pain is pain, whether your loss was early or late. Don’t let other people tell you how to mourn — everybody is different.

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  4. Grief and loss is a tough road, and infertility, particularly failed IVF and miscarriage is often a silent road.

    I just wrote a strongly-worded post about dealing with the mindset of the adopting parent and I noted how important it is to work on your infertility and acceptance before your adopted child comes home. But, maybe it’s not for you to read just now as you’re feeling how you feel at the moment. Another time, when you’re not so sad maybe.

    I do agree with Janna, that it’s important to have some distance from the infertility before adopting.

    I know as I suffered two, 2nd trimester pregnancy losses, once of which were twins. I understand how difficult it all is.

    I hope your heart feels better sooner than later.

    IMTINA,
    Actually I did go read your post. and it’s very well written. I respect your feelings, though I do disagree with some of what you have to say there. However I did want to thank you for coming and commenting here and being so sensitive, even though some of what I posted may have offended you. Thanks for being nice about our differences. And I’m sorry about your losses too.
    Deirdre

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  5. Reading this gave me chills, and it hurts my heart for you. I wish I had the right words to validate your very real pain – that you every right to feel. And it’s perfectly normal to feel ambivalent about this – to be so happy about the adoption and so devastated and deeply saddened about your sweet babies that for whatever reason “didn’t take”. I just want to urge you, don’t minimize that because it is REAL. I say you absolutely have permission to mourn, and there is nothing silly or ridiculous about that. And you should never feel guilty/condemned about it.

    When I was reading this post I thought of a book I read and LOVE to recommend because it is so life-changing on so many levels. It’s called Inside Out by Larry Crabb. Part of it deals with the pain of disappointment, and I think you would benefit GREATLY from it!
    You can read reviews, etc. on Amazon.

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  6. Sending you a virtual hug today! It is so hard to go through infertility, (in my opinion- especially when blessed with an awesome husband!). I am a blessed mama thru adoption and still the thought will cross my mind, I wonder what our biological child would have looked like.

    Have you read ‘Adopting After Infertility?” I highly recommend it to all my friends in my shoes…it has some tough spots to read thru, but it takes you through all the stages of adoptive parenthood, and issues that could come up.

    Oh, and how awesome you had a call with the potential birth mom! yay!!!!!!!!!!!! We always delighted in those calls, b/c it made me feel like, wow, this really could happen!!

    Oh, I would love to email you some time, but couldn’t find one on your page. Can you see mine in my Id? Feel free to email me- thanks!

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  7. So . . .

    Let’s see the bad haircut!

    Lamont

    you will see it at the end of the month. And no, I’m not going to let anyone take a photo of this. I do have SOME dignity.

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  8. I found this blog when I googled “mourning for embryos.” I realize it’s pretty old and you may not actually read my post, but this helps me process what is on my heart. This is not advice.

    I am a Christian, a physician, and a father of 5 little baby embryos with my wife. 2 are in a gestational surrogate getting their chance, 1 is chilling out waiting for his…and we just lost the other 2 today. They just quit growing after about the 16 cell stage.

    My grief is a gift from the Lord. I am devastated, and so thankful. I knew this day might come, and I feared that my training in dealing with life and death on a daily basis might prevent me from mourning the way they deserve to be mourned. Yes, I even questioned what I know to be true: “When does God really breath life into new embryos? Do they have to look human (fetus stage) before they recieve souls? If we will truly have bodies in the resurrection like Christ, what about our babies?” No, I don’t have answers. I have something better. Peace. Faith in a soveriegn God.

    I will tell others about them, and I will mourn. I will be sensitive and recognize that the emotion I feel is different than a parent who has had a miscarriage, or one who has lost a child in infancy, or in adolescence. I will recognize that every day, hundreds of would-be parents lose embryos they were never aware of, and never mourned for. These, and mine, are all in my Savior’s hands.

    thank you for posting. You have my prayers and my sympathy. I like some of your imagry and yes, you are right, it is a gift in a way that we we even aware of these tiny children and able to grieve them.

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