My first pregnancy was so untimely, just turned 16. Days after I confessed my condition to my parents I noticed bleeding during P.E. The school nurse sent me home when I complained of severe cramping.
I cried. Even though I had not wanted to be pregnant, I was grief-stricken at the loss. The doctor told me to be happy and relieved. NO ONE recognized the loss. My last pregnancy was planned, but ended in miscarriage as well. That evoked plenty of sympathy and indulgences.
In between I’ve had three children. The adoption loss was the reference point of my life, the point around which the rest of my life revolved. I felt that I was born to mother, that I was a mother regardless of family circumstances, mothering is what I did. Since my child was not present I found other ways to express mothering, caring, nurturing friends, strangers, school children, abused children, the environment. It was twelve years between the loss of my firstborn to the birth of my first kept baby. It was thirty-five years before I got to celebrate my firstborn’s birthday with her.
I’m drifting off message here. All I really want to say is that infertility is not that big a deal! Of course easy for me to say. I’ve got three kids. Yeah. I got lucky. God put three babies in my tummy and out my vagina. Three real babies, my own flesh and blood. Yeah, I love it. That’s my life. Somebody else’s life is not so great in the baby making department. But you can make something else for God’s sake. Get creative. Get over yourself and how you have so much love to give. If you have so much love, just give it. There are people all around you that need it. They are right next to you. If your love is only for babies, volunteer at the nearest maternity ward. Help young mothers take care of their babies. Do child care! There are lots of ways to give love to children without trying to replace their mothers.
When I see or hear people talk about how they want to love and care for an adopted child it still makes my skin crawl. I’m still hurt and angry. I’m sorry. I want to be coherent and thoughtful and recognize they are doing the best they can based on what they know. But all I’ve got is that infertility, miscarriage, the part I know of it, is just not that big a deal — to me. Yeah “failed adoptions” are a serious disappointment, when you’ve allowed yourself to become over invested in something that is totally NOT REAL. If you IMAGINED a baby was growing in your heart and really put a lot of energy into what you were going to do with, for, to that baby; then you’ve got a lot more imagining to do. We are all responsible for our creations. I am trying to be respectful to that imaginary grief.
Try to imagine what it’s like for a mother to relinquish her actual, physical child.