Is Something Wrong With Me? Am I Broken?

As we are telling more and more people about our plans to adopt, I’ve begun to notice a really interesting twist happening in our lives.

People are excited for us!

No-one in the last 2 + years has ever been excited for us, and really there has been no reason to be excited for us in the last few years. Miscarriages are not anything to celebrate.

I know, rationally, this excitement seems normal. While adoption may be unconventional, we are announcing our plans to have a child, so clearly people are excited.

Some people are asking questions (i.e. how long is the process, when will you get a child, what race will your child be, where are you adopting from, etc.), but they are all questions based in excitement and curiosity. Quite frankly, I suspect they are similar to someone who is announcing a healthy pregnancy – they face questions like, when are you due, will you find out if it’s a boy or a girl, etc. While the adoption questions are slightly different, so is adoption, which in my mind just means the questions will be slightly different.

Anyways, I was booking an appointment with my family doctor for adoption paper work. When I told the nurse, she responded with such happiness “That’s so exciting!!!” I was completely caught off guard. I think I must have looked and sounded like an idiot when I mumbled and stumbled to say “Sure…I’ll be excited when the paperwork is done.”

So the other night I said to Mr. MPB:

Is something wrong with me? Am I Broken?

I’m really not that excited right now. I’m hopeful, but I’m most definitely not excited.

This lead to a really good conversation about my reaction to other people’s excitement.

First, people don’t know the path we’ve walked and don’t necessarily know our history of loss. So, they have no idea what fears and hesitations we bring with us to the adoption process. People don’t know that my heart is scared, my soul is slightly broken and my fears of the adoption not working are very real. While we both believe this is our best route to becoming parents, we both have very real fears about the process we are entering into.

Second, the paperwork and process is daunting, intimidating and at times even overwhelming. The immediate months ahead of us are going to be intense, and tiring. If you have not been through the adoption process, then you are unlikely to know just how intimidating the process is. While it is manageable, it takes substantial effort and time just to navigate all of the paperwork. And it is most definitely not exciting and fun.

Third, we’ve spent nearly two and a half years only sharing bad news and grieving. We’ve learned to brace ourselves for our own bad news and to deliver bad news to others. We’ve learned to support and console our friends and family when we tell them about another loss.

Fourth, we’ve learned to hide from virtually any sort event related to pregnancy and births. We’ve hidden from the excitement of others because of our personal sorrow and struggles. This means, we are not used to seeing the excitement that others have for such happy news. So, after so long of hiding, it’s pretty weird to not only be seeing it but having it directed at us.

Fifth, we’ve had moments of pure excitement with our first few pregnancies, and with our fourth one when actually saw a healthy fetal heart rate for our first and last time. There were moments of pure excitement, which were followed by moments of pure soul-crushing heartache and horror. I’m afraid to let the excitement back in, because every time I have, it hasn’t lasted and it’s just turned to complete and utter heartbreak. In many ways my refusal to be ecstatic right now is our past experiences where excitement is followed by loss.

We decided that given our struggles in the last few years, there is probably nothing wrong with me, and I’m probably not broken. So, for now, being hopeful is good enough. I’ll try to be less awkward when others are excited for us and eventually, when I’m ready, I will let excitement in.

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41 Comments on “Is Something Wrong With Me? Am I Broken?

  1. It sounds like you are being cautious with your emotions because you’ve been let down so many times before- and by something as intimate as your own body. I think that is huge. It’s like someone who has trust issues in relationships (I don’t mean to diminish your feelings by using this analogy, it’s just the only thing I could compare it to). Totally understandable. But like those people, eventually, with enough positive outcomes, you will come to believe that good things will happen. It is the same way with me- and I hope that with enough happy moments, I will believe too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think the trust issue idea is such a great analogy! Thank you so much for sharing and understanding. And I hope you are right – with enough happy moments, we will both come to believe that good things will happen for us! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nope, absolutely nothing with you. It’s much easier for others to be excited for you because they are not the ones filling out all the GD paperwork and they are not the ones who’ve experienced your losses. That’s awesome that they’re excited, though — they can buoy you up and keep the excitement going until you’re ready to feel it yourself! And you will feel it — maybe not until you have that baby in your arms, but you’ll get there! I’m glad you’re feeling hopeful, though. You’re absolutely right that for now it is more than enough. Xo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for sharing this perspective! You are right, others are excited because they haven’t been though everything that we have been, but we will get there eventually. And for now, I’ll just keep a strong hold on the hope! 🙂

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  3. You’re not broken – you’re realistic. Unlike your family and friends (and the nurses and receptionists at the doctors office!), you know all the things that can go wrong. All everyone else has to do now is wait for your exciting news that a baby is on they way. It’s very similar to when IF treatment finally works – everyone else assumes you’re at the end if the battle, and it’s really just the middle (beta hell, ultrasound fears, chemical pregnancies, multiple pregnancy fears, miscarriage fears after all you’ve done yo get here). My mom said, “well, now you can finally relax” after my first BFP – and we lost that pregnancy two weeks later. They just dint know, and we do. And that’s ok.

    That all being said… I am beyond excited for you! Not over the adoption (because i know there’s still a long road ahead) because you’re done with RPL!

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    • Thank you so much Courtney, for everything you said here, but mostly for your last line – “because you’re done with RPL!” I don’t think that has fully sunk in for me yet. But oh my, that is really exciting!!! For some reason, it seems to weird to think, but you are right, I am done with RPL and putting my body through all of that. Wow! A happy dance is happening over here!

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  4. This line struck me, “I’m afraid to let the excitement back in, because every time I have, it hasn’t lasted and it’s just turned to complete and utter heartbreak. ” I often feel the same way about everything in my life now.. I’m afraid to get excited for anything really. I’m afraid if I let anyone know I’m excited, it’ll just be taken away from me. Although I feel like we are all a little broken from this battle, I do feel like this is completely normal. Hopeful is good right now. You’ll have plenty of time to be excited later on when you have a little one in your arms. 🙂 You’ll get there. It can’t possibly storm forever. Hugs.

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    • Your last few words “It can’t possibly storm forever” might just be the best thing I have read in a really long time. Those 5 words may just become my motto for life!!
      And, thank you so much for understanding my fear of getting excited. I think you are right, RPL breaks us in so many ways, and this is just one example.
      Thank you so much for sharing.

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  5. I think RPL conditions you to not get excited before it happens. I’m the same way. People get giddy when I tell them and I’m like “Really? Why?” Since we are adopting out of foster care a placement doesn’t equal an adoption so it’s going to be a REALLY long time before I am excited.

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      • I had this same conversation with someone yesterday when I was wallowing in Thanksgiving hell. They said “but you’re adopting now so you should be excited about that.” But that’s like me being excited about having a baby when I become pregnant. For me, pregnancy doesn’t equal baby, and I don’t think being approved for adoption does either. I don’t think I would be excited until it’s official.

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  6. I think that is a completely normal response given your path to motherhood. You are not broken. Most people don’t experience loss the way you have and it’s understandable that you are cautious and protecting your heart. After all, that’s all you know. Others who haven’t walked your path don’t know what it’s like to have the other shoe drop or have their hopes shatter. As this process becomes more real, I believe you’ll find yourself in a different mindset. Be easy on yourself…you’ve been through a lot. I’m excited that you’ve been met with such excitement from those in your life. Good things are coming your way.

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    • Also, I wanted to add that many of us – myself included – whose paths to motherhood have been challenging face similar feelings when people share their excitement. My mom (much to my dismay) told my aunt I was expecting. My aunt called me to congratulate me and it was THE most awkward conversation of my adult life. She was all happy/giggly and all I kept saying was “it’s still early, I’m not in the clear, a lot camp wrong, let’s just wait till the first trimester is over.” It’s a natural response to have when things haven’t been easy in the nany department. I’m sending you all my best and wishing for a speedy process for you!

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      • Thank you so much for sharing this perspective with me and reinforcing that I am not broken for being reserved with my emotions. I think you are right, once you have been through RPL / IF and know the uncertainty in life first hand, it is hard to be anything but pragmatic and realistic. And it becomes very odd and definitely awkward to have conversations with people who don’t get it (like your Aunt), because they have no understanding of the potential heartbreak and our need to be guarded with our hearts.
        Thank you again.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m so sorry that your losses have precluded you from being able to be joyful about “expecting” your baby via adoption. One thing that I have heard is that once you’re with an agency, EVERYONE GETS A BABY! There’s no guarantee that there won’t be waiting and heartache along the way, but hopefully as you travel through the tunnel, you’ll be able to see the light at the end and feel excited and joyous about it. It’s okay that it isn’t immediate; feeling hopeful, after all you have been through, is enough!

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    • Thank you Evie. I do think as we work our way through the tunnel of paperwork, we will come out the other side excited! It may take some time, but I know we will get there. 🙂
      And you are so right that with adoption it is the closest thing to a certain route to parenthood as everyone eventually gets a baby. And the path may not be perfect (i.e a birth parent chooses to parent – which is completely within their rights and while it is hard on the adoptive parents, it makes 100% complete sense that the system allows this).

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  8. I’m also so sorry that you have had to go through so much with RPL. I think that all of us who have struggled with any form of infertility/loss could relate at least a little to what you say. We have been hurt so many times that we do not want to get our hopes us. We don’t let ourselves get excited so that we do not get those hopes crushed. I hope that once you are closer to having your own little one in your arms, you will finally be able to feel that excitement, and you will remember all the excitement others have been sending your way. It’s ok to just let yourself feel what you feel, though! You don’t have to match anyone’s expectations about how you *should* be feeling, and there is definitely nothing wrong with you.

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    • Thank you so much for sharing and reinforcing that what I am going through is normal given the not-so-normal circumstances of IF / RPL / Adoption.
      And thank you very much for stopping by, and leading me to your blog as well. I look forward to following you and getting to know you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Honestly I think I’d feel the same way you do. After being through so much, it’s normal for you to be guarded about things. Plus there’s so much you have to get through over the next year, it will be no small task. It’s great that people are so happy for you though! It’s about time that you get to have that response to some news, instead of sadness. You guys definitely both deserve some joy in your lives 🙂

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    • Thank you so much for your understanding and sharing such a wonderful perspective. I just cannot wait to get done with all the paperwork, and then move on to actually just waiting, and I hope by then I’ll start to get more excited. 🙂

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  10. I think your feelings are perfectly normal given the circumstances. ❤ I think people feel excitement at different times for different reasons. It's okay to feel how you feel. You will be excited when it's right for you. ❤ For now, good luck with getting all the paperwork done!

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  11. I believe the phrase is “cautiously optimistic.” Some day, maybe we’ll be able to let our guard down again. Just not anytime soon!

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  12. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you! Of course you’re being cautious right now. It’s impossible to not guard your heart after all you’ve been through, but I am glad you are getting lots of support and encouragement. I know it’s not the same thing, but it did make me feel more excited and less fearful with this pregnancy being surrounded by so much love and encouragement too. Of course I still worry even this close to delivery, but it’s not as bad as before. I too am very excited for you and Mr. MPB. I know you still have a long road to go before you bring your baby home, but I truly have so much hope for you guys. This is the beginning of great things for you two. I just feel it!

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    • As always, thank you for your understanding and your love! I appreciate that the support and encouragement you received helped you navigate the emotions during this pregnancy – I hope the same happens for me with our adoption process.
      I think I’ll start to get more excited once we are done with the paperwork stage of things…another few 5ish months….

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      • We found out yesterday that our agency already screwed up one of our required child intervention checks and it was sent back to be resubmitted with a small change. So, we are put back by about a month for it to be reprocessed. We aren’t that happy, but we cannot change it so I’ve decided not to dwell on it. But, it has reinforced that this will not be a simple process and that I need to be more diligent in reviewing there work.

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      • So do we! And what a great time to learn that we need to extra diligent with everything – I’d rather learn it now then have a major setback in a few months time. 🙂

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  13. There is nothing wrong about how you feel. I think some people fancy about adoption, given they do not have do the work. However, all are for good intensions. Good luck with your paperwork!

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    • Thank you so much Jasmine – you are so right about the adoption process! I am thoroughly touched by your constant words of support, encouragement and understanding. You are one very wise women and I am ever so grateful that you are part of my life.

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  14. I think the way you feel is perfectly understandable and normal. You have learned to protect your heart. And the excitement will come once things have progressed further along. 🙂

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  15. There is NOTHING wrong with you sweet friend!! RPL makes everything more difficult when navigating through our emotions in regards to expanding the family, in whichever way it might be happening. You’ll get there and for now it’s ok that you’re not 100% there yet! Let others be joyful and excited for you while you work your way there! XOXOX

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    • Oh thank you so much for reinforcing that my response to all of this is “normal.” And you are right, I will let everyone else be joyful and excited while I work to get there. 🙂

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