Will There Ever Be A Sense of Relief?
Dani, at Blooming Spiders, recently posed a very interesting question in a comment to me.
“I have had fleeting thoughts of how I’ll feel once I’m officially past child-bearing age. There will finally be a period at the end of a heartbreaking run-on sentence of loss and trauma. But will there be a sense of relief??” – Dani
Once I read her question, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It has peaked my interest.
My first thought is, I hate recurrent pregnancy loss. I hate what it has done to so many women and couples out there. I despise the fact that Dani, myself and countless others have to live in a place where pregnancy is heartbreaking and simply results in loss and trauma. Where pregnancy teaches us to be resilient, rather then just offering us the opportunity to be delightfully happy.
Once I moved on from my initial pity-party rant, I started to think, will there be a sense of relief once we physically out of the child bearing age?
I am not officially past my child-bearing age. In fact, I am 32. Mr. MPB is also 32. We are considered very fertile in our ability to get pregnant, and infertile in our ability to stay pregnant. And we have years ahead of us to continue to try to procreate if we choose to.
I do not have a crystal ball, but I cannot help but wonder what will happen? Will I throw myself a party when I hit menopause? To know that I’m free of ever having to endure another loss, in so many ways that will be liberating. Or will it be more of a pity-party to know what I was never able to achieve? Will aging out of child-bearing years actually just remind me more of what I was unable to achieve? What my body was unable to accomplish? What my body did to our five little babies?
Then I realized, maybe I don’t have to wonder. Maybe, I already know, or at least have a pretty good idea what it will be like when we can no longer try to procreate. While it’s self-imposed, we’ve made the decision to prevent another pregnancy and as such we’ve essentially cut off our ability to procreate so I think I have at least some insight into what it will be like. By choosing the most effective birth control on the market, statistically it is very unlikely we are going to conceive again. In many ways by turning to adoption, we have mentally moved out of the place of loss or at least out of the actively living the loss.
Honestly, adoption has about a million emotions wrapped around it – grieving the loss of Mr. MPB’s eyes in our future children, frustration about the adoption process, fear of the unknowns of adoption, etc. But yet, I can say with absolute certainty that somewhere in all these emotions there is relief.
There is relief in knowing that my body cannot kill another baby. If we do not try again, my body cannot slowly kill another one of our children
There is an immense amount of relief in knowing that we will still have children. We don’t want to live a childless life, and by choosing adoption I know we will have children.
And, honestly, there is relief in taking my body out of the equation – I am not longer responsible to carry our child to term, something my body was not going to let happen no matter how much I wanted it. That responsibility is now on someone else – I’m off the hook, I’m free. It’s a weird thing to say, but I feel so much relief in knowing that my body is done. No matter what happens next, my body will not be at fault. My body will be innocent. And that sense of innocence bring an immense amount of relief.
I’m sure there will be some different emotions when I actually do reach menopause, but I’m also hopeful that by then, I’ll have moved on from these emotions in a healthy way. Because, honestly, I don’t want to be carrying all this loss at the top of my heart for that many years. I don’t want to be consumed with the sorrow and the loss in the way that I have been in the past and the way that I still am at times today. I want to keep working hard to process all the emotions and to work on recovering so that when I am 40 or 50 or even 80 I am not harbouring feelings of significant guilt and sorrow.
I don’t want to forget it, but I do want to learn to let it go.
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