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.

Photo Source: Office.com Clip Art

Photo Source: Office.com Clip Art

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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22 Comments on “Will There Ever Be A Sense of Relief?

  1. I love how you processed through my question, sweetie, and were able to find your answer. I hope and pray that each of us that know the pain of needing to ask such a question, will eventually find, and be able to accept, our own answers.

    Under the same sky,
    Dani

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  2. I would like to think that there will eventually be a sense of relief and even a feeling of gratitude. Gratitude for the sheer strength and hope and love it took to fight the battle. But also gratitude for all the little moments other women may take for granted. Ones we treasure forever. Last night my miracle IVF son ( after many many failures) climbed on me and nuzzled my neck and the gratitude to be in that moment was so overwhelming it gave me a huge inner peace and joy that is still lingering even as I head into another IVF procedure in hopes of a sibling. I have honestly found my gratitude to be a gift, to be humbling and gives me perspective to not sweat the small stuff and perhaps that means a bigger capacity for joy. Just my thoughts. Xo

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    • I love your perspective, I suspect on some level will be gratitude that I had the strength to get through it all, and I really do hope that through all of this I will have a deeper appreciation for the little moment! I had not even thought of it that way, and I think you are brilliant and thank you so much for sharing this with me. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Realistically you’re probably going to have a whole lot of emotions when you reach that stage, simply because of (a) hormones and (b) it’s a milestone on the long road toward death, and that can be sad to think about. But I suspect that you’ll weather it with dignity and courage, helped in no small part by the wisdom you’re growing right now… 🙂

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    • Thank you so much for sharing this, for some reason I really felt like this is what my mom would have told me if I were to ask her – and I love when I get the opportunity to feel like my mom around me. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “There’s a relief in taking my body out of the equation.” YES. It’s a relief to have an end to living with the great unknown of unexplained infertility and multiple pregnancy loss.

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  5. I came to infertility differently, but I too have pondered this question. I think I will be relieved to “biologically” close this chapter. It’s still painful, and I still feel a bit of loss even though I’ve hit “Advanced Maternal Age.” I still wonder if there’s some kind of miracle and I’d just as soon be past that. 😦 It makes me sad. I’m glad you’ve come to a healthy place of pondering the question.

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    • Thank you so much for sharing this perspective. Honestly, I’ve never thought to much about aging out of this, so I really appreciate your thoughts on it too.

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  6. You’re such a strong person, and have such a strong and wonderful husband by your side, that I think you’ll both be okay. I know that there will definitely be hard days, but there will also be good ones. I think what might make it easier is that you know the direction you’re going in life. Of course you will probably always wonder, but you’ll also know in your heart that you made the right decision for yourselves and your eggs. 🙂

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  7. Exactly, we need to learn to let it go. I wrote a post a LONG time ago now where I felt like I was over the hump – not angry at people who fell pregnant when they looked at their husbands, not jealous of people whose children’s conceptions didn’t involve a petri dish, and not angry at myself anymore for being such a bitter infertile person. I still roll my eyes at the people who say, “you have kids now, so it’s all behind you!” because it is not. But I don’t think about our infertility like I used to. And now with the uterine issue that I have, I don’t secretly wish to have a surprise baby either – and letting go of that wishing has been very helpful to my overall healing and “letting it go.”

    (And, I know I’m over the secret wishing because I saw a set of 5 week old twins today at baby gym, and I felt sick to my stomach. They were cute, but the thought of doing that again almost made me sick.)

    I don’t think menopause will be hard for all of us, I just think when you’re done building your family, there are little surprises here and there where you think, “why did I just feel that (insert any negative emotion here) feeling? We’re done building our family, I should be over this.” It creeps up in the strangest of places… and then one day… it just stops.

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    • Thank you so very much for sharing all of this for me. I am finding myself slowly getting over the hump of pregnancy announcements too – yet, I can still be really sensitive to people who I think should show us more compassion then they do, if that makes sense. But, I do find that the more distant friends no longer effect me in the way they once did. And I’m grateful for that shift to be occurring, while on some level I think I’ll always wish for the experience of a healthy “normal” pregnancy just to have had the opportunity to know what it would have been like.
      Again, thank you so much for all of this! I so appreciate your thoughts.

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  8. That was heartbreaking and inspiring all at the same time! What a great perspective! I have never experienced a loss or anything other than a bfn for that matter, but I have also wondered how I will handle menopause. Thanks for sharing!

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    • Honestly, I had not really thought about menopause before, at least not in depth. Yes, I know it’s going to happen, but at the same time I’m not sure I realized just how much it may impact me after our infertility/RPL journey.

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  9. Pingback: Reflections on Mother’s Day | My Perfect Breakdown

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