Adoption & Giving Birth: A Consolation Prize?

I have a request for the world – when I talk about adoption, I never ever again want to hear someone say to me, at least you won’t have to give birth. As if that’s some sort of consultation prize for adopting because my body cannot carry a child rather my body just kills them.

To anyone who says at least you won’t have to give birth, I want to respond with:

I have given birth 5 times. The only thing is I have no living baby to show for it. I have given birth, more times then you likely every will. In fact, in order to give birth, I have done so with medications, trying to force my body to expel my baby into a toilet to be flushed away. I have had surgery to forcefully remove my baby because my body wouldn’t cooperate with nature. Oh, and I’ve also had a surgery to end my baby’s life in order to save mine – and there is not a day that goes by that I do not think about this. Yes, I have given birth and I love my children just as you love yours, the only difference is that you get to hug your children every single day, and I do not. So please do not ever tell me my consultation prize for choosing to adopt is that I don’t have to give birth. It is hurtful that you do not count and/or remember my lost babies and my life experiences.

Instead, I say nothing. I sit quietly trying to contain my emotions until I can escape their cruel words. I find myself keeping my mouth shut. I suffer in silence to protect someone else’s view of the world. I keep my feelings of hurt to myself, and continue to allow misunderstanding about miscarriage and adoption to exist.

I am normally pretty open and vocal about our losses and our choice to adopt – I even find myself being more and more open with random people – if people ask if we plan to have children I am honest and say yes, we do. And we are adopting, hopefully soonish. And then I deal with their questions as they come.

Yet, on this particular day, I said nothing. And the reason why is pretty simple, on this day, it was easier. It was easier for me to let it slide then to correct a friend, yet again. It was easier to say nothing then it was for me to find the words to correct them politely without hurting their feelings.

On good days, I will share. On good days I will correct. On good days I will educate.

On other days, I will not. I know myself well enough to know some days I need to take the easy road. Some days I need to protect my heart, and put myself first.  And on those days, it’s okay to say nothing and just count my moments until I can run away and lick my wounds in the comfort of my own home and Mr. MPB’s arms.

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63 Comments on “Adoption & Giving Birth: A Consolation Prize?

  1. I get tired of making excuses for the dumb, insensitive things people say. No one should ever say something so hurtful to you or me or anyone else suffering with IF/RPL. It’s just unacceptable. I’m sorry that you had to endure that comment in silence. You DID give birth, your babies DO matter and you ARE a mother already. Don’t ever let anyone tell you any different.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much for this. I too am getting really tired of people saying dumb, insensitive things and then giving them excuses for doing so. I wish people would simply think before they talk more often.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Bless you, I feel just the same. People try to make you feel better with flippant comments, but don’t realise how deeply they cut. There are no ‘consolations’ when you’ve lost so many babies, just that you still have your sanity and your relationship! I’m sorry you had this happen again, keep thinking of the positives. Lots of love xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so right, there are no consultations! Life hasn’t been fair, but at least Mr. MPB and I still have each other and we still have our sanity (or at least most of it). 🙂
      Thank you so much for your love and encouragement.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What an insensitive thing to say. First of all, you have given birth. I’ve had an induced miscarriage before and it is very painful, and while the pushing aspect is not the same, the contractions are pretty much the same (coming from someone who had a natural birth with a baby who was over 9 lbs).
    Also, many women want to give birth and have that experience. When we were looking into adoption, I was so sad that I would never have a full-term pregnancy followed by a birth.
    I find myself trying to think very carefully before I react to news that potentially reflects pain. Because the first thing that comes to mind is usually stupid and hurtful. And I try to have grace for people because, honestly, I would have said some of the same things before I experienced my losses. But sometimes you have to just let yourself get annoyed and upset because stifling those emotions all the time isn’t healthy.
    The cards you have been dealt suck and I’m so sorry that you are dealing with this. Feel free vent to us whenever you need to.

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    • Thank you so very much for understanding! I do not believe what I have been through is the exact same as actually delivering a full-term baby, like you have, but I do believe that I have given birth in my own right, and it means so much to me that you validated these feelings.
      Also, I completely agree with you about using my experiences to be more graceful to others – I know I too was much more insensitive before my losses.

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  4. What the hell is WRONG with people?! Ugh, it makes me so sad that people are saying this crap to you, especially if they know about your losses. Its insensitive no matter what, but to say that when the person you’re talking to has had five losses? Inexcusable! And you’re right, sometimes it’s just too hard to be an advocate. I’m usually all over it like you, but sometimes, meh. Sometimes the easy road is exactly what you need right at the moment.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much my friend! Your understanding and your kind words of support and love are always so much appreciated. I am truly grateful that you are in my life.

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  5. I can’t imagine how badly that must’ve hurt you! I kinda want to go southern old school and meet them in a dark alley…😜 But I have learned a thing or two and anytime someone does something outside of people’s perceptions of normal and those people respond hurtfully it’s usually because of ignorance. And adoption and RPL are definitely outside people’s perceptions of normal. Friend, I wish I could tell you that this will stop once you’ve adopted your child(ren) but unfortunately, we are still outside people’s perceptions of the norm. But I also believe adoption is a calling, and if you’ve been called, you will be equipped for your journey. I’m so sorry people say such pain-inducing words and I’m sorry you have had to bear that. I hope that a new day will bring you new mercies, hugs😊

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I file comments like this under “Things other people say to make themselves feel more comfortable.” It’s a way to deflect uncomfortable conversations from having to confront real sadness or heartache. You will also find “Just relax and you’ll get pregnant in no time,” “At least you can keep trying,” and my personal favorite “Everything happens for a reason.”

    It would be so much nicer if people would just put a cork in it and LISTEN. That’s all any of us really want or need for support.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I completely agree with you – I think most people just try to reduce their anxiety in awkward conversations rather then think about how their words will impact the other person. Listening really is an art form, eh?

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  7. Totally understand not being able to correct everyone everytime, its exhausting.
    Im in a similar position…everyone saying something helpful thats really just hurtful but its easier to let it slide sometimes.
    Just keep doing what you are doing xx

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  8. This reminds me of when I get “at least you know you can get pregnant.” Gee, thanks. It’s so great to be able to get pregnant when I haven’t carried a baby to term and don’t have a living child. Sometimes people just don’t THINK!

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    • Oh, I so hate that comment too!! Being able to conceive has only brought me the worst heartache I have ever known, so at this point I don’t look at conception is a gift, at least not for us.

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  9. The insensitive shit that pours out of some people’s mouths never fails to horrify me. I cannot FATHOM saying that to someone who has experienced infertility and/or repeated pregnancy loss. It’s cruel and insensitive. Many women HAVE given birth (like you) or would love to go through that pain to have their baby. Ugh.

    I fully understand why you don’t say something sometimes. Sometimes it’s just easier to keep your mouth closed and add another awful comment to the pile. You don’t have to be an advocate, or a voice for RPL, or anything else in the world, unless you want to be.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You make such a good point about how desperately I’d love to go through the pain of a real full-term labor that ended with a living baby! I don’t think people realize that their are many emotions around adoption, including grieving the fact that I will never get that experience.
      And thank you so much for your understanding and encouragement to not always be an advocate or voice.

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  10. Oh boy…I understand this…the couple of people I have shared with say..”Well, at least you don’t have to worry about ruining your body with a pregnancy….you are so lucky” Um….what??? Lucky??! Yeah…because 9 cycles of IVF and FET is “so lucky” and it didn’t already ruin my body? And because, I would die to feel my child kick and grown inside of my body…..SO many just don’t get it…it gets me angry but I admit that I hold my tongue sometimes too…because you are right…it is easier and sometimes you don’t have the energy to explain or, frankly, I just don’t want to have to explain…it’s all just so exhausting for something that should be so easy…..hang in there..you are on your way..xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my, I cannot believe someone has told you that!! Well, maybe I should be able to believe it. I just don’t think people think before they speak and actually understand the impact of these things are on us, the ones needing support and love. I really just wish people would learn to listen rather then say the first thing that comes to their mind.
      Love to you my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Ugh. I’m so sorry that someone said this to you. I know that you know that they probably meant well and just weren’t thinking, but honestly, what a horrible thing to say! It’s right up there with “at least you know you can get pregnant” and “oh, you can always have another one.” Yuck, yuck, yuck. Life should come with a handbook of things not to say in various situations. On the surface these statements are positive and well-meaning, but it only takes about a nanosecond of thought to understand why they’re problematic.

    And in case you want some validation — god, yes, you have given birth to babies. And obviously if you could give birth to a full-term, living child, you would do so in a heartbeat. Not “having” to give birth is clearly a source of great pain for you, rather than some sort of consolation prize. We all see you, and hear you, and recognize your pain, and wish we could change things. Especially the stupid things that come out of clueless people’s mouths. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your words – I do appreciate the validation. I do not believe that I have actually given birth in the same way as someone who has a full-term pregnancy, but I do believe that my body and my mind has been through a legitimate form of giving birth. And you are so right, I’d give anything to have a full-term pregnancy that ended with the birth of a living child! It’s not in the cards for me, but these types of senseless comments do nothing to help. Thank you again for understanding.

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  12. What an awful thing to say. As if a few hours of pain would not be worth it. And as you said, you have birthed 5 children. I’m sorry you had to hear such a dumb comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh wow, people can be terrible. Yes, pregnancy and giving birth are painful. What they don’t seem to realize is that not having the chance or the choice to have a child is the most painful thing a person can go through. Can I smack this person, please?!

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    • Thank you so much for understanding, I so appreciate your words. You are right, I’d give anything to give birth to a full-term, living child. And so to hear that “at least” I don’t have to, just broke my heart. I know my friend didn’t mean to cause me so much pain, but I do wish people would think before they speak.

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  14. During our struggle with IF and RPL, I’ve had a bit of time to deconstruct the stupid things people say, and common themes that comes up is that 1. People are uncomfortable with letting shitty situations be shitty, and 2. Somehow we’ve all been conditioned to present people with silver linings. I am guilty of this too, and sometimes catch myself as I am about to present someone with a silver lining to their shitty situation, realizing that in many ways, it actually takes away from showing empathy for them.

    I think your friend fell victim to this too, and I’m sorry it left you feeling yucky. You’re right though- taking every opportunity to educate people is really exhausting. We pick our battles, and hope that we can find comfort later when we are ready to process the event. Hugs to you. This journey is filled with blips like this that challenge us to be stronger.

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    • Your points here are brilliant, both 1 and 2. And I know my friend was just doing exactly these things. She’s responding in the best way she knows how, and she’s trying her best. And, honestly, I adore her for trying, even though her words were not helpful at least she tried. I’m not going to stop being her friend because of this, I love her too much and no-one is perfect and in the scheme of life the fact that she is at least trying her best means more to me then she will probably ever truly know. I’m thankful for her and everyone who has tried to support us through this less then ideal road.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly. I feel like sometimes it’s the right time to expect more, other times…. Not so much. Lol.

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  15. It’s crazy the things that people will say. They don’t even think for a second before garbage just comes out of their mouths. I understand what you mean that sometimes its worth it to explain the situation and sometimes it’s just better to walk away and shake your head.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for understanding. I believe you are right and people just don’t think before they speak. I know my friend would never have meant to hurt me with her words, so I think she just didn’t think before she spoke because clearly I would give anything to have a full-term pregnancy that ended with a healthy child.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Its incredible the things people will say and genuinely believe they are being helpful when truly they are being 110% thoughtless and cruel. No matter the scenario there’s always someone who beats you down with a stupid comment. Whether you’ve suffered pregnancy loss or are adopting or are pregnant after loss. There’s always one! X

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for these compassionate words and understanding! You are right, there is always someone who says something stupid that really impacts us negatively, even if they don’t mean to.

      Like

  17. Wow. So eloquent, so sad, so honest. I want to scoop you (and me) up in a giant hug. What a great post about the other side of things. I am so sorry you had to have your heart drop to the floor like is surely did…in silence because you know your friend didn’t mean any harm. Thanks for writing this beautiful account of your pain. Xo

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    • Thank you so much for your understanding and kind words. I think there are many days when we could both a giant hug and an understanding shoulder to cry on. You are right, she didn’t mean any harm.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Girl! I am the same way! There are just some days in which I am totally drained and emotionally exhausted to correct, educate, or say anything else. Instead, I usually nod and force a smile. So I totally get it. Hang in there! Hugs! xo

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    • I honestly don’t think she meant to be rude or hurtful, I just don’t think she thought about how much I really do want to go through “real” labor pains and therefore how much her words would hurt me. As you say, uneducated more then anything else.

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  19. Oh this made me so angry when I read that. I can’t believe that grown adults don’t know any better. Sigh. It gets old always having to educate others and have a graceful response. I understand completely why you decided not to educate them today. Sometimes when people ask me if I have children, I’ll share about my 5 children in Heaven and other times, I just say no. I hate doing that, but sometimes I just don’t have the energy to go there. HUGS!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I so appreciate your understanding – you are right, some days it just gets old having to educate and explain gracefully. It’s just so tiring sometimes!

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  20. Would it be too insensitive to say when you talk about adoption, “Hey, at least you won’t have a surplus of money floating around tempting you to do crack, meth and all that other life-wasting sh*t!”

    Or how about, “Whew! At least you weren’t forced to have a shot-gun wedding!” (There is no such thing as “shot-gun” adoption!)

    Or, “At least they won’t look like you … or your husband.” — Now that truly would be the ultimate insult, because WHAT would they be implying there?! 😉

    Hang in there, it only gets harder … I mean easier. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I’m so sorry. I truly believe that people just don’t THINK before they open their mouths. Especially if this was a friend of yours, who knows your story. I wish that people would really just think about the consequences of what they say to others, and remember what they have been through, and edit their comments so as not to hurt others. I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with so much, in so many ways. *hugs*

    Like

    • I also truly believe people just don’t think. I know my friend never meant to hurt me with her words, and so I believe the only reason she would ever have said this is to alleviate her uncomfortableness or something like that. Thank you so much for your understanding.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. It’s amazing to me that people think it’s okay to say things like that. After you’ve been through so much, there’s no such thing is a consolation prize. Adoption is a different experience and you’ve come to it through a horrible struggle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for understanding my perspective. I honestly think most people don’t think before they speak, and don’t realize how much their words can hurt. Honestly, before all of this, I have no doubt that I did the very same thing.

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      • So true, I don’t think people mean any harm but you’d think they would put themselves in your shoes on such a sensitive issue…

        Liked by 1 person

  23. After we adopted our son I had a guy tell me “at least you didn’t have to go through labor!” To which I replied, “I have been through plenty of labor to bring my son home.” And promptly left the room. I wanted to punch him in the face but we were at church and I figured that might be frowned upon!

    Like

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