My family is so incredibly perfectly imperfect. I didn’t envision saying this 4 years ago, but I’m happy where I am with my little family. There I said it. My heart is heavy for saying it, but it’s true. It’s hard to swallow that I could actually mean it, but I do.
Part of me struggles, clawing its way into my mind screaming, “How the hell could you say that? How can you be ‘happy’ with where your family is? Damnit. Don’t year realize two of your children should be in that little family?!?”
That part of me has me feeling incredibly guilty. Has me feeling guilty that I love having my rainbow here. Not having living sibling for him, allowing me to spend every second focused on just him, not dividing my attention. That’s why we are perfectly imperfect.
We are perfect for the circustances we were dealt. An imperfect situation in which we’ve built a family.
I would give anything to have my daughters here too, but since I know that isn’t a possibility, I am absolutely content in our life.
My son is not second choice. He isn’t a runner up to my daughters. He isn’t a replacement child. He is perfect.
And…. For once I can honestly say, while pushing that little voice down, I’m happy with where we are and mean it.
Hang in there. Your day will come too.
May have Triggers/MENTS
Gentle reminder: Fostering isn’t for everyone. Adoption isn’t for everyone. Infertility treatments aren’t for everyone. Children aren’t for everyone.
Each process is very personal and not entered lightly. Some do a combination of the choices, or choose to not have children. Some have no choice.
The matter is, that this is their choice. Please don’t judge anyone or give advice on how they should proceed unless you are asked for it.
For us, IVF was cheaper than adoption. We weren’t mentally prepared for Fostering. We wanted to keep the baby no matter what. We’ve been told by many the main goal of fostering is reunification with the biological family. If that isn’t possible, then adoption becomes an option. Reunification with the biological family wasn’t our goal at the time, so fostering wasn’t for us at that point.
Adoption is out of our means entirely. Foster to Adopt is still in our sights and we have discussed it greatly for the future. But that is OUR decision.
I am making this public so there is no confusion. Not everyone is comfortable with making their personal life public. I’ve witnessed some very nasty things said about infertility treatments when ‘there are so many that need homes.’ Unless you have been there, you don’t understand the process. It’s not like going to the grocery store and picking out a ripe melon. Google research doesn’t count either.
However you decide to live your life, is the right way for you. Period. Not everyone else.
Family is family no matter how it happens. Whether it is through fostering, adoption, foster to adopt, infertility treatments, a one night stand, an ‘accident’, giving the gift of a child to another, just you and your partner, only children in heaven, or just you and your pets. Family is defined by your heart.
This is the first year we didn’t go to their graves for Easter, and I pretty much feel like shit about it still. It feels like we are missing more and more Holidays at the graves. I know they aren’t there, just their vessels, but still….. I feel connected to them there… at their final resting place.
I feel like more and more often, ‘life’ is getting in the way of being there with them. That sucks. They don’t have a ‘life’ to get in the way. They don’t get to busy or forget. They are dead. Dead.
It still feels funny to say it. Dead. My daughters are dead. It’s been over 3 years and it still feels awkward to say. My first 2 children are dead. Not alive. Buried at Springvale. Dead.
I don’t think it will ever feel ‘right’ to say it, don’t get me wrong. I just thought by now maybe it wouldn’t feel so foreign to say.
Grief is so… weird. Some days I can talk up a storm about them. Other days I feel like my heart is made of glass and every time I think about them, every time the blood pumps through my veins, with the very next beat of my heart without them, it will shatter into a million tiny reflective pieces. All reflecting the same glistening scenes….their deaths. Memories projected on to each shiny, sharp, surface. When I try to pick the pieces up, they slice my hands and my blood muddies up to picture.
Other days, I’m fine. Not the “I’m Fine,” that we lie and tell those around us who wouldn’t understand, but the real one. The one where I have found a way to continue to live and be happy.
I know, as time goes on here without them, I will to. I won’t get over it, or more on. Time just goes on. Whether we want it to or not….
I’ve been reading When Empty Arms Become A Heavy Burden By Sandra Glahn & William Cutrer, MD. It was a gift from a very special friend. At first I can honestly say I didn’t want to read the book. I KNEW I was infertile, and I KNEW I lost my children. How could this book help me? But it has, it tremendous ways. There are even several chapters that don’t actually fit my circumstance, but they too have helped me in other aspects of my life. I’ve had questions that I never had the courage or resources to ask, that were answered for me. But enough about that, on to my point…
There is a chapter in the book about the “Suffering Olympics” that infertility couples seems to go through. Where everyone tries to make you feel better by “one up-ing” you with their experience(s). I have been taking a lot of the book for its infertility help, but also applying it to the loss of Willow & Hazel. Luckily, I have only had one instance of “One upping” with the loss of my girls. An instance of, ‘I’m sorry what happened to your girls, but this happened to me. See it could have been worse. I was devastated by what happened to me. You were lucky with how you lost your girls.’ Those were not exact words, but it was approached that way.
I was so mad and angry at this person. No part of what happened to James and I was lucky. We both lost our children. Don’t you see that, this is not a competition to see who has suffered more. We have both suffered enough. Neither instance should have EVER happened. I hope you can see that (well theoretically I say this, they do not read my blog).
I’m sorry you feel you must make this a competition. There is no ‘lucky’ or ‘better way’ for a child to die. I hope you find your peace soon.
This week has been hell for the last 3 years, but this year it decided to raise the bar a couple of notches
The 9th marked 3 years since my little girls were born.
The 10th marked 3 years since Willow died
Now, on the 10th we also had to put our dog, Cortana, down. We got Cortana as a rescue during my cycle for the girls as a gift for them.
Just minutes ago, on the 14th we had to put Valentine, our cat, down. We’ve had her for nearly 9 years.
On the 17th it will mark 3 years since Hazel died.
I really just don’t feel like I can take much more. I’m sitting here crying in bed while my husband was at the emergency vet. I didn’t even get to say goodbye.
I can’t stop crying while staying up with Dex who is really congested with a bad cold. I’m feeling at a horrible low point.
While both pets were ours, and I’ve cried and cried over them, I feel horrible and don’t know what to do for my husband.
Valentine was my husband’s first cat when we were dating. She wasn’t our first cat together, but Valentine was ‘his’ cat and Cortana was ‘his’ dog. I don’t know how to comfort him while I’m grieving too.
My heart can’t take much more this week, this year, or this lifetime…..
Struggling with infertility and childloss, your pets become your fur-babies. They comfort you in ways humans cannot. They are there without the need to say words that unknowingly hurt, and show nothing but companionship and love.
Pet leave silent footprints on our hearts…
I can’t believe it is 3 years already. I can only imagine what you would look like and be into at this point. If your little brother is any indication, I’d say I’d really have my hands full.
I cried most of the morning for you yesterday. I was writing the date at work, and realized that the next day was the 9th. I couldn’t believe it. I hadn’t realized it was that late in the year. Things seem to tend to blur together now.
This year, your birthday is hitting hard again. Dadda and I had to make a very difficult decision and make a very hard call yesterday. Cortana, your doggy, the one we adopted just for you girls, will have to be put to sleep tomorrow. The Vet wanted to do it today, but we refused.
It helps knowing that we are giving you a really awesome birthday gift. What little girls don’t want t puppy for their birthdays!? So, Happy Birthday Willow & Hazel. We love you and miss you dearly. Enjoy Cortana my little mogwais.
With all our love,
Mommy & Dadda
If roses grow in heaven
Lord please pick a punch for me
Place them in my daughters’ arms
And tell them they’re from me
Well hello, Old friend. I see you’ve showed up unannounced again. Shows how close we really are, no introduction or reminders needed. Just pop in and just as quickly be on your way.
This time it was at the mall. The 3 of us were shopping for winter clothes for our rainbow about to turn 2. He grew 3 inches since July, and all his pants are way too short.
As we leave I see the Christmas clothes and swoop by with the stroller to see if there is anything cute for his picture with Santa.
And there you were, standing there with a sly grin next to the rack. It’s been awhile since you showed up and stayed with any longevity. Sometimes you text or call, but then aren’t heard from again for awhile. This time your presence lingers. You show me the Mickey Mouse Christmas dress that Willow & Hazel would look so incredible adorable in. The two on the rack are 3T as well. Dex LOVES Mickey Mouse, so of course they would too. I break down sobbing right there in the store. You caught me soo off guard.
James runs ahead and had me push the stroller out of the store while he pays. I try and collect myself and walk away. I didn’t say goodbye, I knew you’d be back eventually. The problem is, you never really left. You hang around, stalking, waiting for me to drop by guard. This time though, you’ve hung around. Almost every day I hear from you.
It’s been nearly 3 years since the girls died, the first year I relied heavily on you, you carried me everywhere. Last year, you popped up right after Dex arrived and around milestones with him (you weren’t going to miss those, were you?) but largely stayed around the edges.
So why? Why are you hanging around so much this last month? Do you feel like family? Must you come to every Holiday?
Well, my friend Grief, consider yourself uninvited for the Holidays. You’ve overstayed your welcome this year. We need some distance and time to grow apart. A distant memory, never forgotten of course, but pushed to the back.
I can think about my daughters without crying now. I can smile when I think of them. I can feel joy when I think about them, so it is time you moved out of town. I don’t mind the occasional visit every now and then, after all, you were a big part of my life and of memories of the girls.
Goodbye means forever, so let’s just say goodnight.
Vote for my baby’s pic in the Gerber Baby 2015 Photo Search contest. https://www.gerber.com/photosearch/gallery? entry_id=10732