The year of “firsts” is over! I made it through the month of December, their birthdays, the first Christmas season without them. I made it through. Do I get a cookie or a coin or something to mark it?
So, I made it, why am I still crying?
Because grief sucks, because learning to live your life without your babies isn’t something that goes away even though you made it through a big milestone, because now, more than ever, I’m so desperate to hold my baby, to look at something we created and know that I’ll be able to hold them, rock them, love them, here and now, not from afar like I hold my babies now, makes me want to scream.
I’m still crying because I’m still hurting.
And that sucks.
I read recently that a broken heart is a lot like having broken ribs. To the world they don’t see anything but to the person with the broken heart, it hurts every time you breathe.
That’s pretty accurate. I got through the first year. Now I’m in the second. I’m looking at toddlers wondering what Tucker would look like. I see a blonde boy trying to walk around and wonder if Fletcher would be all over the place by now. I hear kids calling in their kid voices to their mom and dads and wonder if those parents have any idea how blessed and lucky they are to have a precious baby calling her Mommy?
The panic attacks had settled down lately and I smugly thought, another hurdle I’m past. Nope. Wrong again. Now the panic attacks really come out of nowhere and make no sense. Driving home last night after a great weekend, I thought of our frozen embryos, only a few miles down the road, where they’ve been for over a year now and I’ve never given much thought to them. I mean, why would I? But last night, I was desperate to get them, our frozies. Why would someone be desperate to get to a building housing frozen embryos? Because to this woman, it’s the closest thing I have to my babies.
Am I crazy?
Maybe. I don’t know that I’m the best judge of character right now for normal vs abnormal. Last week I was sitting in a gym watching a basketball game and I saw the cutest little baby asleep on her mom’s lap. I wanted to go and take the baby. I wanted to know what it felt like to hold a baby that was mine, and love it and rock it to sleep and change it and feed it. I wanted to hold that baby and never let it go. I don’t think that makes me crazy. Had I acted on it, probably would point more towards absolutely nuts and I’d be figuring out how to write this in a straight jacket.
I have frozen embryos waiting. And I feel like the worst kind of mom because I’m absolutely, unequivocally terrified for them to come anywhere near me right now. I loved being pregnant. And it was an awful pregnancy, I was sick the entire time. My body was all sorts of screwed up from IVF that had gone bad but I was pregnant. I didn’t care how many times I threw up. I didn’t care how swollen my ovaries were. I was carrying our baby boys and I loved it. I want to be pregnant more than anything. I want to hold our babies inside me. I want to protect them and grow them and feel them and love them every step of their lives.
But I am terrified. What if my body fails again? What if what happened before happens again? Which is worse? Going through that again or not trying once more? How do you make the decision to step off that cliff?
When I went through IVF I read as many success stories as I could find. I read what they did, what they ate, studied the schedules and rituals of woman who had gone before me and found success. So I ate pineapple, I ate Chinese food, I saw an acupuncturist weekly, I had weekly massages. I prayed more than I’ve prayed before that if this was God’s will for us that He would prepare my body and my heart for what we were facing.
Now we’re facing more decisions. More options.
I’ve been looking into adoption. I hear about people I know adopting babies. Just getting a call one day and a mom wanting them to adopt her baby. How does that happen? Do I have to take out a billboard telling everyone that here is a mother who wants nothing more than to love a baby and raise it in a loving, chaotic, home filled with laughter and music and fun and love? Is there a wait list for that phone call?
I’ve looked into surrogacy. It’s expensive. Like so ridiculously expensive if you go through a surrogacy agency. Why wouldn’t it be? You are paying a stranger to carry the most valuable thing in the world! I’ve been reading stories of mothers carrying their son or daughter’s baby for them. Don’t think the thought didn’t cross my mind. Don’t think I didn’t do a mental scroll through my contacts of who might be a good match. Can you imagine that text? “Hey, got something I want to chat about. Happy hour soon?” Do you hold open interviews to see who would be willing, who would be the best fit to carry the thing you want more than anything else?
I want a baby. I want a lot of babies. I want a big family and I want to be called Momma. I want a baby to cry for me. I want to walk into a room and have a blonde haired, or black haired, or bald baby, crawl, run, cry for me. His Mama. I want a little girl to fall asleep on me, her Mom. I want to think about the future knowing that I have all I need. Not with a constant ache and desire for something that grows every single day, this longing that doesn’t not just go away but continues to get bigger and bigger.
I did myself an injustice thinking that I had done something big. Getting through the first year without my boys served me well if only to prove that life does go on and I was stronger than I sometimes wanted to be. And I made it through. I know what it feels like to lie awake in bed, night after night, not able to sleep because of the questions of how, when, why, and wonderings about the in’s and outs of me becoming a mom again. I would give everything I have to know what it feels like to not be able to sleep because I’m sitting in a rocking chair, watching my child sleep, crying tears of thankfulness for finally having the one thing I have wanted more than anything else in my life.
To have a baby, that is ours, mine and Jason’s, that I can hold. That I can kiss, that I can love, close enough to touch. To have part of my heart walking around, that I can hold, instead of carrying only in my heart and dreams.
Where’s that happy ending? What’s a gal gotta due to become a mom again?