When Dreams Die
Life isn't supposed to be easy, this I know. But when life throws us a curve ball we deal with it as best we can right? This year I've dealt with some health problems and came out on the other side. Though I will say what I admittedly refused to deal with in the immediate, was the death of my dream.
My dream of having a child.
For me this was my dream as long as I can remember. I've watched my friends have children and commented about how it would be amazing if we could have children be friends and raise them together. To date this wasn't part of my journey but it didn't stop me from wanting and dreaming. I've had friends comment that I couldn't "understand" because I don't have children. Though I'd give anything to have them. Those comments broke my heart because I'd give anything to be part of the understanding group.
Please understand, I have been so thankful for the friends and family who allow me to be part of their children's lives. But this doesn't fulfill the deep hurt in my soul to finally come to terms that my body won't allow me to have a child myself.
Yes, I know I can adopt and I'm thankful for that option. I've heard amazing stories of adoption and have always considered it. But as a woman who's dealt with infertility her whole life, and to finally know without a shadow of a doubt, that my physical journey to motherhood is over is heartbreaking. It's the kind of brokenness that includes me crying while food shopping and watching a new mother with her baby, or reading a post on social media about a pregnancy or praying that my friends baby is healthy even though I wish it was me. I never want to take these miracles and joy away from the parents who prayed for and are grateful for the blessing of a child, but it doesn't mean that I don't grieve for what will never be.
I've struggled with the comments from friends, family and doctors when we're discussing my recent life change and I say "I can't have children."
Let me say this. That is a fact. My body will no longer bear children. This is a deeply emotional experience. I've heard the comments about adopting or finding a mate with children to be a step parent, but please understand that I'm grieving the fact that my body will no longer do what it was made to do. This is part of my journey, but so is grieving.
The surgeon told me after the surgery, "just because the outside is healed, doesn't mean the inside is." He meant physically but he was so right. Yes it's a much physically slower process than I thought, but mentally and emotionally I've learned to not put a time frame on it. Some days are extremely good. Some are awful. Some I just get by. This is my reality for now. And I'm learning to embrace it.
One thing I've learned through this process is that love comes in many forms. It comes in text messages, emails, phone calls, snail mail, books, and encouragement. It comes in shared experiences that bind us together.
I don't know what my journey will entail next. Whether I'll meet a man who will love me unconditionally and accept this part of me or whether I'll always be only a Nanny, Haha or friend to the children I love so much. But I pray that on my journey I find someone to love me just as much as I love others, because even though my dream of a biological child may have died, it doesn't mean I don't have dreams for this exceptional life I've been given.
I imagine that many other women who've ever had to go through this process have experienced some, or part of these emotions. Please remember all your friend, family member or loved one needs is love and compassion during this healing process.