I opened my Newsfeed on Facebook this afternoon and I was inundated with pregnant friends, newborn babies, and people on the pages I like asking for advice regarding their upcoming labor (not pregnancy pages). I smiled wryly. What else could I do. Needless to say I do need to temporarily disconnect Facebook.
For those that are unaware, four weeks ago tomorrow my blood tested negative for pregnancy. I was alright at the time. I was heading off on a weekend cruise and I trusted and believed that this was what was meant to be and I needed to accept that. I had moments of tears, naturally. As time goes on though, I think the reality of it and the practicality of it continues to challenge me. And I am struggling.
I can’t find the words.
More accurately, I can’t say the words, out loud, “I am not pregnant. I am not going to be a mum.”
Even writing them brings tears to the surface. I have no family at Christmas. I have no birthday celebrations where my children wake me. I won’t be a soccer coach to my own child. I won’t attend Parent-Teacher conferences. I won’t argue about brushing teeth, brushing hair, doing homework, getting up, going to bed … no arguments with an obstinate child … and I hate that. Really hate that.
It isn’t fair. I would be a good mum. Lord knows I am not good at relationships, and I struggle through so many of my friendships, but I would have been a good mum. I am just sitting here, listening to Dr Phil lecture a drunken mother about the need for her to step up and put her kids first.
Pregnancy, motherhood, baby stuff, newborns … in my face every day. My failure in my face every day.
It doesn’t matter how many people tell me that I haven’t failed, I have. As a woman I should be able to be a mother; it is my job as a woman to carry a child. And I haven’t. I have failed at the one thing I desperately wanted to succeed at.
I know I have ‘mothered’ many other children but the reality of that statement reminds me that for so long I believed I wasn’t worth anything; wasn’t worth making my life a priority. I lived to serve others because I didn’t believe I was valuable, didn’t believe I was enough.
I realised too late that I was worth something.
Dr Phil (again) always says that children who grow up in trauma and dysfunction will always be damaged by it; they will struggle to believe that they are worth anything. I know it wasn’t my parents fault that they were so messed up but man, I still don’t trust. And I know I need help with that. It doesn’t matter how together I am as an adult, how strong, how happy, how resilient, because the child within is broken. And I have never felt that I was enough; no-one has ever fought for me, defended me, protected me, loved me. When I have pushed away, I have been allowed to.
It’s really quite sad. An adult who is very broken, and most people would never know or believe it.
I think it is the transition I struggle most with. I have a backup plan but I need to work towards it. I want to own a healing business (ironically at the moment) and I want to write. I have a future; a happy and connected one where I see me as whole and less broken. Fostering is a strong possibility. Donor eggs a possibility. But for now, I need to grieve and there is no formula for that, and as a dear friend of mine would say, no time limit or easy way.
It is what it is.
But I don’t have to like it.
PS. Please don’t think I am a sad sack. I am just grieving. And the tears only really started on Saturday thanks to Jodi Picoult’s Leaving Time. An amazing book about elephants, mothers, daughters, and grief. It gave me permission to feel and live in my grief for a whole 400 pages. And then I was inspired to start writing again (bad writing but writing nonetheless) and from there inspiration for a new novel emerged.