It's hard to let go of a lifelong dream, especially one that is so biologically and culturally ingrained. A dream that is so primal. A dream that others cannot let go of for you either. A dream where there feels like there is no room for the alternative in society. Not have kids? What?
I remember being a little girl and my mother telling me that people who don't have kids are weird. I doubt she even remembers saying this, but I remember it stung even though I was only 8 or 9 years old. I immediately thought, but what about all the people who can't have children? Or whose children have passed away? I was born an old soul and my little elementary school heart ached for the people who would be hurt by my mother's thoughtless comment.
But here I am, alive and kicking, without my children. I still think about them every day. Even though they never existed in the physical form on this planet.
I've noticed recently that one of the hardest things for me is pictures of mothers looking into the eyes of their babies. I can't stand to see the newborn pics, with the mom gazing lovingly at their new baby in their arms. I am happy for others, but those pictures cause me a lot of pain.
My school offers 12 free counseling sessions a year to students. I decided I needed a little bit more support. My husband is awesome, the few friends I confide in about infertility are awesome, the blogging community is awesome, but I think I need another place to speak freely. So I went in yesterday for my first appointment. Thankfully, I liked her. She was compassionate and didn't say anything stupid or insensitive.
I am proud of myself for how far I've come. A year ago today I was still living in my children's house. Since then, I've moved, sold the house, and started graduate school. I am happy and content more days than I am sad and questioning. But I still have work to do. And that's okay too.
Letting go of a lifelong dream is hard. 💜