Sunday, July 23, 2017

Acceptance and Avoidance

With all of the progress I'm making in my recovery from infertility, I'm still avoiding babies. And toddlers. And my friends and family that are parents to babies and toddlers. And pregnancies. And newborns. It's just too awkward for me. And sad still. Maybe it won't hurt as much with the passing of time.

I'm curious how I'll feel in my 40s. As I grow into the idea that I will not be parenting in this lifetime. As I grow older and know that the children I would've had would also be growing older. As people ask me less and less when I'm having children.  As it becomes less expected by society that I will even have children.

In ten years, will being around 14 year olds bother me? Maybe, maybe not. Will babies and toddlers still tug at my yearning? I don't know.

If I had to guess, I think a part of me will always be a little sad for what's been lost, all the memories and moments and opportunities. I really do like all ages of the human lifespan. And I was looking forward to all of the parts of parenting: the good, the bad, and the expensive.

But as I've met and talked to a couple of women older than me without children, I know that feelings can change with each passing decade. What used to seem impossible to me (living life without children), now holds some exciting possibilities. That doesn't mean I don't miss my children; it just means that I'm making the best of my situation.

But I don't have to explain that to you... :)

So where I am right now, toward the end of July 2017, is simultaneously a place of acceptance and a place of avoidance. I don't know if that makes sense but it doesn't have to make sense, because it's infertility and nothing makes sense. I am currently a little worker bee, doing my best to get through this school program. I don't have much time to be social (although I take at least a night or two off a week to go out to dinner or hang out with my husband), and I'm just not making plans with anyone who has little ones right now...

I accept my reality, but I still avoid any reminders of what I'm missing.
And I accept that that is where I am right now.


  1. I love this: "That doesn't mean I don't miss my children; it just means that I'm making the best of my situation." We have a running list of positives and negatives, and we keep adding positives as we think of them. The negatives have been apparent and we find more of those, too, but it's almost fun to discover new benefits of living a life without the children we'd wanted so badly. I think it's perfectly reasonable to find acceptance yet still protect your heart from the hurt of seeing up close what you're missing. That makes total sense to me. Healing is funny -- there's no right way to do it, just what works for you. Acceptance is such a good thing, and it's wonderful that you have friends older than you without children to give you a peek into what may lie ahead. I find it invaluable to talk to people who are ahead of me in this process, to know that things get better. Thinking of you!

    1. Thank you Jess. Sometimes I get embarrassed by my feelings but this post just practically typed itself out so I posted it before thinking twice about it. Thank you for validating me that "it's perfectly reasonable to find acceptance yet still protect your heart from the hurt of seeing up close what you're missing." <3

  2. It is definitely easier, particularly in your mid-40s and beyond, when people stop asking about whether you have children. As you say, you also grow into your new life - the one without children. So as, theoretically, the children we might have had age in our heads, I find it very different from that intense emotions of imagining them as babies. Because we haven't grown into our new lives with them growing up. I know theoretically that the baby from my first ectopic would be about to turn fifteen, but as I didn't KNOW them at five, or nine, or thirteen, it is now a theoretical thought, and not really painful. I have a friend and a niece who were both pregnant when I lost my second to ectopics, and their boys are the same age. I actually find it quite lovely to be around them, even though it was hard/impossible to see them as babies.

    1. Thank you Mali. I always appreciate your perspective, especially with this comment. What you wrote is very helpful. <3

  3. I agree with Mali; it does get easier with time & age. Which doesn't mean I don't have "ouch!" moments here & there, but I find I am able to appreciate other people's babies & kids these days in a way that I couldn't 15 or even 10 years ago. Acceptance & avoidance can absolutely co-exist!