I can’t say each day what I am going to feel or hear or inhale or gather in. I know that I am not a mother. My therapist told me to express thanks for blessings already on their way and I said why. WHY. We did this one year ago, two years ago, three years ago and…nothing. The agency called us a week and a half ago rushing us to scan a copy of our profile book for a mother relinquishing her child that day and then…nothing. Our counselor who has helped families with adoption profile books said ours is the most beautiful she’s ever seen, and..nothing. What am I grateful for? It’s definitely not these three years of hell. I don’t fall for the bullshit that some (with children) say “it’ll all be worth it in the end when you have a child”. I may never have a child, and even if I do, the years of physical and emotional and mental agony are never ‘worth it’. No one deserves to suffer though the pain of infertility, of losing a baby, of knowing that you spent most of your retirement savings on something that never came. I’m not grateful for losing 9 embryos to the black hole that is my womb. I’m not grateful for realizing in one day that I’d lost both my baby and my mother. I’m not grateful that after all that stress, my body, a year and a half later, has still not recovered enough from the back injury to allow me to go to a yoga class or a Zumba class or even walk a full hour without having to take a break to literally LIE DOWN because of the pain on my lower back and aching plantar fasciitis, neither which have responded to treatment. I’m not grateful that after all the stress my retina spontaneously detached and I’m not grateful that I have boxes of baby clothes and supplies and an unopened carseat in my garage in the faint hope that, even though 89 women have looked at our book and said “no” that maybe before the end of the year someone will say yes. I wanted my child to meet my sweet pup Ruby, and she has departed. I wanted my child to play with the kids of my neighbors, and they are now in elementary school. I wanted to feel strong and able to be a mother and now I wonder if these years have stolen that away from me. I am 44.
Work keeps me vital, powerful, distracted. Work makes me get up, walk fast, we-run-this-mutha in my ears as I see with pinpoint focus down my street towards the new world that I’m entering. My friend tells me she admires me and I laugh but I do know deep down that I have achieved things in my work that I never thought would be important to me. I speak with someone who puts himself down nervously as he struggles with confidence and I help him see how he can lift himself back up. I dive straight into the deep end when I work and immerse myself in getting them what they need and hopefully blowing away their expectations with something better than they ever knew could be possible. I get shit done. I run this motha. I read my mantras and I believe maybe indeed I am getting better. They ask me how they can help and I say I’m fine. And I get home and my body betrays me and by the end of the day I am lying in bed, my body bleeding for the second time in two weeks, telling me I am not in control.
I get up, I slay. I realize two hours later I have not eaten. I keep typing. I think of the world I’m in now where nothing is guaranteed, nothing is promised. I recall Monday’s conversation with the planner and helping her realize that more debt, even in the short term, is out of the question – we are on a full out journey towards financial freedom and it sits so, so close to us. We will fix what we need to fix where we land with our own bare hands, with partners in our community. We will raise our bees and let our ducks roam free and we will spend our free time near the mighty Columbia and walking along the solace of the Pacific Ocean. I remember my husband curling up next to me in the middle of the night, his body warm like a toaster as I like to say, and I am so proud of him. I am so proud of us for still being alive, for finding our way through so much muck and finding each other, fighting for each other in a way that I never got the first time around so many years ago with my first husband. I am so proud of us, so grateful for us. We clasp each others hands and we learn to let the light in from so many cracks that have broken around our lives. I think of the many lives I have led in this world and I think of Maya’s force and I know the journeys have led me to today. I do not change the wish that the agony had not occurred, and I know I won’t look out my front window at their house anymore, but I do know that I am more powerful than I ever could have imagined.