When we adopted Muppet my whole world changed. Not only did I become a mother, but all the feelings of anguish and pain caused by infertility suddenly went away. Well not totally away, I don’t think anyone who has gone through infertility doesn’t have at least a few scars, but overall she managed to cover all that hurt up. I no longer saw pregnant women on the street and felt a burning hate. I didn’t see a newborn and want to collapse into tears of longing. She became my world and the blinders she put up made me feel more normal than I had in a long time.
Eventually the blinders came off though. Not to say I’ve totally regressed, the sight of babies no longer pains me. All I see is their squishy little bodies and tiny features that fill me with memories of when my baby was that small and scrunchy. I love babies, I always have. There is something about being around a newborn that breathes life into me and now I am back to enjoying their presence in my world.
But pregnancy is a whole other story. It’s not the same as it was before. There is no hatred when I see round bellies or an announcement online. But there is a huge sense of sadness on my part. In my head this all makes sense. I don’t have a problem with babies because I had a baby. I got to experience the newborn snuggles and smell her delicious head. I got to cuddle her all day long and watch her grow with each passing day. So I don’t feel jealous of that anymore. Maybe a hope that I will get to do it again, but not jealousy.
I didn’t get the pregnancy. This is the one thing I still struggle with. I am SO grateful that I get to be Muppet’s Mama. J and I constantly ask ourselves how we got so lucky. She is everything we could have ever wanted in a child and more. She is without a doubt my child, regardless of the fact that I didn’t create her. But I still have issues with the fact that the first 9 months of her existence was spent with another. I didn’t feel her move in me or get to see any ultrasound pictures. That guts me.
Lately I’ve been having pregnancy dreams again. I haven’t had them in almost 2 years. But this week I’ve had two of them. Both of the dreams involved me being far enough along that I could feel the baby moving inside of me. I don’t know what it is about that simple thing that I crave so much, but I do believe that many take it for granted. In my mind it is so incredibly magical and I hate that I most likely will never get to experience that. Those dreams are so joyful in the moment, knowing that I have a healthy thriving baby within me. As happy as they are at the time though, I wish they’d stop. Because they feel like a kick to the stomach every time I wake and they are not real.
It might be weighing more on my mind now that Muppet is getting older too. I know many people who go through infertility and adoption decide that the one child (or pregnancy) is enough. They don’t try for anymore and raise an only child. I applaud those people. Truly. I think it takes amazing strength to make such a confident decision about your family. But I’ve never been able to reach the same conclusion. J and I both have many siblings so the thought of an only child is completely foreign to us. I honestly don’t know if I even know anybody who is an only child oddly enough. So for us it has never really been in our minds to not have a sibling for Muppet. We know we won’t do more than 2 adoptions. The cost alone makes that difficult. Add on the emotional baggage and I just know I don’t have it in me for more than 2. We want our children to be as close in age as possible, which is tricky with adoption as you don’t have a lot of control over the matter.
Most adoption agencies want you to wait till your first child is 1 before starting the process again. This is to encourage bonding and also to make sure that the adoption process ‘settles’ before starting another. Muppet turned one last month, yet I haven’t been able to convince myself to get going. I don’t know what is holding me back. Part of me is fearful that it will take over our lives and that Muppet won’t be getting what she needs from me. On the other hand I can’t fathom a situation where she wasn’t my number one priority. The mind works in a funny way.
The pregnancy dreams and jealousy don’t help. It only screws my mind up further and makes me hesitate more. I wish I was one of those women who seemed so confident after adoption. Every other adoptive mother I know seems to have it SO together when it comes to this stuff. I don’t hear any of them talk in a way that even hints that they are struggling in the same way that I am. It makes me wonder what is wrong with me. It also makes me feel ungrateful. I know how lucky I am. If I had to go through everything I went through before Muppet was born I would. Because it led me to her.
This whole thing leaves me in such an awkward spot. I’ve given myself a deadline, enjoy the rest of the year and the holidays with my amazing baby girl, the start getting our adoption stuff together and ready in January. I’m hoping that by doing this I can sort out the pregnancy issues / jealousy that is rolling around in my head. For any other adoptive moms out there – How did you completely grieve the loss of possible pregnancies? Are my feelings normal or is this something that you had already resolved by the time of your first adoption?