Sunday, May 25, 2008

Campfire Reflections

There's something about a campfire that inspires soul sharing.  Maybe it's just the absence of other distractions or the alcohol often imbibed around said campfire.  DH and I are camping this weekend.  We spent last night sitting around a campfire talking about the past few years. We talked about how I'm feeling, how DH is feeling, our hopes for the future. We talked more than we have in a long time.  I think we've spent so much time lately just getting through procedures and appointments and making medical decisions that we haven't taken any time to reflect.  

I'm feeling better than I was last week.  I think I'm doing well considering the situation.  I don't think doing well means I'm never sad or angry or (gasp) bitter.  I think it means that I can feel all of these things and not get stuck in those feelings.  I can feel those emotions and let them move on.  I do find myself able to look forward for the first time in a long time.  I've even caught myself thinking that by next summer DH and I will likely, probably, maybe have a child. It's hard to even write it because I start feeling superstitious, like it's possible to jinx it. I've also learned in the past 3 years that life often doesn't work out just the way you plan it, so I'm reluctant to presume anything will ever work out.  Even so, it looks like there's a possibility that we will be parents by next summer. So I've decided that if we can't take adoption classes until this fall, I'm going to try to make the most of this summer.  I plan to visit friends in other states, read lots of books, and do projects around the house. I always hear people advise pregnant women that they should enjoy the months before they give birth because that will be their last selfish or alone time for a while.  I think I'm going to treat myself the same way. After all, I keep telling myself, I am an expectant mom in some ways.  

By the fire, DH actually shared how he's been feeling, which is unusual.  He is the type of guy who tries to focus on the positive so he tends to avoid talking about what bugs him.  He said that at first, when it was clear that IVF wasn't going to work for us, he felt cheated.  He wasn't sure he would ever have a child, due to horrible motorcycle accident several years ago. He had massive pelvic injuries, including to his testicles, and doctors told him he might never father children.  Then when his semen analysis came back normal and our first RE was so positive about our chances, he started to feel hope for a biological child again.  When we tried so hard and nothing worked, he felt like it was worse than just knowing from the start that it wasn't possible. Our whole TTC journey was a big tease.

DH is a po.lice off.icer in a drug-ridden city and has the misfortune of working with many adults who neglect their children.  He has to face the unfairness all the time. Here we've been struggling to have a child who would be the center of our lives and some of his "clients" take their children so for granted. Their children should be a priority for them, but they're visibly NOT. He shared with me how angry and upset he gets when he's dealing with people who find money to buy W.ii and plasma TVs, but there's not a single toy in their apartments for their kids.   He sees mothers and father fighting about having no money for diapers when there's two new cartons of cigarettes on the kitchen counter. Last night, he told me that every once is a while he lets another offi.cer take over a call because he gets too angry to be impartial.  It's one of the reasons he wants so badly to adopt from the foster care system.  He sees neglected and abused kids all the time and he wants to give them another life. 

Talking about all of this helps us move forward, I think.  And it does feel like we're moving forward, ever so slowly.  I'm expecting ups and downs-that's why it's called a roller coaster after all.  I'm starting to have the sense that this ride will actually end with us being parents.  Last week,  DH and I were in our spare bedroom, putting some things away, and he looked at me and said, "Hey, this is the baby's room."  And you know what? It finally feels like it is.  

Thank you for all the kind responses to my last post.  I can't tell you how much all your support means to me. 


Lost in Space said...

Karen, I'm so glad you are feeling better this week. You are amazingly strong and although I know you will still have bad days, your outlook for moving forward is inspiring to me.

I love your analogy on being an expectant mom. You most definitely are. (:

What a powerful conversation between you and your DH. I think they spend so much time taking care of us that they forget about themselves. I go to FF, my blog, and my therapist to sort it all out, but my DH holds alot in. I'm glad yours was able to share so much. It sounds very healing.

Polly Gamwich said...

rsWhat a great conversation and time to really share how things are going.

I love your idea of preparing for a baby - get selfish! and enjoy these last few months.

It's amazing what a ride this journey takes us on.

Hugs to you.

Barb said...

Awesome post, and it sounds like you're doing well. Kudos to DH, and hugs for you.