The things I’m losing

13 Jan

At my last job, most of my closest friends were a bit younger than me.  They were anywhere from six to ten years younger than me.  Three of them got married in the past eight months and I’ve attended two of those weddings.  One of those weddings was last night.  It was a beautiful wedding.  The bride was so happy she looked like she was about to burst from pure joy.  It was one of those weddings you are happy to attend because you just know that this is the happiest day of her life and she is so excited to be surrounded by her family and friends.

It was my first time being back in a Catholic church in a while.  I think since we lost our baby, I’ve only been to church once or twice.  My faith in Catholicism is slowly slipping away and I’m considering a change in religions.  Being back at Mass yesterday, though, I found myself falling right back into the ritual.  Despite my hesitance to participate in the Mass, my lips started forming the responses and I kneeled, stood and sat automatically.  The Communion hymn was one of my favorites.  It was You Are Mine for any Catholics in the audience.  It makes me tear up without fail every time. “I am hope for all who are hopeless.  I am eyes for all who long to see.  In the shadows of the night, I will be your light.   Come and rest in Me.”  It made me miss my church.  It made me miss my faith.  It made me long for the days that I believed God would answer my prayers.

The bride included the presentation of flowers to Mary in her wedding.  I did the same thing at mine.  I remember praying so hard for a happy marriage and children (but not too soon on the children part, God, I want to enjoy being married for a bit, please).  I should have been more specific by what I meant by “not too soon” because God is messing with the timing there.   The cantor sang the Ave Maria and it was amazing and as the bride was walking back to her seat, her face was entirely her mother’s.  She had this expression on her face that reminded me so much of her mother.  It’s like when I catch a glance of myself in the mirror and see my mom looking back at me.  It usually catches me off guard because it amazes me how much I can look like someone else.  While watching my friend walk back to her seat, looking so very much like her mom, it hit me.  I will never look at my daughter’s face and see mine.  This is part of the reason why we chose open adoption.  I want my daughter or my son to have the opportunity to look into someone else’s face and see their own.  I just forgot that I won’t ever have that same opportunity.  I realize that genetics don’t make a family and that once that baby is in my arms and in my home, it won’t matter. All the same, it’s just another thing I’m losing by not being able to have my own biological children.

Watching the wedding reminded me of my own wedding.  I was so innocent then.  I was years away from the diagnosis of infertility.  I was years away from the loss of a baby I fought so hard to conceive.  I was years away from the extremely difficult decisions I would have to make during that loss.  I was happy and positive and looking forward to the future.  I was optimistic about what was in store for me.  I miss that person I was.  I miss my genuine smile.  I miss my light-heartedness.  Most of all, I miss not feeling so angry all the time.

It’s just that I’ve lost so much that some days I can’t even imagine what it would feel like to gain something.

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8 Responses to “The things I’m losing”

  1. Brooke January 13, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

    I know this is really hard, and my friends who have adopted have definitely had to mourn the loss of this particular expectation–that your little one will have your eyes or her dad’s nose or whatever. It’s no small thing to let go of the version of our lives that we trusted would be ours the day we got married.

    One of my friends has a picture in her apartment of her with her mom on a porch swing. They are sitting with their legs crossed the same way, they are each holding a cup of tea with the same mannerisms, their heads are both tilted ever-so-slightly to the side, and their smiles look just alike. Clearly mother and daughter. But my friend is adopted. In fact, she’s Korean and her parents are white. And still, she is her mother’s daughter, through and through.

    I know it’s not the same, and I’m not trying to diminish your sense of loss because I understand how significant it is, but I just want you to know that on your son or daughter’s wedding day, his or her face will be a reflection of you and your husband. No matter what.

    • Anna January 14, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

      I know. I try to remind myself that there are plenty of things that I do like my mom that have nothing to do with what I look like. I know that it will not matter at all once we have that baby but right now, these are the things running through my head. Just more stuff to work through.

  2. Erin W January 14, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    The classic nature/nurture debate. Don’t disregard the nurture side of it. Your kid will learn his or her values from you, but will also pick up your verbal tics, physical mannerisms, and your psychological and emotional mechanisms for arguing, stressing, coping, handling conflict. (That’s the bit that would really terrify me about having a kid!)

    Also, people being how they are, my guess is that if your future kid is even close to your same race, people are going to say he/she looks like you anyway without knowing. Like when you walk around carrying a friend’s baby and somebody says “she’s got your chin!”

    • Anna January 14, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

      Very true! People always see what they want to see when they see kids with their parents. They can imagine that anyone looks alike! I’ve seen it even with biological kids that look nothing like their parents and people are still like oh he has your nose!

  3. Rhonda January 14, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

    *hugs*

    • Anna January 14, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

      Thanks!

  4. Sadie February 1, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    New reader here. This is such a beautiful and heartbreaking post. The last paragraph and sentence really resonated with me; I often wonder what that innocent, enthusiastic girl I was would look today if she hadn’t since faced years of IF and loss.

    • Anna February 5, 2013 at 6:07 pm #

      I know. I wish I could be that happy and carefree again. Although at the time, I doubt I realized how carefree I was.

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