Trauma sucks. Vocabulary doesn’t. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines trauma as –
a : an injury (as a wound) to living tissue caused by an extrinsic agent
b : a disordered psychic or behavioral state resulting from severe mental or emotional stress or physical injury
c : an emotional upset
I would add:
Psychiatrists agree with me, so don’t judge…I am not being over-dramatic. The professionals say that learning you are infertile is traumatic and that a couple must mourn the loss…They say it is as stressful as a cancer or HIV diagnosis. It is stressful.
I need to mourn. We are mourning. Everything that took me five minutes to do now takes me 10 minutes…or 20 minutes. We both say we are in a fog.
It sucks that our bodies aren’t working the way they were meant to.
It sucks that frustrated moms complain to me how annoying their toddlers are. YOU. OH. FRUSTRATED. MOM. HAVE. A. CHILD. Sigh. Be grateful. I know it can be hard to love a little person that tests your patience, but dang it, you have a little person. Each day you have is a gift. You were able to create one part you and one part your lover. When your patience gets tested, swoop your child up and give her a kiss. Many of us long for those days.
Books say I need to mourn. I am mourning. We are mourning.
And even though we are mourning the fact that our bodies don’t work the way they were designed to, we are so grateful that we are in this together. We are always in this together.
When doctors saw our diagnosis, they were quick to recommend the most agressive infertility treatments to both of us. It felt like a Lifetime movie, except less cheesy and more painful. This is not my life. Seriously, this is not my life. They’d ask, “What’s your plan?” We didn’t like their plan, so we set out on making our own. Adoption. Just as aggressive as they were in their medical treatments, we were aggressive in our research.
Instead of surgeries and injections, we received paperwork and bought books. We read about all of the things couples wanting to adopt should read about. The Connected Child. RAD. Cleft Lip. Children with Special Needs.
Did you know when you fill out an application to adopt, they ask you to check off a list of the special needs you are willing to accept in an adoptive child?
It’s emotional. It’s an education. And, I know this is a journey that the Lord has designed for us.
And tonight, we both looked at each other and said, “I’m sad our bodies don’t work like they should. I’m sad there are babies in this world that some consider cursed.” Just as we have no control over our bodies and our infertility, a baby has no control over the fact that she has special needs.
On Friday, I was talking with a friend about the things I have expressed in this post. Even though adoption was always part of plan A for us, I am grieving the loss of childbirth. Of nursing. Of being able to feel a kick for the first time. Of not being able to sleep though the night because I am as big as a whale. Of midnight cravings.
My friend reminded me that feeling this sense of loss is important.
Because my child will likely feel a similar sense of loss. Of abandonment. Of looking at B and me and seeing two people who love her, but don’t resemble her. Of wondering. Wondering what the birthmother looked like, what her life was like, how she is, if she thinks of them. The experts say she’ll wonder. I can understand the wondering. I’m sad for her loss.
We both recognize that we need to heal and pray. The past three months have been more gut wrenching than a roller coaster. So we are taking steps to mourn and to heal.
And that’s what sucks about trauma. The world goes on. And you feel like you are headed in reverse.
For Thanksgiving, we are headed to Huntington Beach for a trip just for the two of us. Nothing says healing like In-N-Out Burgers and the ocean. Yeah, and you better believe we are going to Disneyland on Thanksgiving. We need a trip to the happiest place on earth. We need a break.
We are deeply grateful, and even joyful. But, we mourn. And, we are giving ourselves time to mourn.
Even though the adoption process will take years (yes, that is plural), we are giving ourselves a couple of months to heal.
We are fairly confident of the adoption agency we are going to go with, but, we have no idea which country we will adopt from. So, we are taking a break from the research to focus on self-care, prayer, and healing. We’ve set a date to begin the MONTHS of paperwork. Not today. Not this month. Many people say the adoption experience is quite difficult. Before throwing ourselves into such difficult and long process, we are going to take time to focus on self-care.
I don’t feel like M. I’m a little less feisty, organized, sharp, and funny. He doesn’t feel like B. We are in a fog. So, we are giving ourselves time to heal. There is a season to heal. And dang it, there will be a season to dance. B and I will dance.
In all of this, we have been on the same page. That is something worthy of praising God for.
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.