Throughout my time in the blogosphere I've stumbled across some really meaningful posts, posts that put into words something that I was thinking or feeling or posts that said exactly what I needed to hear at that moment. The other day I found one of these posts. To back up a little bit, before Pamela's most recent post, Justine Brooks Froelker wasn't even on my radar. As it turns out she has a pretty amazing blog and has also written a book (which I am very much looking forward to reading).
I'll admit to a little bit of bias here. I'm not typically an eternal positivist, rainbows, unicorns, glitter, and all that shit sort of person. I've never really given things like meditation and prayer much thought because frankly they seem a bit hokey and I tend to lack the focus to engage in such practices. I don't tend to be drawn to things that are like this, and at least on the surface Justine's blog seems to be (well, maybe minus the rainbows, unicorns, and glitter part). But I decided to give her blog a chance, and I'm glad that I did.
When I come across a new blog I tend to start at the beginning. I usually start on the first post and read all the way to current posts. It's my way of getting to know the blogger. I was less than 50 posts into Justine's blog before I found a post that really resonated with me. The post was about owning her truth. She wrote:
What if people think that I did not want kids bad enough because I didn't do 5, 10 years of treatments? What if people think that I did not want kids bad enough because I'm willing to admit that adoption isn't right for me?
What if people think I didn't want to be a mom bad enough?
Maybe to some, I have chosen to not be a mother.
But I know my truth.
I fought really hard to be a mother. I paid lots of money to be a mother. I endured painful tests and procedures to be a mother. I put my body through synthetic hormonal hell to be a mother. I put my faith and trust into many doctors and other humans to be a mother.
Does accepting that the battle would never have my desired outcome mean that I chose to not be a mom? Does redefining my life and figuring out childfree mean I chose not to be a mom? Does accepting what is mean I chose not to be a mom?
Maybe to some, this is my choice to not have children. But, I know I tried to be a mom. And, though I respect your opinion, I will not be defined by it.
I am working every day to accept graciously that I will never be a mom in the traditional sense.
And I know, accepting my truth doesn't mean I didn't want it.
And I know, redefining everything doesn't mean I chose not to have kids.
I have chosen what I can. I have accepted what is.
I'm not going to lie, I read her words, then read them again, and then the tears came. Why did it hit me like this? Because it gave me permission to own my truths without shame. Because I've always feared that I would be perceived as less than because we didn't do IVF, we didn't do anything, we applied the brakes and did a complete 180 before it even got started. I've never been made to feel this way in this community but I have been in real life. We've been accused of not wanting it bad enough. We've been accused of giving up. We've been told that we're someone's worst nightmare (this one happened in the last week). All because we took the data that was available to us, mulled over it, and decided not to pursue treatment.
But what those people seem to not be able to understand is that we made the best possible decision for us. Pure and simple, we went as far as we were willing to go, and we're the ones who have to live with that decision.
We chose not to do IVF. It doesn't mean we gave up. It doesn't mean that we didn't want kids bad enough.
We know adoption isn't right for us. It doesn't mean that we're against adoption, it just means that it's not the right thing for us. This doesn't mean that we didn't want to be parents.
I chose to get an IUD. I chose my short and long term health and wellbeing over the reallyfuckingsmall chance that I would get pregnant naturally. It doesn't mean that I didn't want to be a mother. It doesn't mean that I didn't try really hard to be a mother. And it doesn't mean that I gave up. I chose me.
And if I'm your worst nightmare, that's your problem, not mine. I'm sorry you feel this way, and trust me, I'd love to not be anyone's nightmare, but it worked out that way for us. And it has nothing to do with not wanting it bad enough.
So those are my truths. Now I need to work on owning them. I don't need to justify any choices that we made to anyone. I have nothing to be ashamed of.