Thursday, May 28, 2015

Aha moment

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.


  1. Thank you for posting the snippet from that blog post and for your thoughts. I, for one, really needed to hear this and to know that there were people who felt this way besides me.

    You should not feel ashamed that you went as far as you were willing to go. I really wish some people would understand this too. You are in no way 'less than'. I think you are a very brave, very strong person. Ignore the naysayers. They rarely know what they are talking about.

    I recently spoke with someone who had undergone quite a number of ivf treatments and ended up with her happy ending. When I mentioned that I didn't know if I really wanted to put myself through another full cycle, I was told that I shouldn't give up and that I should persist and keep going because I've come so far already. I admit, that did get my back up a little bit because I felt that was my choice to make. I kind of felt as though this person was saying I didn't want it bad enough if I quit now.

    1. So true about the naysayers! If there's anything that I've learned, it's that the only right answer is the answer that's right for a woman and her partner.

      I don't looking at choosing to stop treatment as quitting. Simply put, it just means that you're choosing a different path. I think that the "don't ever give up" motto that often surrounds ART is dangerous. Whatever you and your husband choose, I know it will be the right decision for the two of you.

  2. I had my own AHA moment about a year ago,

    1. Savannah, that was a beautiful post. I too struggle with forgiving myself....your words are so meaningful to me where I am right now. Hugs!

  3. Ooooooooooooo this is so good. I really needed to hear this post today. I'm just now starting to dip my toes in the water of owning my own truth, even when it looks nothing like what I thought it would or what other people expect. Thanks so much for sharing this today, it made me a little bit less alone in all this.

    1. Hi Becky! I'm so glad you found my post meaningful. I think you should also check out Justine's blog because she articulates these things so much better than I do. You are definitely not alone though. :)

      I'm hoping that once we own our truths, that confidence will come along too.

  4. Justine's post certainly marks a truth that we all - at some stage - come to understand. I wrote about acceptance some years ago - I think that's why so many people still "in the trenches" can't understand how we can ever be happy. But they don't realise that acceptance doesn't mean we never wanted it, or that we rejoice we never got it. It simply means that we accept that it is what it is (to use a much over-used phrase), and decide to be happy.

    1. Mali, so many of your posts are ones that I have bookmarked! :) Your post about acceptance is spot on. I won't go as far as to say that I'm happy, but I'm seeing glimpses of happy. I'm happy more days than I'm not.

      And you're right, it is what it is. It was never meant to be. But I can be happy.

  5. "If I'm your worst nightmare, that's your problem, not mine." Oh, BnB, how I love this!! :) The whole post, really, but that one sentence in particular. Thank you for that! :)

    1. Thanks, Loribeth! The comment took me by surprise. It wasn't meant to be hurtful, just a comment said in passing, but holy crap it hurt. But it's not my problem and if they want to see that one little part of my life and not all of the other awesomeness.

  6. Thank you so much for this incredible post and featuring Ever Upward. I am thankful and humbled by how much time you must have spent going back and reading the blog; I have already started to organize it all into another book to publish one day. I would love to send you a copy of Ever Upward, please email me at Thank you again for your encouragement and the support! Much love, Justine

    1. I'm glad that you stopped by! I'm not finished reading all of the old posts yet because you give me a ton of food for thought. My goal is to read your entire blog and then I'll read your book. :)

      I'll definitely shoot you an email to say hi!