April 17, 2007

Missing Moments

It came in the middle of a show about football, of all things. (I shouldn't be that surprised. Sports=virility in American iconography.) A wife telling her husband about her unexpected pregnancy; a pregnancy after years of infertility, nonetheless. His disbelief melting into kisses and laughter and joy. A perfect little moment.

For the most part, I have come to terms with my sub-fertility. I'm not burdened by it the way I once was (like the long-ago day I chose the URL for this blog, for example). I remember lying next to T in bed one night, my heart breaking at the thought that we might never have a child with his gentle blue-gray eyes. Sad that we wouldn't know what the combination of our genes could produce. Angry that there wouldn't be a tangible piece of us living on in the world.

I don't think about those things much anymore. And when I do, they no longer carry the same emotional freight. I'm still frustrated with my body for various reasons, but not for denying me the experience of mothering. Because, in truth, it hasn't. I may not be Puppy's birth mother, but I am a mother. Lately I'm more apt to roll my eyes than cry my eyes out when I think about my fertility.

But as those big-picture losses have faded, they've been replaced by pricks of sadness about smaller losses. Silly, little moments which shouldn't mean anything: Watching a home pregnancy test turn positive. Sharing that first moment of joy with T. Announcing it to family and friends with a clever t-shirt for Puppy. Looking at a sonogram and being able to think, "This is my child." Just moments, unimportant in the long-term.

The moments are different in domestic adoption. Announcements must be made in hesitant steps: we are waiting on a potential match, there may be a placement, this child may join our family. Even on the day you can finally say, "Yes, we have a new family member," the happiness is qualified by the attendant loss for the first parents and child. There are very good reasons for it to be that way; I'm not bitter about that. But sometimes I wish there could be a moment of unadulterated joy somewhere along the way as our family grows.

I love how our family came to be. But tonight I'm sad for the little moments I'll never have.

3 comments:

mama2roo said...

I hear ya', girl. About the baby stuff AND the football show. Man, I love that show and I about bawled my eyes out watching it last week when they were so happy...
Em

Crina said...

"Even on the day you can finally say, "Yes, we have a new family member," the happiness is qualified by the attendant loss for the first parents and child. There are very good reasons for it to be that way; I'm not bitter about that. But sometimes I wish there could be a moment of unadulterated joy somewhere along the way as our family grows."

I've never heard said so perfectly. Thank you.

Heather said...

Thanks Em and Crina. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who feels those things.

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