It’s almost five months since the twins came home. Time has passed quickly, but we’ve also come a long way, as have the kids. I do miss some things about my former, but some things I definitely don’t miss. Gone is the sense of hopelessness, of want, of exclusion from the club of happy families, of a strangely empty future.
And yet. There is one thing more that I wanted that I didn’t get – pregnancy. I accepted – or thought I did – that what I wanted was to raise children and that pregnancy was not the only route to that goal. I thought that once we had children it wouldn’t matter that I had never been pregnant. After all, pregnancy was only a means to an end. I thought.
But I was wrong. I think I also wanted pregnancy as an end in itself. I also wanted to belong to the club of had-morning-sickness-been-through-labor-and-survived women.
Of course, I wanted to have children even more than I wanted to be pregnant, so that’s why adoption worked for me – as opposed to, say, IVF. It no longer pinches so terribly now, when I see other pregnant women. I can be more sanguine, because I already have my kids, while they are still “expecting”.
Still, some things do pinch.
A friend who is expecting recently said – unthinkingly, perhaps – that pregnancy was so unpleasant, difficult, tiring, blah, blah, blah… “it would have been easier to just adopt.”
This is not the first time a friend has told me that adoption is the “easy way out”. One person I really liked a lot told me that right away, as soon as I told her we had adopted. I am still surprised – she never struck me as an insensitive or a mean person.
Perhaps adoption really is, for some people, the easy way out? It really wasn’t for me, for us, not following the infertility business as it did. It was a difficult decision in a difficult situation that had three difficult options (the other two being IVF and forever-childlessness). How can you envy a person who has been in that position, for having taken an “easy way out”? Or, alternatively (since this has also been done), how can you accuse them of it?
It’s probably an easy thing to say for those who are or have been successfully pregnant. It’s probably not an easy thing to swallow for anyone who has wanted to be but hasn’t been. I wonder what those people would say, who have done it both ways.
I had already come to the conclusion that pregnancy and parenting are separate things, one not necessarily required for nor necessarily leading to the other. I thought I’d be happy with just the parenting… and I am… It’s just that it is not a substitute for wanting to be, or rather, for wanting to have been pregnant.
At least I’ve got the girls, and I’m happy about that. But I’ve still not completely accepted or somehow got resigned to the fact that the other is not something that’s ever going to happen to me. And beyond the regret that that brings, there’s the guilt; as though I’m somehow undervaluing the girls by wishing they had been born to me.
Added to that is a sense of disgust. It seems pathetic to still mind about never having been pregnant, when I know very well that I am blessed – twice blessed, in fact – to have got two such adorable daughters.
Sigh. Whatever else this may be, I don’t think it is easy. And this is just the beginning.