Sunday, March 30, 2008

Enough

I use to ask "why me" - then I came to realize "why NOT me?" After this, I began to ask "when is it enough?"

If I could have had some way of measuring - of knowing the grieving, the trying, the losses were finite - I was sure I could endure it to its conclusion. Knowing what the requirements were I had to meet, a date - anything that meant I had met the definition of enough. Just being able to say - just one more step, one more tear, one more loss and you're done! I use to cry in my darkest hours "Is it enough yet? Is it enough?" Just when is it enough? I'm still trying to answer that question.

Once upon a time, I use to think that having a baby right away would make me feel all better. Whenever I had a miscarriage, I had this insatiable and overwhelming need to get pregnant again right away. All I could think about was attaining that next positive pregnancy test as soon as possible. One, I think to take advantage of my body being seemingly primed for at least getting pregnant (pragmatic) and two, because I still wanted very much what had motivated me to get pregnant in the first place (dramatic). I soon found that jumping right back on that horse again, didn't always provide the healing that I expected it would. My failure a bitter pill to swallow, the guilt that my inability was disappointing to not only myself, but other people, all consuming. Then, to succeed, to be faced with the living epitome of all my hopes and dreams - while incredible joy - was also a reality check to precisely what I had lost. Notwithstanding that each new pregnancy brought about the usual litany of fears and anxieties and risks yet again - turmoil I had to survive to get through the pregnancy. I would find myself grieving all over again - grieving for what I could now see in living color should have/could have been; even in my success I still mourned - not on the same level, but a degree of mourning nonetheless. I use to tell myself that my living children needed to outnumber my angel children - that when I attained that, I would quit for sure - whether through motivation or I actually believed this, I am uncertain. The number is unbalanced - but now I am able to live with that - one reason being not only have I realized that no one replaces another, I know this - deeply, personally, intimately. The other, more realistic reason - my body is crapping out on me. My heart perhaps not having made the determination yet it is enough, my body crying out "uncle!". Fact of the matter is, the end result will never be balanced - because I could never ever fully replace the one or the seven - no matter how many more living breathing babies I had, the number would never balance out the actual loss. While on one level I knew this - I sometimes wonder if the reason I pursued pregnancy so doggedly and repeatedly was because I was trying to fill the empty gaping hole that opens up in your heart when your dreams are thwarted. The problem with this being - each hole, each pregnancy that ended in disappointment and tears has its own little niche - a host of experiences and details all their own, brief perhaps, but no less individual - even if in just potential alone. The idea of one's heart being compartmentalized perhaps being too simplistic, and maybe even trite. The reality being, however - I could never choose one of my living children over the other - how could I do so with my angel babies? When right before me is proof of how unique each individual could be? Because one was here when one was not, didn't mean their place was any less assured and not held specifically for them - that they were wanted any less. Just because one path was not fully realized, doesn't mean that had that path continued further - it would have been any less splendid. In application though, sometimes I wonder if that was what I was trying to do - an unconscious subrogation through what I thought was simple determination to achieve my end goal of parenthood.

All things - good or bad - must come to an end someday and I find myself at an end, a new crossroads - not just saying it is enough, but finally, finally realizing - it is enough.

5 comments:

CLC said...

I don't know what to say here. It sounds like you have reflected on this a great deal. I do agree with you that one does not replace the other, but I guess we all just want to fill that void in our hearts, not realizing that it will always be there even if there are more children. Thinking of you.

loribeth said...

What a great post. I've always said that we all have our own personal lines in the sand & will know when we've crossed them. Sounds like you have found yours. I agree, that void will always be there -- a piece of our hearts will always be missing -- no matter how many other children we have or what else we do to try to fill it up. The best we can do is to realize it, learn to live with the hand we've been dealt & make the most of it.

Billy said...

A very beautiful post!
(here from the creme)

Lori said...

I completely understand wanting to have an idea of where the finish line is, so you can either muster the stamina to get there, or get out of the race. Without knowing, it's hard to decide.

Just Meim said...

"I sometimes wonder if the reason I pursued pregnancy so doggedly and repeatedly was because I was trying to fill the empty gaping hole that opens up in your heart when your dreams are thwarted."

This is EXACTLY how I feel and what I've tried to explain to so many others. Thank you for giving me words.