Definition: The state of being a mother. Reference: Merriam-Webster.
Recently, my mother has mentioned several times that a family member keeps bringing up the subject of grandchildren. She made the following statement this week. “You will never have any grandchildren of your own.” So, by this statement you would deduce that I am not a Mother.??
Can you help me to understand this statement? I really am at a loss.
It appears lately she has been fixated on the fact that most of my female cousins do not have children. She cannot get past it and keeps bringing up the subject to my mother. Given that my sister got married a year ago, now the competition is on again. I mean who keeps tally of such a personal thing as this?
Only two of the 7 cousins have given birth. One cousin passed away before marriage. One had several miscarriages in her early 30’s and has not tried again. One had a full hysterectomy at 27. One does not want children.
I have one full sibling. She married last year and has not had any children yet. I have 6 step-nieces and nephews, making my mother their Nanny. She is also Nanny to our son C.
Ummm….I did not fill out a survey when my son was born indicating how many days I would like him to be with us on earth… I did in fact conceive him and gave birth to him. Yes, I remember all to well the drive to the hospital in labor, as well as the following 10 hours leading up to his birth by emergency C-section.
So, her rationalization is that my son’s death erased his existence and therefore, my Motherhood?
I have been tossing this information around for a few days and weeks now. I can say that I am completely angry. I am in shock. How could someone in my own family be that hurtful? How could someone be that.. what is the word…uneducated. Umm, perhaps not the correct term but you know where I am going…
All I could stammer out to my Mother was the following:
Perhaps, you could inform her that I have already won the competition, 3+ years ago. I have a child. I am the one that held him as he took his dying breath. A life, I might add that I would have given my own for. A life that I begged God to spare.
Well these past weeks have brought upon us the visits from the far off. We are both from very large families. DH has an even large family than I.
We recently had a 50th anniversary celebration in the family, which brought cousins from near and far. Throughout my life, I have never been able to get past that feeling of inadequacy. It was hammered home once again by some of the cousins. Being talked down to, ignored. Just because I have chosen to go to college and work here at home instead of going to one of the degree programs I was accepted to in my teens and twenties (teaching after high school and 3 years later Computer Science majoring in Software Engineering) does not make me any less intelligent, than those who did and have moved to the city to work. I did not want to live in the city. Why spend $100,000 for an education that would have taken me near and far, if in the end, it was not what I truly wanted. Yes, we do struggle at times to make ends meet but in most ways is worth the sacrifice to be in a quiet area surrounded by nature and small town setting. In recent years, I have swung the other way. I have been cutting this from our lives. I do not allow these people, family or not, to intervene and allow their narrow-minded CRAP to change our daily life. We are worth far more than their ignorance.
That being said. I have touched before on the issues with the in-laws. My MIL after the birth of our son etc. My BIL has been having issues with the family for some time. But chooses not to vocalize most things to his parents. They live a couple of hours from here and this was their first visit home in 10 months. My SIL commented several times on the weekend about how stressful it was to come here. How stressful my BIL was and how angry he became the moment they got in the vehicle to come here. I listened to her make this statement several times over the course of the day…. Finally, I could be quiet no longer.. I responded…”It does not do the 4 of us any good if he is not open and honest with his feelings. If he has issues then he should be telling them. At the end of the day it doesn’t help us all any if I am the only one saying something.” No response to that.. Sometime later she continued with the how stressful it was to visit. At this point I was beyond my point of no return. I responded, “In case you forgot your drive down here, it is a VERY short distance from here to their house. You do not think we do not know how stressful it is.. WE LIVE HERE.” What is with this? They swoop in for 36 to 48 hours every 10 months and expect me to hold their hand and eat the constant complaining about the stress. They expect us to offer sympathy for their pain. Sorry fresh out of that!
I am not trying to belittle their feelings on the subject. Nor do I wish for them to bow down to us. But at the end of the day it is really too much to ask for them to not recognize that we do indeed live in the hot spot and deal with it on a daily basis. We do not live hours away and have the availability to ignore the phone, emails and texts.
I apologize for the negative. I do not wish to portray that I do not care as I really truly do. Since the death of our son, our dynamic and our personal interaction has changed with ourselves and with those around us. Not everyone can understand this and continues to think we should be the same people. Three plus years later they expect us to be those other people. Nothing has changed this year. On the anniversary of our son’s death, the clock did not suddenly rewind, and we did not suddenly become those people from 3+ years ago. We have different priorities. The world around us has a different effect on is than it once did. But one thing that does not change is our need for each other. I used to be a person of supreme sympathy and would never answer back. I would just take it all and bear the brunt of the reality so that whomever it was in the family or a friend would not have to. So they would not be worried about the subject.. I still offer sympathy and support but I do not own the situation for them anymore.
My grandmother was not feeling well earlier this year and had to undergo some tests. She told me the partial outcome. On one had it is comforting that she trusts me enough with the truth. But what an ultimate slap in the face. I have to life with stress of the knowledge.. She told me not to tell my cousins, because she did not want them to have to worry. Who I might add are all adults and married with children. So I get to worry about it….. But they get spared.. Trust sometimes is a hard pill..
I can no longer do this. I cannot own their crap. There is no place for it in my life and more importantly in our lives. I offer assistance and support where I can but I can no longer allow it to consume me. I can no longer allow it to become a stress for me so that this other person can live without distraction or an unkind event.
Unfortunately, tragic life events, can change many things. It is the reality of it. It also allows us the clear vision to what is most important in our lives. I love my family very much, my cousins, my parents, our siblings. But ultimately the single most important thing and person in my life is my marriage and the person that I share it with. Love you very much DH.
Wishing you all a wonderful long weekend. I hope that you all have a wonderful time and can find joy in even the smallest of things.
Wow! I have been nominated for a Liebster Award by blogger My Perfect Breakdown. This is a stressful week for me and this brought a smile to my face and a bit a sunshine. Thank you so much. I am speechless! Well maybe not… see below. Hahahaa.
The Liebster Award is awarded to a blogger by other bloggers. To me that makes it all the more special. This blogger has taken the time to be a part of my life essentially and in turn allowed me to a part of theirs. Thank you so very much My Perfect Breakdown for sharing your blog and your story with all of us. You truly are inspirational!
The rules are as follows:
1. Link back to the blogger who gave you the award.
2. Answer the questions designated by the blogger who nominated you.
3. List 11 random facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 3-5 other bloggers with less than 200 followers.
5. Make up a set of questions for the nominated bloggers to answer.
So here it goes.. Here are my questions to answer.
- What Country are you from? The great white north. Canada
- What is the most prized possession you own?I have video of the first time I heard my son’s heartbeat.
- Why did you start blogging? A need to connect with others. Needing to share my story and our life in hopes to find peace and understanding about our journey.
- What is your favorite food? Tossup between pizza and alfredo.. Oh, did I mention chocolate??
- Biggest inspiration? This is a hard one. I guess you could say I try to find inspiration around me. There is a family that lives a few miles from us. They have fertility problems. They went through IVF and gave birth to a daughter. She was a preemie and is legally blind. They went on to fight the odds and gave birth to two more children without fertility treatments. They have a beautiful home and a loving family. They have been through it all. It is stories like this that inspire me to be more, to do more. To not take No for an answer. You just never know. I know a woman a few years older than I. She has Crohn’s Disease and not able to have children. She was married once. He did not treat her well. They divorced. She went on to meet her husband. He is 8 years younger than she. They are very good together. They have bought a home and put themselves on the adoption list. Waiting, hoping for a family. They just recently adopted a boy 11 years old. Their family is complete and such an inspiration.
- Most recent place you traveled to for enjoyment? Coastal Maine. Love the serenity, the views, the peace. Nothing beats an afternoon stroll along the Shore Path in Bar Harbor while licking a cone of ice cream. Or a day spent driving Coastal Route 1.
- Favorite song at the moment? “Toothbrush” by Wax. The lyrics are crazy and make me laugh!
- Biggest accomplishment? My marriage, my family. It is my life. I married the love of my life, we built a home that is filled with love and out of that gave birth to the most beautiful son.
- Biggest fear? Only being able to tell my husband he is going to be a father once in our lifetime.
- Something that makes you smile? Warning TMI… My husband always manages to play “grabass” when I walk by no matter what I do to fend it off. Hahaha
- Cats or dogs? 2 cats. A 16-year-old, black in color, named Ebony. His mother was my childhood cat and he is from her last litter. We left home together when he was 6 weeks old. Hahaa. Five years ago, Christmas Eve morning. A white and orange marmalade stray came crying at my door at 3:00 AM. Thankfully my husband was sleeping. I stood in the window looking at him crying for an hour and decided to feed him…………Hahaha.. The next morning my husband noticed him on the deck. He said if he was still here after Christmas Eve Service I could feed him. *Wink* “Ok” I said. My husband dubbed him “Homer the Homeless Kitty”. Homer is now a 16 lb neutered tom and sheds everywhere and my husband loves every minute of it! Hahahaa
11 Random Facts about myself:
1. I have 5 tattoos. My first and second. Butterflies on my right hip and left foot. My 3rd is a ladybug on my left wrist, 4th my son’s hand print over my heart and my last, an outline of a bunny and a red heart representing the two loves of my life on my right instep.
2. My hair is still its natural color. Nothing from a bottle here. My Grandmother always called it shit brindle brown. Hahaha
3. I once was engaged to someone I met on the internet. Almost moved to another country.
4. Opals are my favorite gemstone. I wore them on my wedding day.
5. I love historical romance novels. Anything in Scotland. Tall, brawny men! (hahaha my husband is tall, green-eyed and blonde)
6. I can water ski and kneeboard. I grew up on them at our family cottage.
7. I have climbed Mount Kathadin 6 times. Hamlen, Baxter, Pamola, Abol, Saddle, Knife Edge, Helen Taylor, Chimney Pond to name a few things I have seen.
8. When in Toronto a few years ago I saw the exhibit on the Terracotta Army. WOW is all I can say!!!!!!
9. I am addicted to Jason Statham movies.
10. Favorite movie is “The Princess Bride”
11. My pregnancy was laced with special days. My cycle began on my favorite Aunt’s Birthday. Which is also in the month of our anniversary and my Birthday. Based on my cycles I predict I conceived on my birthday. I was due on the date I last saw and spoke to my Grandfather. He passed away the following morning. My first trimester ended on my husband’s Grandfather’s birthday.
I am nominating the following blogs. When I began blogging a few months ago, it was with the interest and intent of connecting with others. Learning and sharing from their blogging. Each of these blogs have given me wisdom, reflection and a connection with those that write them. Thank you all for sharing!
Questions for the nominee’s to answer:
1. Why did you start to blog?
2. What country are you from?
3. What is your favorite travel destination?
4. What is your favorite quote or song?
5. Cheddar or Colby Jack? Yes it matters! Hahaha
7. What is the most spontanoues thing you have ever done?
8. Favorite Movie?
9. Most prised posession?
10. Who do you admire most?
11. What was the last movie you saw?
Ok. I began my blogging in journey in January. For sometime I had been searching for, needing more out of my connections with other families in our situation. I was not getting those connections from the sites that I belonged to. Just in the short time I have been blogging I have found more help, support, information, friendship etc than one could have imagined. Thank you all so much.
But in saying that I still feel timid and at times feel that my inner most thoughts could potentially scare someone! Hahaha.. Yes, I know the ordinary person reading this who has not experienced the loss of a child would not be able to in most ways relate.
Today I am going to bare all. I will give a run down of my weekend.
April brings with it many good and wonderful things in our home along with a number of sorrowful things.
My grandfather was born April 7th
My husband’s Grandparents were married April 15th
My husband’s uncle (one that he holds most dear) was hurt in an accident 4 years ago last week and came home from the hospital on the 10th of April that year.
My husband’s Grandfather passed away on April 20
Our Son’s birthday is April 27th
Having said all that you kind of know what we are facing this month. Last Thursday evening, my husband’s aunt (sister to my MIL) was admitted to the hospital and is currently in ICU. In the morning, yesterday we were told that she is critical and at this moment are awaiting results of tests that were performed this afternoon. Friday evening I worked until 7 pm, I then went to the hospital to sit with our cousins. I got home at 9:30 that evening to get my husband his supper, and say goodnight as he was working this weekend and had to be up at 3:40 Saturday morning. I spent the rest of the evening working on making wedding invitations for my sister.
Saturday morning, I had an appointment in town for 9 am. I came home to wait for phone calls in regards to our Aunt. I did some laundry, got my husband his lunch. I was on the computer searching for a number of items when my Mother called and had a meltdown on the phone, giving me more stress about this wedding. I am not the bride. I am the sister. Just trying to help and I might add… I am the sister who has enough stress without having more dumped at my door. Words were exchanged in regards to that with my mother….. We received word at 1 pm Aunt was being taken into OR for a procedure. I headed to the hospital to sit with family until 9 pm that evening. During this time one of the cousins (mother to the boy born right after C) is talking about the birthday party and what she will do and it is an all day thing etc etc.. I just smile. I cannot answer. How do you convey that is nice and not look like an ass or FREAK out at this point as you cannot handle it? Later on I fell asleep on couch and woke up at 3:20 AM just before husband was going to get ready for work.
Sunday AM. Parents came to our place to eat lunch. Got phone call from Cousin at 1:15 pm things were critical and waiting for word to have her moved to another hospital 3 hours away. I went to hospital at 2:30 to sit with family. Was at hospital until 7. In the end they did not send her, she was scheduled for a test this AM at another hospital 1 hour away. It was also our Cousin’s anniversary. So I rushed home, picked up supper on the way. We got ready and went to visit cousins for cake. This cousin is the Grandmother to the baby that was born 8 days after our son. So given that over the course of the weekend there have been conversations of 2nd birthday parties, what to do and what the Easter Bunny is bringing. ETC. At times I am sure I look indifferent but that is what I must do to maintain not breaking down… Last evening she sits beside me on the couch with her tablet.. It has hundreds of pictures and videos of him on it.. She proceeds to begin to show me all of this. I cannot handle it. I am getting stressed. I smile, say that is nice, nod and keep thinking in my head I NEED OUT OF HERE NOW! I turn to my husband. “We should be going as I need to finish those invitations..” I wait a couple more minutes. Now I am desperate.. “We really should go, now. I need to get those done tonight.” I am thinking everything anything to get me out of here. Whew… He takes the bait. We are putting on our coats and heading home. THANK GOODNESS!
When I got home I spent two more hours finishing wedding invitations and finally it is 12:10 Monday morning and time for bed.
Also, while at the hospital I ran into a friend from work whose husband is dying of cancer. It is nearing the end. It has been a long road. We talked several times in the hall this weekend. Saturday she was telling me about a friend of her’s who is 41 and going this week for IVF. We chatted about that some and I told her to tell her good luck from one infertile to another. It will be a hard scary road but nothing she cannot handle as she is one of us and already been through LOTS!
Who knows if I was able to maintain the air of caring and sharing. Not that it is intentional but each and every cute video I see of this child rips my heart out. I should have a few of those of my own to show and brag about.. I should be doing any and all of this. I want and need so very much for their family to enjoy EACH AND EVERY second of him because they really do not know just how very lucky they are to have any of these times. She was saying how tired she was yesterday as he got up at 6:30 in the morning. Awesome! I would give my life to be able to get up at 3:30 and play blocks with my son, to watch TV or cuddle with him until he falls back to sleep.
Our life is not very exciting. At times mostly random. I will be honest MANY times this weekend I wanted to scream WAKE UP and at times BE QUIET. I know not very nice of me. But as I said earlier in this post. I will be completely honest. That is exactly how I felt! Last night while looking at those pictures I so very much-needed and wanted to say……………….”Do you have any idea whatsoever how very hard it is for me to just sit here and look at 1 or 2 pictures let alone a complete album. My son is buried 100 feet from this house. I am not taking him home with me tonight. I am not planning what cake I will order for his 2nd birthday. He isn’t here eating cake with your grandchild. I most likely will not be to the party. I cannot sit there and smile and eat cake and pretend to be happy. I am not. I am sad, I am pissed off, I am angry, I am in pain.”
Hahahahaha probably would be better to keep that to myself right!
Monday has come and gone.
Ok so not as to depress many of you. These thoughts were not meant to be of a depressing nature. I woke up on Saturday morning and was getting ready to go to the gym to meet a friend. On my drive there I began to think about life and family. It suddenly occurred to me that I am indeed , most likely, working on the later part my life. Ok, I know, let me explain. I am leaning toward the 40. So if you multiply that by two. You see where I am going with this. Unfortunately there are things in life that define who and what we are. Not all of these things are in our control. Some 21 months ago we had one of those defining events in our life.
I am not quite ready and not sure how to write it all down. But my past, my present and my future all changed with one such event. The birth of our son C.