Adoptive mother: My tornado

I never really wanted to be pregnant. Even when I was trying to conceive, getting pregnant was only a means to an end – a family. My whole life, I always felt a bit sorry for pregnant women because being pregnant looks so terribly uncomfortable. I remember once as a little girl saying that if I ever were to have kids (which I wasn’t even sure I wanted until the age 36) I’d rather adopt them then go through a pregnancy. Of course, when faced with the reality of having to adopt after discovering I seemed to have infertility issues things suddenly looked a bit different. I realized what a gift it is to be able to reproduce.

After adopting my son, I still have no desire at all to be pregnant; however, that doesn’t mean that I don’t feel immense sadness and jealousy whenever I hear of other people getting pregnant and having babies – especially if they’ve had an easy time of it. This was particularly true in the four years that my husband and I were trying to have a family. But pain, like other forms of energy, changes over time. After our son came into our lives the pain of hearing about other people’s pregnancies got much less pronounced. The pain was more like a dull ache that would pop up on occasion.

These days I’ve discovered a new form of the pain which is triggered from news from mothers I’ve befriended through my son that are now pregnant again with their second children. Two is that magical age where many mothers consider having their second children. I knew that once our son hit that age I too might be faced with new feelings of pain so I wasn’t completely unprepared when I close friend hit me with his “exciting news” of his wife’s pregnancy. What surprised me wasn’t his news, but the enormous amount of feelings it brought up in me after I was home. I call it my tornado.

I cried. I was jealous. I was pissed that they had such ease at getting pregnant. Did it even take them three months? And she felt like it was taking so long to get pregnant! Talk to the hand! I thought of my miscarriage, the years of trying to conceive, the months of failed fertility treatments, and the years of waiting anxiously to adopt. I felt a smidgen of the pain and the endless anxiety all over again. Until I made myself take a step back from it all like I learned to do during meditation during those tough years. After stepping back I was able to just observe and to be a bystander to my own crazy thoughts.

Amidst the jealousy and pain swirling around I saw other things too. Good things. I saw how glad I am that my body hasn’t changed at all due to being pregnant. I saw how lucky we are to have our wonderful, healthy son. I saw how having just one child can allow us to put all our energy into him giving him the dedication that he deserves. I saw our son’s wonderful birthparents, and how lucky we are to have such an amazing bond between us that people having their own biological children can never experience. I saw it all in my tornado.

The craziest bit of all of this is that my husband and I have talked numerous times about our feelings about continuing to try for our own biological children or pursuing another adoption but we both mutually agreed that we are good with just one child and are taking action/or no action accordingly. As much as we’d love our son to have a sibling living with him, just one child is really fine by us.

But the mind is a funny thing and you can’t control thoughts you have and you shouldn’t try to control them because you would be fighting a losing battle. You can however control how you react to your thoughts. This time I chose to step back from my tornado instead of letting it suck me in. After a while the tornado passed as I knew it would. The damage from this one was almost nonexistent.

This entry was posted in Karen's columns. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.