August 26, 2007

Why?

I know I promised to blog about our next steps, and I will, soon. I promise. But right now I'm still sorting through some other thoughts in my head.

I have to admit, I'm struggling with the "Why?"s of the losses we've endured.

Of course, there's "Why me?" and "Why us?" But honestly, to me, those are the less significant of they "Why?"s. The reality is, it happens to some people, some couples. I understand that. I can even accept that the best answer to those questions may be "Why not me?" or "Why not us?" Because really, saying "Why me?" implies at least in some way that perhaps I am less deserving of this than others.

To me, the biggest question is also the smallest: Plain and simple, "Why?"

Forget that this is happening to R and me, or to other RPL bloggers, or others IRL who have suffered RPL. Why does it have to happen to any of us? And like most situations that cause people to ask, "Why do bad things happen to good people?", there is no good answer. And certainly no obvious answer.

I'm beginning to think that, at least in some ways, we already have the answer within ourselves. The answer to "Why?" is the answer we choose to create by how we respond in the face of our pain and suffering.

I don't feel like I'm explaining this very well, so if you're scratching your head and thinking "What on earth is she trying to say?", my guess is you're probably not alone. I'll try to explain by giving a couple of examples that have stuck with me recently.

While browsing CNN last week, I came across a guest blog by Miles Levin. He was an 18-year-old diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that is diagnosed in only 350 children in the entire U.S. each year. Sadly, at the time I came across his post, he had just passed away. His entire post was inspirational and thought-provoking, but one paragraph in particular stood out:

"Unlike many cancer patients, I don't have much anger. The way I see it, we're not entitled to one breath of air. We did nothing to earn it, so whatever we get is bonus. I might be more than a little disappointed with the hand I've been dealt, but this is what it is. Thinking about what it could be is pointless. It ought to be different, that's for sure, but it ain't. A moment spent moping is a moment wasted."

I often feel "entitled" to have children. I feel like it's unfair when I see a mom with her kids, and I don't have any to hug or take to school or bake cookies for. But when I read that paragraph, I realized that Miles is right. My whole life is a bonus, and I've been blessed to experience 15 more years (and hopefully many more to come) of this bonus than he ever got to. It helped shift my perspective back to more on what I do have and less on what I don't have.

The sentence "It ought to be different, that's for sure, but it ain't" also struck a chord. Life should have been different for him. It should be different for me, and for you, and probably for 99.9 percent of us in this world. But it isn't. I need to acknowledge that and keep moving forward, rather than allowing myself to get stuck dwelling on it.

Because, really, who knows how many moments any of us has left? I'd rather spend those moments cherishing what I do have than moping about what I don't have.

Another person I've been thinking a lot about is a woman with whom R and I went to high school. She was in R's class, and I was a year ahead of them. Neither of us knew her per se, but I knew of her. She was homecoming queen, and voted "most likely to make you die laughing" in the high school yearbook.

From what I read in her obituary last year, she kept that sunny, graceful outlook on life to the very end. She was 30 when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and she died less than a year later. She had been married for a few years but didn't have any children. I don't know if that was by choice, or if she and her husband just hadn't started trying yet, or if they also had problems with IF. But talk about life being unfair. I still get the opportunity to try for kids. She doesn't.

My life may be unfair, it may not be exactly what I want it to be. But at least I still have it. I'm living and breathing and in every single moment, I have the opportunity to make it the best life I can.

Losing these babies that have lived inside me (however briefly they may have stayed) is tragic, no doubt about it. But I'm also slowly beginning to understand how incredibly fortunate I am that my struggle comes in trying to create a new life, rather than fighting desperately to keep my own life from ending decades too early. And if that realization helps me to live life more fully, to take it less for granted and see more clearly all the good things I have to celebrate, then, at least in this moment, I can accept that as the answer to "Why?"

10 comments:

Cathy said...

Great post.

Cari said...

Thank you for such a beautiful, articulate post.
Cari

Nico said...

I think it is truly inspiring that you are able to shift your perspective to be thankful for all you do have. I just really hope that one of these days it IS different for you.

Kristen said...

Those are some inspiring words. Thank you for sharing that.

It is nice to be able to take a step back and realize the good in life after all the tragedy. You have a right to grieve the children you have lost, but you are right. It is not over for you.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Kami said...

What a beautiful post. I have been feeling sorry for myself lately - oh, I do that too often! - so it was good timing to be reminded to appreciate the moments we have. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Grad3 said...

I am so glad that you are finding your own way. You are right, RPL is a messy process.

JKH said...

Thank you for this post. I really needed to read this today. We aren't guaranteed tomorrow so we do need to be living our lives with such gratitude. Thank you, thank you, thank you for helping me to realize that my life really is blessed. Yes, I'm struggling with IF, but I'm blessed to have a family, to have my health, to have wonderful friends, etc...

Anna said...

Oh... you totally made me cry. Thankfully I have my own office with a door, because my nose goes all red when I cry.

What a beautiful, insightful post. There are so many people who never realize this, and frankly it's hard when you want something so badly (like children), and it keeps not happening. If you look at all the things others have that you don't, you'll never be happy.

We recently made a decision to try for a second child next summer. I'm apprehensive, because the first 5 times weren't a walk in the park, but at the end of the day, if our aal our efforts fail, we still have our health and a wonderful son. I realize that we are so very lucky/blessed.

I wish you all the very best in your quest for parenthood. I really hope that you and R succeed. People with the insight you've shown in this post SHOULD be parents. We can only hope that that is what will be. Fingers are crossed.

Road Blocks and Rollercoasters said...

What a beautiful post. I agree with nico in that it is inspiring that you're able to look beyond what you have experienced and be thankful for all that you do have. I struggle with that myself, as the "whys" are just overwhelming at times. I suppose that is part of the process that IF brings.

My thoughts and prayers are with you both!

Mrs. Piggy said...

I am pretty new to your blog. I swear you are taking the words right out of my mouth...
I always read the blogs backwards. I hate going back to the posts that hold hope because I know how it ends.
I am so sorry for your losses...looking forward to seeing what your game plan is (maybe ill copy it!) :)