December 27, 2017

Done, and Yet, Not Done

It's hard to believe it's been 2.5 years since I last posted.

A lot has changed.

We survived all the medical crises/illnesses/calamities of 2015. Thankfully, everyone has been pretty darn healthy since then.

Z's immune system seems to have caught up and he is now a healthy, active 3.5-year-old who hasn't had a respiratory illness in almost a year.

A's heart is doing well, and she's an active kindergartener! (Not quite sure how that happened so fast!) And now we usually only see the pediatrician for annual well exams and maybe a sick visit here or there, but nothing like the 42 appointments A had during her first two years of life.

There have been job changes for both R and myself, and a new house in a neighborhood that I love, on a street with neighbors that make me pinch myself thinking "How did we luck out on this?" There are a bunch of kids on our street who are our kids' ages, and they all play together outside.

On Christmas morning, we woke up to a text that one of our neighbors had sent at 2 a.m. telling us to have the kids go outside to look at the ground in our front yard. It turns out he had painted reindeer hoofprints on the walkway leading up to our front porch! The kids were beside themselves with excitement!

What made me come post here today were a couple of interesting conversations I had yesterday and today. We are so thankful for our two kiddos. I still look at them and think "Wow, they're really here! And they're ours!" on a regular basis.

And now I'm 43 and have some health issues that aren't conducive to another pregnancy and we have some circumstances (more on that in a moment) that defintely aren't conducive to another pregnancy. And yet. Yet. When a friend asked me last night if I was "done done", I still can't say "no" with conviction.

Realistically, I am done. We have two children. I need to focus on them and my health and some other changes ahead in our lives. Yet after all this time, after all we went through to get them, given where we are now in having them and being so thankful for that, it is still hard to completely close that door.

I know a lot of you can understand and relate to that, which is probably why I felt like writing a post today for the first time in a long time.

Today, I had to have another D&C, this time for what appears to be a polyp that is causing mid-cycle bleeding. It's not horrible bleeding, but my gyn is careful given my health history. Which is why he's my gyn. I need someone who can toe that delicate, sometimes difficult-to-identify line between careful and me going into a crazy panic over something I don't need to be in a crazy panic about.

The other doctor in the practice wound up doing the procedure because my doctor is out with an illness. So she asked me "Are you absolutely done having kids? Because if you are, I'll go deeper in cleaning out the lining and really get all of it out. But sometimes that can cause scarring, so if you think there's ever a chance that you'll want to get pregnant again, I won't go that deep."

We're done. Done.

And yet, I still couldn't bring myself to tell her to go ahead and go deep.

I'm not entirely sure why. Maybe I just hate closing doors on possibilities. Maybe it's because we worked so hard for so long to even have the possibility. Maybe it's just that I've never had to close the door on such a big life decision before.

Maybe it's just one of the lasting side effects of infertility, this unwillingness to let go. Or maybe it's just because I so much loved being pregnant and physically felt great while pregnant and loved breastfeeding the kiddos and love that yummy infant baby stage.

In the end, I guess it doesn't really matter, because we're done having babies.

For all of those reasons, and also because R and I are done. (Our being done has nothing to do with having had babies, or the struggles we went through to have them, or the losses we endured.)

I haven't talked about it publicly. Even though there are only 2 people I know of IRL who know my identity as the author of this blog, I won't go into great detail here for the sake of privacy. I am very sad about it. I wish it didn't have to be.

But after 20 years of our marriage being what it was (or, more the problem - it not being what it wasn't), I broke. In more ways than one. And then I tried for 2 years. Weekly marriage counseling. Individual counseling for me. Individual counseling for him. 18 months of being separated.

It turns out that as much as I can focus and push and pursue something I want (hello, 10 years of infertility), I can't actually change another person. Nor is it my job to.

It is my job to accept what is. (Learning to do that is still a work in progress for me.) And to decide whether I can live with what is or not. And in this case, the answer is not. Being in a desperately unhappy marriage, that sadly is in a much worse place after 2 years of a LOT of therapy, is damaging my physical, emotional and mental health.

And worst of all, it's damaging our children. Again I won't go into details, but last month A initiated a conversation with me that broke my heart. She is 5 years old, and she summed up the problem in our marriage in 6 words!

She sees it.

And it's not because I've spoken badly of R to her or her brother. R and I don't speak badly about each other to the kids. We just don't, period. It is not an option. We're polite and civil to each other and cooperative and we still do a lot of family things together, including spending Christmas Eve under the same roof so we're both there when they wake up in the morning.

But still, she sees it. And what she said to me about her expectations for her own future marriage, what will be required of her and what won't be required of her partner, was devastating.

I can't teach her to settle for that, to accept that. And I can't teach her brother that it's what he should expect in his future marriage or relationships either. If I teach them those things, I am setting them up for failure.

I'm working on accepting that I shouldn't settle for it either. But it's hard guys, it's really really hard. And sad.

I never envisioned my kids having divorced parents.

It certainly wasn't how I expected our story to go.

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