Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

Childless

58 Comments

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BFFs

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I love these dogs!

Sigh…

Prepare for whinging.  Yes, I’d love some cheese with this whine.  Thank you for asking.

I’m not sure I should even be writing this.  It’s…personal. Perhaps it would be better if I didn’t but writing is cathartic for me.

I have helped to raise children that were not mine who I loved(and still do).  Because of my divorce they don’t really want anything to do with me.  I tried for a while to stay in touch but it became increasingly clear that maintaining a relationship with me was more difficult and awkward than it was beneficial.  I have gracefully bowed out.   They know I love them.  They know I’m here.  There are consequences to decisions we make and we don’t get to choose them.

When I met The Brit a whole new world opened up for me.  I began to hope against hope for things that I had long ago given up on. I was getting a second chance.  For reasons beyond my control but which had nothing to do with an inability to conceive(to my knowledge) I hadn’t been afforded the opportunity to have children of my own. When TheBrit and I got married we decided to start trying to have a baby.

I knew going in that my age was going to be an issue for fertility. I told myself not to get my hopes up.  A year went by and nothing happened.  My doctor prescribed Clomid.  Each month that has gone by since has been a let down.  I’m now in my sixth and final round of treatment.  I’m disappointed.  I’m beyond disappointed.  I’m sad.

I’m not just sad.  I’m angry.  I’m pissed at my ex for not allowing me to have my own children.  I’m pissed at myself for not leaving him sooner.  I’m pissed at myself for having waited too late.  I know it’s irrational to be angry about this.  It’s not fair for me to be angry at my ex for not wanting children with me.  He had a right to his feelings on the matter.  But still.  I am. It’s stupid to be angry at myself for hanging in there and trying to make a thing work that was busted from the start.  But still.  I am.

The what ifs in life can drive a person mad, you know.  If only this.  What if that.

This is the part where the old me would have prayed.  Then prayed harder.  Then prayed some more.  This is the part where I would have begged for healing and forgiveness. This is the part where the old me would wonder and search my soul to find out what cherished sin I had that prevented God from answering my prayers.  This is the part where I would have driven myself crazy wondering what I’d done wrong.  This is the part where I’d assume that God just said, “no”.

I know, I know, I have so much to be thankful for.  The Brit and I have each other.  We have Dottie and Sarah.  And just think of all the things we can do, like travel and have our freedom if we don’t have a child.  I’ve just never heard anyone on their deathbed regret not taking one more trip or having a bigger house or a nicer car.

We could try IVF but  I don’t think I can handle the roller coaster ride that would be.  Not only that, TheBrit and I both started over with nothing.  It’s a side issue, really, but it isn’t cheap. Insurance doesn’t cover it for obvious reasons.  I’m not sure we could afford to pay for IVF and then a child as well.  And if it didn’t work the money we spent on the IVF would eliminate the possibility of adoption.

Adoption is an option.  I may get there.  It’s quite selfish, really, but I wanted the experience of becoming a mother.  I really wanted our children.  Selfishly I wanted children that wouldn’t just flip a switch and just like that I don’t exist.

This is just a rambling rant about something I have little control over.  It is what it is.  It will be what it will be.  I’ll probably get over it.  Maybe.   And who knows…it could still happen.

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58 thoughts on “Childless

  1. I hope, one way or another, that you get what you want; what you need.

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  2. My heart goes out to you, truly. I’m glad you were able to write out your feelings as well. It is definitely cathartic.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ((hugs)) Ruth. I personally know of two ladies that conceived and had healthy children after giving up on the idea. One was even in the process of adopting a little boy. By the time, she found out she was actually pregnant, the adoption was almost final, so in one year she got two children:)

    Anything is possible.

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    • I know a few women who this has happened to. I also know several who haven’t been so fortunate. Mother Nature does what she wills, I suppose. I also know two women who have had successful IVF procedures and another two women who it didn’t work for. One of which mortgaged her home to afford the treatments and then took out an additional mortgage to adopt when the IVF didn’t work. I’m really torn about that. I’m more inclined to let Mother Nature take her course. And if it doesn’t happen we may be looking into adoption.

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    • Anything is possible indeed:
      Far relatives of mine lived the same cincumstances, the other way round. After nine years trying in vain to have a child, they adopted a boy. Two years later, they thought that it was time to give him a companion. They had to cancel the second adoption, almost finished, when they surprised everybody with the unbelievable news that she was pregnant! Another curiosity: the beautiful baby girl knocked on the door on a 29th of February. Her birth certificate was arranged to show the day before, so she could celebrate her birthdays like anybody else…..

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      • Logically I know this. I’ve seen it happen a number of times. I’ve also seen it not happen. Both natural child birth and adoption are equally beautiful. I’m keeping my options open.

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  4. Ruth, I’m so sorry. Whine all you need – this is such an important thing for so many people.

    I loved the pictures of the besties by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Howie. I’m just usually so much more optimistic than this all sounds. In a day or two I’ll probably be feeling optimistic again.

      They are cuties, aren’t they?

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  5. I know two couples, each member of which are close friends of mine. Some 7-9 years ago, both couples adopted two daughters. The women, Liz and Susan, both very much feel that they are experiencing motherhood fully, and both feel that their daughters are their own children. Blood links are not always so powerful and necessary as we may think they are. Love is utterly disinterested in genes and biology. Just a little food for thought; we are all quite unique of course.

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    • Ah, my rational brain knows all this. My emotionally irrational side is rearing it’s ugly head. I agree that love is completely disinterested in genes and biology. Well, usually anyway. I have, unfortunately, learned the hard lesson that blood is thicker than water in some cases. Just the same, there are so many children out there in need of a loving home, of course.

      The thing is, I knew that given my age this would be sort of a long-shot anyway. I really don’t know why I’m getting so upset about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. ❤ You are entitled to every emotion you are experiencing my friend. Much love to you and The Brit.

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  7. I don’t think you’re whining. I feel you are doing math in the movement, publicly. Is there some angst in this algebra. Sure. Is it a calculus inconsolable? Often, I would imagine, that might approximate the bottom line. But summing up the present to take stock in the future is a necessary evil of adult due diligence. And without any preamble of apology required. You’re working the numbers of a mind numbing, heart wrenching equation, with all the past dues and in the arrears that living a life tallies. And the real sin is, that’s the only thing you can put down on the ledger with certainty; the past.

    But wait. There is your capacity to love. Which gracefully shines throughout this piece. And while love may not conquer all, it’s definitely a variable that has bottom-lined many a problem. Good luck with yours.

    And just a little more windy from the Windy City, where I’m about to hit the bricks with my 110 pound puppy…,you pet your pack for me.

    Regards

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    • You’re working the numbers of a mind numbing, heart wrenching equation, with all the past dues and in the arrears that living a life tallies. And the real sin is, that’s the only thing you can put down on the ledger with certainty; the past.

      That about sums it up, Doug. Good to hear from you with such a touching comment.

      I’m trying to pretend I’m still in my twenties with my entire future ahead of me. Reality sucks.

      What kind of puppy do you have?

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      • Hey, the moose boy puppy be a concoction of Lab and Malamute, hence his size. And it doesn’t help that Coda, his name, is recovering from a blown knee and restricted to 15 minutes of out and about and, only on lease twice a day. So these past six weeks added six pounds or so. But he’ll be good to go, deep into snow, come January.

        You stay well Ruth, and you have a fine looking canine crew of your own. And two to boot. So I guess sending Coda to hang with y’all, for like a half decade, say, is pretty much out of the question.

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  8. Oh, dear, I hope my reading post didn’t prompt this or cause undue stress? I wish you all the best in your pursuit of motherhood.

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    • No, not at all. I had actually written this Saturday. I wasn’t sure whether to even post it or just let it be my own personal catharsis. I’m not usually this emotional about it. I love to hear stories of others’ great adventures about child rearing. No undue stress. Just…vicarious living maybe.

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      • Well, keep practicing … that’s always fun!
        I worked with a Greek Cypriot many years ago, Harry; we became best friends and he has six daughters! Three of his own from his fist marriage two he inherited and one he made with his second wife.
        We used to joke about him not producing any boys and he would say, ”My boy, it takes a man to make a woman.”

        He also had another anecdote that he would regularly trot out, that being, to make a boy one had to keep at least one foot on the ground during sex but reckoned he could never manage it as it ”ruined the best part.”
        Smile.

        I don”t think this maxim applies to women, though! 😉

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  9. Hugs to you, Ruth.

    I read this first thing this morning and knew that your commenters would have supportive things to say to you. I’ve not been disappointed.

    This is my second attempt at a response to your heartfelt blog entry. You know I’ve been down that rabbit hole, as well, but for a very different reason. . . aren’t some us tantalized by that ‘what could have been’ phrase? I think it’s especially poignant to those of us who feel deeply and love completely, perhaps. I think that’s – to use a Martha phrase – ‘a good thing’. Passion, Ruth. You’ve got it goin’ on! Like Zoe said (another wise woman), “You’re entitled to your feelings”.

    I can’t imagine a more loving home for a child to go to than yours – who knows what might happen? Keep your mind and heart receptive, like you always do. 🙂

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    • Thanks, carmen! Hugs back atcha.

      Rationally I know that even if I don’t have children that’s not the end of the world. It happens all the time and people live through it. This too shall pass, I’m sure. Truth be told I feel a little ridiculous being so crazy about the whole thing. It seems like such a small thing in the big picture, you know. And I’m not crazy like this all the time. There a just a few days out of each month that I feel like this. The rest of the time I’m much more optimistic about it. But the letdown comes and I just feel so….

      I’ve consoled myself by telling myself that kids are a major pain in the ass. And what kid wants a old parent, anyway? Maybe I really am too old for this. But….just but.

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      • I HOPE you don’t think you’re the only one who thinks you’re crazy some of the time. . . join the gravy train – I’m on it quite often!!!

        You, OLD?? Compared to whom??

        Liked by 1 person

        • You mean you all think I’m crazy, too?!? 😀

          Well, over 40 is a little old to be trying to get preggers.

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          • ha, ha! You know EXACTLY what I meant!! No, I don’t think you’re too old to get pregnant, not by a long shot. You should come visit me so you can talk to my daughter, the Midwife. . . she’s got lots of stories. . . positive ones! 🙂

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  10. Thank you all for bearing with my little pity party here. And most of all for the kindness you’ve shown me.

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  11. Ruth, my heart goes out to you. 😦 *hug*

    I really hope you get what you want. Failing that, I hope you find contentment without.

    I’m glad you at least have some friends here you can share with. 🙂

    I’m not convinced that any of your supposedly “irrational” feelings really are. Or maybe they are, but they just resonate that strongly with me..

    the old me would wonder and search my soul to find out what cherished sin I had that prevented God from answering my prayers.

    Ooh, ow, *wince*; yes, I know that one well.

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    • Thanks, ratamacue0.

      I’m well aware that in life we don’t always get what we want. Sometimes we just have to suck it up and deal. Some days I find it easier to put my big girl panties on than others. The last few days were just difficult for some reason that I’m not even completely sure of.

      While I was a Christian I always held onto Psalms 37:4 in a tightly clinched fist. “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” When the desires of my heart weren’t forthcoming I assumed it was because a)I was doing something wrong or b)I had the wrong desires. But when we are told over and over that it is a woman’s glory to bear children I could hardly see how this desire would or could be wrong. It’s basic. Be fruitful and multiply.

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  12. Ruth, I’m so sorry — and no — it’s not a pity party. It’s perfectly natural to have those yearnings. My sister didn’t start having children until she was around 35, having her last one at 38. She was told her chances of having children were slim to none. My late husband’s aunt told me she couldn’t get pregnant for the longest but was surprised twice in her 40’s. My neighbor had her first child at 48. She ended up having 3 children, two in her early 50’s.

    According to data from the National Center for Health Statistics, birthrates of American women in their 40’s have hit their highest point since the late 60’s, but historically speaking,, it was not uncommon for women to have children well into their 40’s.

    I bet you’ll become pregnant when you least expect it.

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  13. Ruth, you are entitled to whatever feelings you have! The urge for motherhood is inborn (at least for most women), so you’re just experiencing what comes naturally.

    I understand you desire to become a mother, as opposed to adopting. But speaking as an adoptee, I hope you will seriously consider this option if other methods fail. There are still unwed mothers (and others) who must give up their babies — and these children need love just as much as those born into a family.

    In any event, I believe the Universe will work it all out for you.

    *Hugs* from me too (even if mine aren’t as fancy as Victoria’s). 😉

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    • Hugs, Nan. I’ll take plain ones or fancy ones. A good hug does a body good.

      I have the utmost admiration for those who choose to adopt. I don’t want to take anything away from those who do. As I mentioned in my post I have raised children who were not my own who I can’t imagine that I love any less than a child who I gave birth to. I adopted them emotionally even if legally adopting them wasn’t an option. It is a long and convoluted story. Just suffice it to say that I was reminded frequently that I wasn’t her mother. And not by her, either. We are no longer close. That is another wound altogether.

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      • Ruth, just remember that in your former situation, the child had a different mother. You may have loved her as your own, but to her, you were a substitute mother.

        As a mother of an adopted baby, YOU will be his/her mother from the very beginning. And if you do the job that I’m sure you will, by the time the child is an adult and (perhaps) chooses to search for his/her birth mother, it will be out of curiosity. Nothing more. It will not be because you were not the “real” mother. Trust me on this.

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  14. Sometimes it helps, I’ve learned, to unload to cyber friends. I’m not one to quit hoping until … well, until I have to quit. Here’s hoping things work out for what’s best for you and yours.

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  15. I will just say hugs Ruth.
    I hope all goes well for yeah.

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  16. Thanks for this post. It isn’t whining in the least. I’ll offer a prayer for the old you and that may be a little different than the ones you penned. I pray for your comfort when it hurts so deeply. Whether that comfort comes from above or from a community of compassionate people matters not. Real comfort, if God is real, comes from real people. Real comfort, if God is fictional, comes from real people. I pray that you and your husband are blessed with a biological child or moved to bring stability to a lost infant or child. I think your survival and thoughtful nature will give you much to give as a mother. Someone needs you just as you need someone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your kind words, pascal. I agree with you, that whether God exists or not, comfort comes from people. Real, ordinary, common people. Kind and compassionate whether God-given or evolved. It matters not. I have received much comfort from the people who follow and have commented here. As you can imagine, this isn’t something easily discussed – at least for me – in the real world. Talking about it out loud is difficult, if not impossible.

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  17. I’m not sure I have anything overly useful to say to you. It’s times like these where you really just want to give the author a hug instead of type. In reading the emotions you are experience I feel a kinship to you because I think we experience things in similar ways making me want to hug you all the more.

    My wife waffled on having children for a number of years. I got to 35 years old and started thinking that it probably wasn’t going to happen and started doing a lot of soul searching and wondered if I could be at peace with it. From probably around 18 years old I had this idea that having a child was a uniquely human experience and one that I should have. I also felt that I would be a good father, and love children and it was a dream of mine. But life takes you in many directions and I was very happy an in love, and I liked my life, and said to myself, you know I might be a little sad about it, but I can deal with it. There are a lot of freedoms that you have access too that you don’t with children. And to be honest I might regret not getting to see some of the natural wonders of the world that I long to see. Nevertheless I have tried to always adopt the attitude that I should just consider myself lucky in regards to the places that I have been and not worry about the places I haven’t. I am after all fortunate to have seen even a portion of this world beyond the borders of where I live. Anyway, my attitude towards having a family was both good and bad, because my wife and I hit an extremely troubled spot in our marriage and divorce seemed very likely. I was glad at that point that I didn’t have a child, and in some ways I was glad that I was at peace with the possibility of not having children because at 36, it seems that time it takes to find somebody else and their possible age would just mathematically reduce the possibility of having children.

    In the end we worked it out and we have a child, and well if you’ve read my latest blog you know how much it means to me. That being said, the best advice I can give you is to focus on the present and choose to dwell in the positive things. It’s really all one can do, even though we trick ourselves into believing the future is in our hands.

    My mother who was born in Canada and is white, now has remarried and lives in Pakistan. It has been a sore spot for me because she is so far away and doesn’t have a lot of money and has yet to meet my son. I have been angry with her for being there and not being a part of my life and my son’s life. I don’t understand how she wouldn’t want her old life back where we could have a good internet connection even if she wasn’t here visiting, and she would get to see him a lot more since a lot of my family still lives back in Canada and it is both cheaper and more likely for us to visit there than go to Pakistan. Every Christmas now her and her husband have a gigantic meal of meat and rice for the neighborhood kids. Most of them of them don’t even go to school, and most of their families cannot afford meat. This Christmas she had 67 kids over and they all were happy and smiling and you could see the love abound in the pictures.

    A very selfish part of me feels some pain and her not being able to bring joy to her grandson’s life. Part of me feels pain that other children are going to feel the full weight of her love and kindness over her grandson. Part of me just wants her to be here for Christmas and her grandson’s first birthday which is today. But she is a kind and generous person giving to those who have so little. So much less than my son has. And maybe it’s hard for her to be away from her grandson too and maybe this year it was some consolation to bring that joy to those children to help make up for her own sadness and not being with her grandson. And I apologizing for taking so long to get to the point, but maybe there will always be some sadness in you because you can’t have children. I know there would have been for me even if I was at peace with my life. But your love of children does not have stay inside. There are ways that you can make a difference to the lives of children even if they are not your own. You can use that sadness for good instead of letting it tear you apart. And I have every bit of confidence that you can do that, because everything that I have read from you shows you to be a thoughtful and good person.

    Happy New Year Ruth!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! What a thoughtful and insightful comment. Everything you said about the way you felt about it is what I feel.

      I’m really happy for you and your wife were able to work through your difficulties and now have a child. I did read your post. It was touching and, yes, I do see how much it means to you. Most of the time I do think about things that are lovely, things that are pure, things that are true, and I’m usually quite alright about the whole matter. There is peace in acceptance. That does not mean that it doesn’t hurt. I cannot dwell on this too much.

      Obviously your mother lives in a part of Pakistan where you cannot Skype frequently? I’m sure I’d feel much the same as you about that. Selfish or not. I think that’s part of the reason I didn’t start thinking about this until much later in life. Both of my parents are gone so there were no questions about when they would be getting a grandchild. There was a sense of loss at having a child without any maternal grandparents. Especially my mother. What a wonderful grandmother she would have been. She had such a love for children.

      You are right, though, that it probably leaves an empty space for your mother as well. It would be easy to say if that were so she would likely try to change it, but it sounds as if it might be a bit more complicated than that. So, yes, perhaps it is consolation for her to bring joy to the children where she is. It is admirable, honestly. I can tell from your writing you think so, too. But it doesn’t lessen the sting in your own life.

      Happy New Year to you as well, Swarn!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for your response. I guess I should also remember that some kids don’t have any grandparents so perhaps in some ways, my son is still lucky. I guess spending time with grandparents is such a strong memory for me and knowing them feels so important that I feel saddened by the fact that my son will get to know my mom very sparingly.

        But it is complicated and would take too long to write out all the details. My mom is a very charitable and noble person and I am proud of her. And yes, she doesn’t have a great internet connection where she is, and since she is 10 hours ahead we really only have time to be on Skype in the mornings, because my son’s bedtime is before she would get up in her morning, so there is just limited windows for us to be on Skype also. Right now my son just knows her as a heavily pixelated voice that comes in and out (because she also has a terrible microphone). She will be here on Jan. 26th for 3 weeks to meet him for the first time. I hope he warms up to her quickly, but right now he is not big on new people until they’ve been here for a week or two. 😦

        Anyway, I hope you knew that I didn’t mean to imply that not having children was a daily source of depression, but I know how the mind just sort of slips into sad places from time to time. And even if that sadness is temporary, it still warrants a hug. 🙂

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        • I only took what you wrote as positive. Indeed, the mind travels places we never intended to go. Can’t control our thoughts; only what we do with them.

          I’m happy to hear that your mom is coming for a visit. Even though your son isn’t big on new people there’s just something special about grandparents. And he has heard her voice, and you’ve talked about her I’m sure, so she won’t be a complete stranger. I hope things go well during her visit and they are able to bond.

          Hugs to you, too. 🙂

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  18. OT: I thought you had misspelled “whine”. Then I heard a British character on a TV show use “whinging”. Turns out it’s a word. So you helped me learn something. 😉

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Whinge

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  19. Ruth, I never wanted kids so I have no idea how you feel at all. The nearest I got to it was in my late 30s when I was financially OK and thought if it happened I could live with it. Wasn’t going to as a vasectomy was a priority on the early marital shopping list, so easy to speculate. All my peers had their kids in their 30s with some going into their 40s. My mother thought she was pregnant in her early 40s but turned out to be early menopause 😀 We knew a couple who went through IVF, didn’t work, and they split up anyway, not because of that. Seemed like lots of stress for no result.

    But can you imagine if you had had a child with your first partner? Could you have left? That child would grow up seeing his mother being abused, treated his father as a role model. And the religion …none of that bears thinking about.

    Just hope you and the Brit are happy with whatever life throws up for you both.

    Dottie and Sarah look gorgeous btw.

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    • I can understand not having that urge. My sister doesn’t have it and she and her partner have made the conscious decision not to. Much like you I think she’d be fine if it happened, but she doesn’t long for it.

      The whole IVF thing just isn’t really something I’m terribly interested in. If we can’t do this the regular way then I think I’d prefer to adopt a child that’s already here or on it’s way than to force the issue with IVF. That just seems like a very stressful and emotional thing to go through. To be honest I’d closed the door on this before and I’m probably only upset now because I got my hopes up about it. It just seems like an awful lot of turmoil for something that might or might not work.

      No I can’t imagine it. Even though I wanted it that’s the reason I closed the door on it in the first place. I decided no matter how badly I wanted it that would be putting a child through too much whether I stayed or went. Broken home? Or broken home? Not a good dilemma to place a child in. Rock or a hard place isn’t a good place to put a child.

      We will be happy no matter what. If this doesn’t happen I’m sure from time to time, just like now, I’ll feel a bit of sadness. But in time I’ll come to accept this just like I did before.

      My sunbathing beauties!

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