One of the emotions that has been most prominent for me in the past few weeks as I process our infertility is guilt. I am trying to be gentle by allowing myself the space to grieve. But sometimes it all feels a bit self-indulgent. I guess blogging is about as self-indulgent as it gets so why stop the pity party?! There are many ways in which I have been experiencing guilt and I will take great pleasure in describing them all now…
I work in the social services field and spend my days with folks who have experienced hardships I cannot even imagine surviving. Yet here I am wallowing about how one aspect of my life is not going according to plan. I am devastated that I can’t have something that I am not necessarily entitled to while the people around me struggle to meet their most basic of needs. GUILT.
I think about all those years I prayed not to get pregnant; when I celebrated the arrival of “Shark Week” and praised the power of the almighty birth control pill. I thought about exit plans if I were to accidentally get pregnant. GUILT.
It is hard being a modern day lady. I want everything and I want it my way. I want to be bossy. I want to have a career that I am passionate about and committed to. I want to have financial freedom. And I want to have a family that includes both furry children and real children. Wanting so many things and trying to make them all happen in a balanced way can be a bit overwhelming. This has required prioritization and I feel guilty both for myself and for my husband that I screwed up by not prioritizing what is most important (i.e. family over a paycheck). We had been trying to get pregnant for a number of months when I received an unexpected promotion at work a few years ago. At the time, the thought of getting pregnant right after receiving such a vote of confidence at work was an absolute no-no. God forbid I screw anyone over. We waited months before trying to make babies again. In hindsight, I never should have wasted those precious months while my eggs continued to rot. Sure I didn’t let my work down by taking an unexpected leave, but I did let my husband down by not prioritizing our family. GUILT.
I could “should all over myself” (see what I did there by replacing “shit” with “should”?) each minute of the day if I wanted to. Right now I know that it is important I accept that guilt is just another part of grieving and that at some point, hopefully in the near future, I can accept the choices I have made, forgive myself, and look ahead. I will be better equipped to make new choices that shout to the universe, “Hey world, I am ready and open to welcoming mini humans to our family in whichever way you deem appropriate!”
As an aside here is a TED Talk that encourages ladies everywhere to go for what they want…I have decided that this applies to all areas of my life, thus I intend to LEAN IN by going for everything that I want with all the gusto I can, including motherhood.