My Story

The chronicle of the journey from infertility, to miscarriage, to finally raising twin girls born in June 2012.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Unchosen

Big post today guys.  A post I've had in my head for years but haven't had the guts to fully write.  But today, I can't seem to get the thoughts of it out of my head and they have been attacking me full force.  Some old wounds have reopened and I'm realizing just how much they never healed, but rather they were ignored.  And I'm afraid to write some of these words because I'm afraid that everyone reading them will end up with the same question about me that I've been forced to have about myself.

What is it about me, what is so fundamentally wrong with me that no one will choose me to be a mother?

I'm terrified that these next IVF attempts won't work.  And it's not because I so desperately want to have my own biological child.  Honestly, the only benefit in my mind to having a child that is biologically mine is because if there are medical emergencies in the future, my husband and I can donate whatever body parts that child might need.  Yes, I want to feel what it's like to have a baby kick inside me, and to see a mixture of my husbands and my face staring at me from a high chair, but those things are so unimportant in the bigger picture.

I never thought I would try to grow my own.  I've always known that I would have trouble conceiving and I decided early on that I would never put myself and my husband through all of this debt and emotional roller coaster just to produce a child.  I was always firm that I would adopt.  Spend those resources on a child that was already in need of parents.

And then we started filling out the paperwork.  We applied to one adoption agency and were turned down, probably because we checkmarked the box saying we would want more information on the financial assistance available.  And so we started filling out the paperwork for 2 more agencies when we decided to really learn what our options were in the grow your own arena.  And we learned that there aren't nearly as many kids in need as we thought.  There are far more parents who want children than there are children who need parents.  Frankly, hubby and I look really bad on paper.  We aren't rich, I have mental illness in my health history (depression issues that are no longer a problem), and we aren't Christian.

We would have a better chance of actually raising a child, and it would be less expensive, to go through all of the IVF than to rely on being able to convince some scared, pregnant woman to let us raise her child.

And the final decision came down to one fundamental belief - no one will ever choose me.

But here's the wound that hit me so deep that lead to that fundamental belief.

A few years ago, when we first moved back to the Seattle area to be near family after a 10 year absence, my brother and his wife had their first child.  As they wrote out their will, they asked me if K and I wanted to be named guardians should something happen to them.  Of course we said yes.  And a few days later, my brother told me that we were off the hook, they decided on someone else.

Out of a very short list of candidates, my brother decided that I wasn't the person he would choose to be a mother.  If my SIL sibling were someone who wanted children (he actively does not want to be a father), I would understand if they chose her sibling over the fathers sibling.

My brother witnessed what the "mental illness" in my health history means.  And he's someone who should know that while it looks like crap on paper, the truth of it isn't bad.  He's the one person who was raised by the example of parenting that I will most likely follow.  If anyone on this earth should have true knowledge of what kind of mother I could be some day, it should be him.  His understanding of what kind of mother I will be is deeper than even my own husbands.  And he didn't choose me.

The one person in all the world who should have chosen me, when it came right down to it, he decided to go with someone else.  Someone else was a better choice than me.

And I've been hit with that message over and over and over again.  The adoption agency didn't even think I worth talking to.  My best friend dumped me because she came to the conclusion that I shouldn't be a mother.  The IVF clinic has refused to treat me because I'm too fat.

And when the cosmic power weighed in, I thought finally, someone chose me.  The cosmic power decided that not only was I good enough, but I was good enough to have 2.  I felt like all the doubt, all of the naysayers could kiss my ass because whatever deciding force has the final say on the subject of who can and who can't, I was chosen as someone who can, and I was chosen to do it 2x over.

And then that cosmic power reconsidered and apparently decided that choosing me was a mistake.

So what is it?  What is so fundamentally wrong with me that everyone who is ever given the opportunity to chime in on whether or not I should raise children, they all come to the same conclusion that no, I'm not someone who should be given that responsibility.

What is it about the bitches on Teen Mom that makes them worthy over me?  I don't have a mug shot.  I've never thrown a punch at anyone in my life.  And yet nature itself has decided that they are more suited to being a parent than I am.

Why is it that virtual strangers on the internet seem to have more faith in my ability to be a good mom than the person who has known me since I was born?  It doesn't help when we're chatting and he's a bit free with the phrases "you don't understand because you don't have kids" and "you'll think differently when you have kids."  As if any thought I have is inferior because I don't have kids.

I've thought about these things.  I've thought more about how I will handle various parenting situations and I've done more research on child psychology and behavior than just about anyone who doesn't yet have kids.  Why?  Because it's quite likely that in order to ever have a child, I will be asked those questions and I will have convince someone with my answers that I'm going to be a good mom.  I can't just have faith that when the time comes, I will know what to do.  I have to convince someone that I can do the job before I'm going to be given the opportunity to do the job.

But if the one person who should know better than anyone else in the world what I will be day to day as a parent, if I can't convince him that I'm the best choice, how can I ever convince a complete stranger that I'm the best choice out of hundreds of desperate couples who want that same child?

I haven't forgiven my brother.  And if I haven't yet, I honestly don't know if I ever can.  Even if I'm able to forgive one day, I can't imagine ever forgetting.  I was able to ignore it for a while, but I just can't seem to escape that wound anymore.


  1. Screw them all. I started crying reading your post, because I could have written it (except that I would never have had the guts). We gave up on having kids completely for 6 YEARS because I decided I wasn't good enough to be a mom. YOU ARE WORTHY. You know it, deep down, and all that matters is that you know it. A lot of really bad stuff has happened to you on your journey, and all of that is going to make you an even better mother because you'll make sure that your child never has to wonder if he is worthy of anything.

  2. I am so SO sorry. For all of it. For everything you have been through. Your fears are a big reason why I haven't pursued adoption further. A history of depression. Being overweight (I can't believe the IVF clinic wouldn't help you because of that!!!). Not being rich.
    I hate it when parents looks at you all pretentious, and says "you don't understand because you don't have kids. You'll understand when you're a parent." Like you said, like I am talking without thinking? Like my opinion doesn't count, lacks validity.
    I am really really sorry that I had to cancel our meet up, I am looking forward to seeing you and hope it can happen in the next week or two. Then I can give you a hug IRL, but for now this is a digital hug!

  3. Oh Alex. :(

    I won't pretend to know what you feel. I have no idea what it's like.

    I do know what it's like to hurt and have loss :( And so for that I give you my hugs, and empathy.

    When my husband had cancer, and he spent day after day bed bound in the hospital, and I would watch people come in, and go home, I would feel some of the WHY US? WHY ME? We didn't deserve this, we're good people.

    I came to the conclusion, that as human beings, when hard times come, our brains search for reason out of chaos. I think it's the bodies way of protecting us in some manner. I don't know why those things happened to us, and likely never will.

    I do know that out of that time, I became better, stronger, more kind, loving, generous.

    I do know that any child you ever have, will be loved so much, and appreciated, and feel worth.

    I hope that my words help you find comfort.


  4. I'm so sorry that your brother did this to you. His choice seems to be at the center of why you feel so badly. Has he given you any reason why he didn't choose you?

    I didn't even put adoption of an infant on the table for hubby and me. If we weren't able to have biological children we would have moved on to foster a child. THAT is where the needy kids are. Unfortunately, they are also older and have been beaten around the system. I knew that with mental health issues in my family tree, and a history of cancer, birth mothers and agencies wouldn't look at us. Not to mention that we aren't religious. Also, we didn't have the 30 grand + you're looking at to adopt an infant in this country. I was also deathly afraid of having an infant placed with us, and then having the birth mother change her mind. So, I basically un-chose myself so no one would strike me down. I'm a coward that way, but you are brave, and you shouldn't beat yourself up for having courage.

    You should never, ever feel that the loss of your daughters was nature's or God's way of saying you're unfit. I've suffered a loss, many of the women whose blogs I read have, and I KNOW that you would never say to someone else that they weren't chosen to parent by the Universe. Don't you dare be less kind to yourself than you are to others. You deserve the same kindness and generosity of spirit that you give everyone else :)

    Just from reading your blog I know that you are smart, funny, patient, kind, strong, determined, open minded, and loving. You will be a great mom to some really, really, lucky kid(s).

  5. Wow. I swear I didn't see this before I posted mine today, and I'm grateful for your comment. Because it is all too easy to get caught up in your own hurt and forget someone else's.

    Please do NOT see the loss of your twins as a sign of your future OR Gd's faith in you. Please.

    There is so much I wish I could write here, but I'm just going to send you positive vibes and a big hug. (HUG!)

  6. Alex - I wish I could wave a magic wand and make you feel better. i wish I had a long eloquent answer for you that would just make all of this hurt go away.
    I don't. But if there's one thing I've learned after three miscarriages is that life is sometimes random, chaotic and cruel. Life is sometimes unfair.
    However, (and I know this next part is harder to see) with all of that chaos and randomness, we eventually find a way to make sense and to find order in the ruin and heartbreak. It can be a long struggle, but it will come. I promise you that.
    You will one day understand that you are more than deserving, and you are meant to be a mother, no matter how you get there.
    You will one day live a happy and fulfilling life, and you will look back at this period in your life, and understand how it contributed to your happiness.
    I know you can't see it now. I can't see it myself on some days. But on most I do.
    My losses helped me find my calling. My losses helped me finally face up to my depression. My losses helped me strengthen my marriage. My losses helped me appreciate all of the good that life gives me, and to embrace every good day that comes. We are lucky. I know you can't see that now.
    But we are. Our losses hurt. That pain never fully goes away. But we have felt pain. We have lived it. When people around us go through life on auto-pilot, we appreciate how precious life is, because we know how delicate it is. That is a blessing.
    I'm an atheist. I understand that "spirituality" , for me at least, is a construct.
    And yet, this last year has brought me peace. It has forced me to face my fears head on and appreciate what life has given me.
    You will get there too. I promise. Because you are strong, and intelligent, and wonderful. You will get there. Sending you love and strength.

  7. This is the reason why I don't talk to a lot of my family members, my brother especially since he is a trigger for me.

    We moved out to Fort Lewis three years ago and I'm happier on the West Coast now than I was on the East coast because of the distance from my family.

    We tried to explain to our families why we wouldn't be good candidates for adoption, and though my family understood, the in-laws did not.

    Yes, IVF is much cheaper in the long run but there is no guarantee either. I too long to look into the face of my child and see our blending of DNA.

    So I guess what I'm saying is that I can relate.

    Good luck on your IVF cycle. 12 more days thereabouts until my first egg retrival.


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