It's raining here... Hurricane Irene is moving across the coastline and we are getting wind and rain, even though we are a fair way inland. Our Borough sent out emails, asking residents to avoid driving, since flooding is expected, and to take in all furniture, toys, etc. from outside, since the expected winds could easily blow things into the street and create more damage. Dutifully, Peter and I cleared out the backyard this morning. We moved our patio stuff, the grill, the kids slides and playhouse and all that jazz into the shed. He took their swingset apart and moved that inside as well. Then we shook our fruit trees.
It's amazing how quickly you can fall in love with the idea of fruit... from your trees. So, we got more apples and pears and peaches. I cut and froze them, hoping to make another pie soon. I went to the garden and picked kale and red cabbage and carrots, then to the herb bed and grabbed basil and oregano and thyme. All packed and frozen, waiting for the time when we can eat them... We had fresh bell peppers and tomatoes with breakfast. All the food that we've planted and loved and waited for. The fruit of our labor.
If only it were that easy with children.
I talked to our priest about having a tubal ligation. I've been referred to a priest whose specialty is moral medical theology. That being said, our priest thinks that we have a case worth presenting. He's a good man and it broke my heart to know how much it had to hurt him as well that we are at this place. He looked at me and with so much compassion said, "I wish that I could say the next time you get pregnant everything will be fine and that there is no need to worry. Butthat just isn't the way it seems to be. And for that, I'm sorry." Me too, Father. Me too.
Meanwhile, the angry Green Monster rears its head as a person in my life (who thankfully I dont have to interact with) has gone off and had another child she cant take care of... Nice... On top of that, this baby has a different father than the first- did I mention baby #1's babydaddy and she are still supposed to be together? The story gets worse, but it's neither here nor there. Let's just suffice it to say that her due date was around Grace's and that her child was born the day after Grace's EDD, so dealing with the anger and the feelings of how unfair it all is... It's a good time. Add to that the realization that perhaps my childbearing days truly are over and that makes me more angry.
But... There's a but. I know there is... There should be. I just dont know what it is.
I continue to work on my coursework towards becoming certified as both a doula and childbirth educator. As I do my required reading and fill out my assignments & reports, some of the materials are harder than others. Reading about births that I'll dream of because they could never be me... Learning about how to assist breastfeeding mothers who, hopefully, will have long, healthy breastfeeding years with their little ones. As I read the sections on "breastfeeding your toddler", I'm struck by the knowledge that I have toddlers... And their breastfeeding days were over nearly 18 months ago. And that makes me nostalgic for the time I thought we'd have.
But they are healthy. And happy. And that matters more than anything I thought we'd have or wanted to have or anything else. The sheer fact that they are here and that all is well is more than enough for me to be eternally grateful.
It helps, to be honest. Their hugs and kisses, their delights of "Mama!" and they way the count and sing the alphabet and run and jump in their ball pit to play... The way they help me make their beds and unload the dishwasher... These things help the decision to say good-bye to more biological children easier. It makes the knowledge that a child cant grow in my damaged body or suckle at my empty breasts a little easier to bear. A friend of mine said in a blog comment earlier that, sadly, sometimes we have to let go of our dreams and start living the miracle that is in our midst. It hurts to know that sometimes that is true... That our dreams have to remain distant desires and that, to truly live, we have to make every single day- each in and of itself a miracle- count. I have 2 miracles that I'm so lucky to have. I dont want to miss anything because I'm too caught up in my own dreams. I cant; they deserve more than that.
And so, it does hurt to feel as though we are closing that chapter of our lives. We do hope that one day, the window that is adoption will be opened for us. We are in the final stages of our home study and then, we'll be as ready as the law allows for a special child to come into our lives. But, if for whatever reason, that isn't in the cards for us, then we have to remember that two miracles here- not to mention our 3 saints in heavens and our 4 forever babies in the stars- are nothing too shabby. They are perfection... Even if we cant always see it through our tears.
If you could, please stop by Reba's and send some love. She recently said hello to her little bean and now has to say good-bye.