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Death of a Dream

As I reflect on this past year, there have been so many amazing things that have happened in my life.  I started my business, I got my degree, and I paid off my mortgage; all things I never thought would be possible.  I started dating again and, even though it did end in some heartbreak, I am okay and stronger for it.  I truly found myself this year and was able to get through all the ups and downs without spiraling into the dark abyss that is always threatening to envelope me.  I had “normal” emotions, which is something I haven’t ever really experienced in my lifetime.  Despite all this, I find myself in a period of grief at the moment and while its painful to talk about, I feel like I have to get it out of me.


I don’t think many people talk about this; at least I have never seen much written or said on the subject.  And while I’ve never been one to shy away from difficult subjects, I understand why there is silence on this particular topic.  It’s almost easier to put it away and try to not ever think about it, let alone talk about it.  But, for me, silence is something that can lead to illness and while I have shared my sorrow with my best friend, I don’t think that’s enough for me.  So, I will attempt to put the words to paper and maybe the healing process will become easier after that.  I hope so.


Just prior to the pandemic starting, I had made the decision to try and get pregnant.  I’ve always dreamed of being a mom and while I knew that adoption or fostering were options, I wanted to try for a child that was biologically mine.  So, I met with the specialist and started going through all the many tests that had to happen.  I was already in my 40’s so not the best candidate age wise, but the plumbing was still working well so I began the journey with a lot of hope and excitement.  I didn’t tell many people as I was afraid of both judgement and of having to explain things if it didn’t work out.  And then the pandemic hit.  Not only was I working long hours due to the field I was in that was an essential service, but with the isolation that we were all forced to do, it wasn’t a good option for me to attempt a pregnancy.  I am one of those who is very susceptible to hormone changes that can cause major mental crisis and even psychosis so not having a physical support system around me wasn’t a safe option. 

And then I ended up in the hospital with pancreatitis halfway through the pandemic.  In all the scans they did, they found some abnormalities in my uterus so before I did anything else this had to be checked out, which took a long time.  Other major life events happened that kept me emotionally maxed out and unable to continue the process.  Eventually, this year, I was able to finally get back to seeing my specialist and while he was supportive, he also noted that I was several years older now, possibly in perimenopause, and revealed that I had severe endometriosis (thankfully with no symptoms).  But I wanted to try and see the process through so I went for another series of tests, one that they were unable to physically due and it was at that moment I started to turn my thoughts to the fact that this may not be possible for me.


I’ve always wanted to be a mother.  It was the one dream in life I believed could come true.  I knew that if I ended up alone with no partner, I could handle that; being alone is what I am good at.  But the thought of not having a child was something I never allowed myself to think about.  As women, we have options medically that allow us to do this on our own if we choose to.  Never in a million years did I think that the odds would be stacked against me.  I didn’t know I had endometriosis.  I couldn’t have predicted a global pandemic.  My specialist is amazing and has never said “don’t do it” but has been open and honest about the reality of it.  The crossroads for me came after our last appointment, when I had to confront the two options I had; either stop the process or continue with the odds not in my favour.  Neither one is what I want.


And so, I have made the decision to stop.  And in that decision, has come a wave of grief and heartache that has brought me to my knees at times.  I have cried a thousand tears the last two months.  The Elder that has been so instrumental in my healing journey reminded me that grief is not just the loss of someone and I truly needed that validation.  For me, it’s the loss of what never was and will never be.  The death of the one dream I clung to my whole entire life to this point.  The one good and pure and real thing I thought I could leave this world one day knowing I had left behind.  In my heart I am a mom with no child.  I am very lucky to have a lot of children in my life who call me aunty, some related to me by blood and some not.  I love them with all my heart and soul and treasure the role I have in their lives.  But the fact is they aren’t my children, even though I love them like they were.


I know there are others like me; people who wanted to be parents and never got to be.  I know I’m not alone in that, and yet if feels like something no one really talks about.  Logically I know that there are other options out there for being a mom and maybe one day I will consider them.  I know I could love any child, regardless of their DNA, but I truly wanted to have a child that was biologically mine.  I wanted the experience of pregnancy and child birth and all that came with it.  And, maybe selfishly, I wanted to leave something behind in this world that would remember me.  Most days I feel like no matter what I do, I’m not really impactful on anyone’s life…..that if I was gone tomorrow most would continue on their journey with no real impact.  Seems silly I’m sure, but that’s part of my illness and I don’t think it will ever truly go away. 


And so, I close this year with both extreme gratitude and intense heartache.  I know I will be okay because I am strong and I can weather any storm that comes my way.  But I am going to let myself cry and mourn and process the loss.  And like everything else in my life, I’ll do it out loud.  Because I think that others out there feel the same pain I do and it deserves a voice.  The dream has died, but I am still living.

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