When is hope not enough?

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Today I am consumed with thoughts of the future family I am not likely to have. I am reminded constantly that I do not have what absolutely feels a part of my identity even though it isn’t real. There are beautiful pregnant tummies everywhere, gorgeous newborns, prams, families, sweet little clothes, events for families, family gatherings, oo’ing and ahh’ing over friends and family’s children, … you get the picture. I feel as though I have lost this, possibly even lost a child. If it wasn’t enough my sister is pregnant again.

Yesterday my sister said “when I finish having children I’m going to have a breast reduction”. I had to wonder what she meant by when she finishes – “hasn’t she already finished?” Hang on…

In that moment I looked at her and asked what do you mean “when”? She just looked at me while I looked at her and realised she is pregnant!! We both had to laugh at the ridiculousness of this in the unhappy circumstance she is in.** I couldn’t have thought of a better way to make the situation worse for her if I tried!

I just cant help but be envious. I try so hard to be supportive but simply can not stop thinking and wishing it was me, surely it is my turn?! Why is it that she can get pregnant so easily and I can not? Why is she pregnant and in crappy circumstances when I could be pregnant and in less crappy circumstances? I want the oo’ing and ah’ing over my children. I want to buy clothes for my children. I want to watch my children learn to draw, dance, talk, walk, kiss, hug, pull funny faces, fall off beds, have conversations with cats, … you get the picture.

It’s so hard to be happy for her or to be supportive of whatever she will decide to do when I want that for myself sooo badly. I did suggest we could go away for a year and create a story about me being pregnant and returning with a child, i.e.. that I could have this child. Clearly this isn’t actually going to happen though. She will work it out.

Then tonight I was watching a sad tale of a couple who have been trying for ten years to have children. Mary is an Australian actress, being famous for her hilarious role in an 80s satire ‘Acropolis Now’. She and her husband were interviewed on 60 Minutes about their heartache and experience of multiple failed IVF rounds, but particularly about the still birth of their daughter. I cried with them and for them. In a strange way their experience emanated my own sense of grief. I’ve never lost a child but I do experience the same grief of not having a child I have been in love with for a lifetime.

Towards the end of the interview Mary talks about hope. In their hope they did more IVF and are pregnant again and this time it seems more positive. But she is sad, I can see that in her eyes and body despite her presenting as confident and happy. Her eyes say that she is already grieving for what may be another lost child. Perhaps I am projecting my own sense of lost hope? Perhaps I am projecting a need to know whether it is over yet, a need to know for sure when enough is enough. When do I give up? Will I ever give up?

**For many this would be a happy occasion but for my sister this is an unknown, potentially fraught with angst. Almost exactly two years ago she was announcing the same news. It was slightly happier but still fraught with angst. Like many relationships hers has come to an end…it hasn’t and continues to not be a clean break up. He cheated (not just once, but long term, after she knew and then discovered she was pregnant), addicted to dope, drinks heavily, is addicted to porn, is manipulative of others emotions… he is basically extremely immature and selfish in that same way. He now plays on my sisters guilt of wanting her daughter to have a loving and involved father but not being able to provide that. He also has started putting his own insecurities and guilt on to their little girl… I want to smack him sometimes!

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Statistics and baby making after 30

This was forwarded to me recently by a friend and colleague after a discussion about young women, older women, choosing parenthood and not.

I would choose to ignore the ranting discussion at the end of the article if i was you. It goes a bit off topic about what the topic actually is. BUT the point of the article is that statistics on age and conception that have lead to fear and anxiety for many women in their 30’s and above desperately need an analytical eye and updating. This is an informative article and provides a refreshingly positive perspective on ability to conceive beyond 30.

I am also particularly interested in the authors point about the likelihood of women conceiving after 30/35 has more to do with their fertility overall rather than their age. It certainly may take the anxiety of getting older out of the equation. Enjoy!

http://m.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/07/how-long-can-you-wait-to-have-a-baby/309374/

Anomie

by Richard Cronborg

State of the Soul by Richard Cronborg

Anomie is a term from French Sociologist Emile Durkheim to describe the loss of personal meaning and values that arise with deep tears in the social fabric that binds people together. Today this has resonated with me and has perhaps given me a context from which to think about my experience of grappling with my own personal meaning and values.

For as long as I remember my need has been to be a mother. I say need rather than goal as this is a feeling that is deep within me rather than external to me. This need has not happened for me and with each bad date or loss of relationship I am again reminded that my ability to realise this part of my life is slipping further away – hence the title of wrong side of 30.

How does this relate to the tears in the social fabric? I am sure many of you know this and if not you have enough knowledge to work it out.

I am what can be referred to as socially infertile – unable to conceive (at least via penis/vagina contact) as a result of a modern epidemic of complex social structures that mitigate against forming relationships.

It seems that as women have gained greater social and financial independence, directly related to employment success, there is less pressure to partner. Likewise, there is less pressure for men to partner due to the sexual freedom we now experience.  For many women it appears to be more difficult to find ‘the one’ thus the father of any future children. Some say that this is also about women not wanting children until later in life which is true for some but not for me.

I have experienced a lot of grief in relation to what feels like a loss. I AM experiencing grief of what I will not have… a sustained and constant partnership from which children evolve.

This grief surfaces each time I read the online dating profile of a man who contacts me and likes to drink with his mates, watch football, and travel (this concept I will leave for another post). The grief surfaces when I have a date that stares at my chest and is unable to hold a conversation on anything else but themselves. The grief consumes me when someone I am dating and have invested myself in … well, you get the point… My time is precious and is wasted.

So here I am. I am a very well educated and successful 30-something woman who meets the surface requirements of the ideal of a partner for many men – I can fill both the Mary and Whore components of social womanhood – yet am unable to find an equal with whom to move through life.

Has the social fabric torn so much that without technology intelligent, independent, strong women will not breed?