Exclusionary Exclusions: Will Adoption Gain Me Access to the Moms' Club?
Well, it's official... of all the girls that I became friends with on Soul Cysters, I am now the ONLY ONE who has not become pregnant.
The only one. The only one. The only one.
Still empty. Still struggling. Still stuck in place -- treading water. Dr. S told me while we were going through fertility treatments that I had a "good chance" and that "90% of all women with PCOS do end up getting pregnant." 90%... at the time, I never imagined I'd be the exception and not the rule. I just assumed I'd be part of that lucky 90%, not the 10% that never succeed; but that's how it's shaping up.
The closer we get to October and the adoption starting, the more down-trodden I become; not about the adoption -- it's just, I can't believe that this is it. It's really over. I have maybe a couple more cycles left, then we're "done."
It seems as though so many of my friends and acquaintances are pregnant right now -- seriously. It's not an illusion; it's really happening, all around me. Some of these women are having their 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th child. It's mind-boggling to me at times. I feel as though life is whirling by without me. I'm standing still.
In a way, it's really ironic. I was always the over-achiever. I got what I wanted by working super hard and being nice (which is not a front, I genuinely AM nice, really!); but in this game of fertility struggles, being nice and working hard don't account for anything, nothing at all.
I have several friends who still live in Nashville, TN (where I went to college at Belmont University). All of them are now mothers (or fathers). Mr. C and I had thought of moving back many times, but there's a large part of me that never wants to go back. Everything has changed. I have changed (or not); so, where would I fit in there now? I love my friends, but I see them with their mommy friends and play-groups -- their lives revolve around their children. Mine does not. In fact, I know that many of their now closest friends are their former doulas and midwives or women they met through breast-feeding support groups or "mommy's day out" gatherings.
So, what would we talk about? What would we do? Where do I fit in? I feel like we're being separated not only by time and space, but by something more primal -- a mysterious understanding that I am not privy to... a club to which I don't know the secret password. I have not been entrusted with such information. I am the outsider.
Sometimes I think that adopting will change all of this -- I mean, after all, I'd be a mother. Beyond the utter excitement and joy of getting to parent a child, I would maybe be accepted by this elusive group of women. But then, I know it will never be exactly the same...
Once, when Mr. C and I were visiting our Nashville friends for our first anniversary, the husband of a dear friend made a comment that still haunts and hurts me to this day. He quipped that our other good friend was amazing for breast-feeding as much as she did, and asked her how on earth she did it. I jumped in joking that for women "it just came easy." He whirled around quickly and said, "*hmpf* What would you know about it?" Ouch. Of course, at the time, nobody at that party had a clue that we'd miscarried. I hadn't told anyone that we had already been trying (and failing). They had no idea that we were already worried about the state of our fertility and the future ahead of us. I'm sure he didn't truly mean to be hurtful, but if I think about it too long, I seriously tear up and even get a little angry. That's why I try very hard to be mindful of what I say to people, no matter what; you never, ever know what they've been through or what they're secretly battling. Although I know I fail daily, I want so badly to be kinder than most people have been to me.
On the other hand, I have a feeling that being an adoptive mom will open a whole world of acceptance to me and exclusions to others as well. Just as I would not be able to be an active participant in a breast-feeding support group, others would have no clue how to interact with a group of moms discussing attachment issues or the up-sides/down-sides of open adoptions, etc. And, I suppose this is only natural. At the end of the day, though, my only wish is to be a part of the wider, collective which encompasses all mothers -- no matter how they came to enter that club.
Until that day...