Friday, March 30, 2018

Something I will never experience...

There's a lot I could write about today.  Just off the top of my head, I can think of three news stories that I could opine about on my blog.  But for some reason, I don't feel inspired to write about those things.  It's probably just as well, since those topics are probably already being covered by bloggers ad nauseam.  And I don't have that many readers, anyway.

Today, I think I will write about something I will never experience...  and that thing would be motherhood.  One YouTube channel I follow is Don't Trust the Rabbit, which is run by a very attractive German woman named Trixi.  On her main channel, Trixi mostly talks about German culture and language, as well as what it's like to live with her boyfriend, who is a Spanish speaker.  Trixi also has another channel called TrixiRabbit, which features more personal content.

Trixi just had another baby... a second girl.

I've been wondering when Trixi was going to introduce her followers to her new baby.  In late February, she posted a video about how the baby could arrive any day.  It turned out the new one arrived on March 11th, which happens to be Bill's ex wife's birthday.

Trixi is a very considerate mom, not even telling her viewers what her daughters' names are and referring to them as "rabbits".  She hides her children's faces because she says they aren't old enough to consent to being on camera.  Her videos are always very well done.  She speaks fluent English and is obviously interested in different languages and cultures.  For instance, she recently posted a video about teaching her older "rabbit" German, English, and Spanish.  She did another one about the many different German dialects.  

This kid is growing up trilingual. 

This is probably the first video I ever watched by Trixi.  It's pretty awesome.  Even my German friends were impressed.

Anyway... as I was watching Trixi's most recent video, the one she posted about her latest addition, I couldn't help but listen to her talk about the extreme love she feels for her children and the many different emotions that she's experienced since she gave birth.  Although the idea of giving birth sounds painful and traumatic to me, I can't help but feel a twinge of envy when I hear new moms talk about the extraordinary love they feel for their babies.  I wonder what my child would have been like.  I wonder if I would be as dedicated as Trixi is, or if I would have ended up more like my mom, who was more of the free range parenting ilk.    

I have heard Bill talk about what it was like for him when he became a dad.  Although he was not allowed to be there for his kids as they were growing up, he was very involved with them when they were very young.  He took almost exclusive care of them when they were in diapers.  While many would tell me that he's exaggerating, I know my husband and I know he's very much a caretaker.  I don't think he's exaggerating at all.  His ex wife may have breastfed her children, but I'm certain she left everything else up to her husbands.  And then, when things invariably fall apart, the then ex husbands are no longer good enough to be involved with their kids.

I, of course, will never experience motherhood.  It's taken me a long time to come to grips with that reality.  Sometimes I wonder why this is a reality in my life.  Why is it that negligent, abusive, shitty people like Bill's ex wife can get pregnant at the drop of a hat, but so many decent people have fertility problems?  For a long time, this question gave me a lot of grief, but now that I'm solidly halfway through my 40s, I think I've come to terms with it.

But then I hear Trixi talk about her new baby and I feel a little sad that I will not experience being a mother.  Hell, I married a man with daughters and I was denied the chance to even be a stepmother, which I doubt any girl grows up hoping to be.

I am generally a pretty candid person.  I have talked and written about these feelings before.  Many times, people have made unhelpful comments like suggesting adoption or mentoring.  Not to put down anyone who adopts a child... I truly think that's an amazing thing to do.  However, for many reasons, adoption just isn't something I've ever felt called to do.  Moreover, it's not as simple or easy to adopt as some people seem to think it is.  And mentoring isn't really the same as mothering, either. Even if I wanted to "mentor", I'd have to find a kid who was both interested in being mentored by me and had parents who would be alright with it.  Not every parent is as laissez-faire as mine were.  Mine were fine with almost anyone who wanted to influence me... including some people who really should not have had access.

This year, Easter falls on April Fool's Day.  Every year, at least one person posts this helpful "meme" on Facebook.

To be honest, I don't really get too upset when people claim to be pregnant on April Fool's Day.  Even though infertility has been an issue for Bill and me, I'm not offended when people joke about being pregnant when they aren't.  I don't see it as a personal attack.

Actually, I'd say that I'm more offended by dumb comments about how I could still become a mother than I am about April Fool's pregnancy jokes.  It's annoying to me when someone asks me why I haven't trotted down to the local orphanage and picked up a baby or why I'm not willing to adopt foster kids who are dying for a home.  I don't think guilting people who suffer from infertility is helpful for anyone.  Children in foster care need parents who are up to the challenge.  I don't think I am.  Maybe that means I wouldn't be up to the challenge of raising my own baby, either.  At this point, it's kind of water under the bridge, anyway.

And no, it's not true that God "gifts" righteous people with children.  I hate it when people like the Duggars talk about how children are "gifts" from God.  It's a very insensitive thing to say because so many good people struggle with infertility.  They shouldn't be made to feel like they're being punished by God. 

I think I'm mostly over not being a mom... but then I watch people like Trixi with their babies and I feel a little sad because so many people went into the making of me and when I die, that line will be discontinued.  On the other hand, maybe it's for the best.  I feel like my birth was kind of a big cosmic joke, anyway.  My own parents told me many times that my birth was an accident.  I think I would want to carry on my "line" less for my sake and more for Bill's.  Because he IS a good dad and he missed out on raising his daughters.

Speaking of his daughters... he heard from the younger one yesterday.  She was thanking him for sending her a lot of information on internships.  Younger daughter's husband is about to finish his college degree and needs an internship, so Bill sent information about ones offered by his employer, as well as his former employer.  Younger daughter thanked Bill profusely for the help and said, "This really means a lot to me."  I have a feeling it means a lot to her because her other parent did very little to help her launch into adulthood and even went out of her way to sabotage her.  I've spent a good portion of my marriage disliking Bill's daughters for the way they've treated Bill, but I have to admit that I really respect his younger daughter for her ability to escape her mother.  She's clearly gutsy and resourceful.

Anyway, Bill wrote back that he wanted them all to be happy and successful.  He's also still holding out hope that he can eventually reconnect with his older daughter.  I know Bill loves his daughters and hopes he can reestablish contact with them.  Bill now has a grandson that may even get to know him.  Sadly, I feel very disconnected from Bill's offspring.  They aren't really my family; I just married their dad.  But I am genuinely happy for Bill that he can be there for his kids now.  Maybe some day, they will feel more like my family, too.

So those are my thoughts this fine spring morning.  Thank God it's Friday, although thanks to Easter, it'll probably be a dull weekend.  We'll see.


  1. I empathize with your sadness about not experiencing motherhood. Being a parent is a huge experience for caring people like you. And you are wise not to try to adopt, foster, or mentor if you don't feel it's the right move for you. All of those require a certain mindset in order to be helpful and not harmful to the child in question. (Sadly, too many religious people do one or more out of religious guilt rather than true desire and countless children are harmed by that.)

    I would not be surprised, however, to find you mentoring someone down the road -- perhaps when you and Bill have settled for good (if that happens). You are too talented and too giving (in the ways that really matter) not to attract the right little "spark" to your flame. But it's also okay if you never do. Our society puts far too much emphasis on reproducing -- we're smart enough as a species that we should realize that there are too many of us to begin with.

    I went through similar (although not the same) feelings when I hit my 40s and accepted that I wasn't going to have another child. (I have two.) The urge for reproduction is strong -- which makes sense -- fortunately we can also recognize when it isn't right for us or accept when it just isn't possible.

    Anyway, best wishes, my friend. I know you aren't looking for sympathy or anything of the sort but I think it's wonderful for you to share your feelings. Who knows who might be reading this and find it resonates with them or their experiences? :)

    1. Aw... thanks Rebeckah. That’s a very kind comment.

  2. First of all I admire your brave candor. It can't be easy to talk about your personal struggles. Your words remind me to be more sensitive to those around me.

    I agree with you why do psychos get to pop out children with great ease and so many wonderful people have to struggle? I can't even begin to answer that and I think it's arrogant and assianine to even try. Somethings simply have no explanation.

    It does make me sad that you seem to carry around these feelings that your birth is a cosmic joke. On the contrary your birth is the best of the best! You are thoughtful, intelligent, quirky, funny, talented, and fearless. You challenge the status quo and makes all think about our contributions to the world. You are a glorious cosmic gift. Thank God you don't fit the mold, we have enough of that already. You bring honesty and a breath of fresh air to an often stagnate world. I could go on & on.

    It is obvious you love your husband and you guys are perfectly suited for each other. That right there is the perfect reason for your birth. You bring joy to your husband's life that the bitch denied and stole from him.

    I also think your decision not to adopt or foster is a wise one. Only You can know if that is something right for you. It is not right for everyone. My beautiful niece (she married my husband's nephew) is a child if foster care and she is very candid about the fact that not everyone should be foster parents. She got a shitty start in laugh with drug addict parents and then abusive foster homes. How she turned out to be "normal" is nothing short of a miracle. Last year a mutual friend's of ours decided to become foster parents. They wanted babies what they got were a brother & a sister with severe emotional & mental scars. My niece told our friend from the beginnings foster parenting is challenging. She told her most of the kids are not like me and you don't get to choose who you get. She tried in the nicest way possible to let this friend know this was not going to be for her, but she didn't listen. It was a disaster for our friends, but especially for this brother and sister that desperately needs an adult to not keep letting them down.

    You are right foster care and adopting is a calling and not everyone is up for it.

    Lastly as I am droning on & on thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings.

    1. Thanks Mary Beth. One of my other struggles is a tendency toward depression and low self esteem. ;)

      I know there are people who are glad I’m here. I know Bill is especially glad. It’s hard to turn off the memories of being a kid, though.

      Well... at least I get to be “Mom” to lots of dogs and a pony who is now at the Rainbow Bridge and was older than I am!

  3. I don't know if I will adopt if I can't conceive. I may not be great parenting material anyway.

    My dad believes that the ease with which the unfit conceive while decent people all over struggle with infertility is evidence that there isn't a God who intervenes in our lives. My mom says that it's just that we never hear of the unfit who are infertile because no one cares.

    1. I have a sister who never had children. It's a blessing. I think she knows it, too.


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