I am not better off for having this wisdom. If I could give it all back, I would. Without question. If I could magically go back in time and have a baby when I first tried to, without difficulty or heartache, I would do it in a heartbeat. I don't want to be wise and well-versed in life's lessons; I want a two year old instead.
I am, quite simply, gut-gnawingly jealous of people who can control their family planning. I am jealous of their naivete and their happiness. I don't want them to be wise like me; I want to be naive like them. I envy them, in a way that is entirely unhealthy.
I have also learned that dwelling on this doesn't do me any good either. It just makes me more insane and unfulfilled.
The meaning of life, if you ask me, is to create life. It's to pass on your genes and your values to another generation. And I haven't been able to do that. I cannot participate in the meaning of life. I can't begin to describe how that feels.
I don't want you to have trouble getting pregnant. I don't want you to not have children. I don't want you to get anywhere near knowing what it feels like.
I just want what you have.
So much so that I don't even know how to deal with it anymore.
I totally get this. What drives me even crazier are all the people who get pregnant "without even trying." So not fair. Anyway, won't rant. I'm with you though.
Posted by: Beth at March 27, 2009 12:48 PM (qkeSl)
It's to pass on your genes and your values to another generation.
And the genes of the one you love ... and the values you share with the one you love ...
It's not just about the meaning of your life, but his too.
That's what makes this doubly sad.
I wish you didn't have to know ...
Posted by: Amritas at March 27, 2009 01:24 PM (+nV09)
I find this difficult to write, I want you to be aware of that up front in case people here may be offended. That is not my intent. My intent is just to offer a different perspective and maybe with it a bit of hope or a tiny spark of contentment.
The idea that the meaning of life is to create life is depressing, and even oppressive, to me. (Believe me, it galls me to use that left-wing buzzword, but there it is.) If that's the meaning of life, then what is the meaning of yours and your husband's sacrifice of his time and effort and possibly his health or, God forbid, his life on deployment? If that's the meaning of life, what does it mean that through the unforeseen horror of 9/11, I was unwittingly the means of getting friends of mine to return to church, where they stayed for several years as music directors? If that's the meaning of life, what does it mean that of a set of four brothers, my ancestor was the only one to return alive from the Civil War? Are the lives and deaths of his brothers meaningless because they had no descendants? More obscure, certainly, since they had nobody to remember them fully, but surely not meaningless.
I should say, it's not the *only* meaning of life. I love my son and to a certain extent I am defined by him now, but that's not everything I am or everything my life means. I firmly believe it's vital for people of good works, good values, sound mental capacity (don't giggle too much; my family's going through its own drama at the moment, which is why I toss that in there), etc. to reproduce, but it doesn't follow that if you don't, those good works, good values, sound mental capacity, etc., are wasted or useless. What is the meaning of those hours you spend knitting preemie caps if you can never fulfill the meaning of life?
I firmly believe that reproduction is an aspect of the meaning of life. But if it comes to that, there are aspects of the meaning of life in which I will never participate--for one, making the world safer for other people to have more meaningful lives, as your husband does and as you do too. There are others--other aspects of the meaning of life in which I so far have not gotten to participate. And I do understand that it sucks. I just think that the more you focus on this aspect as if it is the whole meaning, the more despair you are likely to produce, and that worries me for you.
I am so sorry that this baby's prospects failed and died. I haven't had the words so I haven't said anything. I am thinking of you.
Posted by: anwyn at March 27, 2009 08:49 PM (dzxw9)
Beautifully said, anwyn. I wrote an email to Sarah earlier today that tried to say the same thing, but it was not even remotely as well-communicated as what you have written. You said it exactly right. Like you, it worried me to see the despair such a line of reasoning can produce, but you did a beautiful job of arguing against it. Thank you.
Posted by: FbL at March 27, 2009 08:59 PM (HwqvF)
Yeah, cuz we all know that arguing against me is exactly what I need right now...
I don't want to be rude either. I appreciate you two sharing your perspective. I read both and I understand what you mean and why you disagree. I specifically wrote that it's "the meaning of life if you ask me" because I know that what I was saying is not everyone's meaning of life. I avoiding writing about it throughout three miscarriages because I know what I said is controversial. There are many definitions, and I encourage you to decide for yourself what you think the meaning is. And I won't try to convince you otherwise.
But I didn't know how to illustrate the depth of my anguish without saying exactly what this means to me. For me, this is my purpose for being here. That is why it's so hard for me. I couldn't care less about having a baby to snuggle or take photos of; for me, it's the loss of the grand sense of purpose for my life. I now know that at least two people disagree with me, but really, I don't think you can succeed to change my view of what's important in this world.
I'm sorry if I don't find much satisfaction in the thought of being on my deathbed someday all alone with no family around me and thinking, "Gee, I sure am glad I knitted all that stuff for other people's babies..."
I mean no disrespect to people who don't have children. I never said that this is THE meaning of life, only the meaning that I have come to see for my life.
Posted by: Sarah at March 28, 2009 04:25 AM (TWet1)
only the meaning that I have come to see for my life
Yes, and it upsets those of us who care about you to see that your thinking that way is contributing to the pain you are feeling. I'm terribly sorry to see that what I said contributed to that pain rather than eased it, because my intention was exactly the opposite and nothing more.
Posted by: Sarah at March 28, 2009 06:24 AM (HwqvF)
Oh, how weird! That was supposed to be me on the comment above, not Sarah.
Posted by: FbL at March 28, 2009 06:25 AM (HwqvF)
Yes, FbL has put the nail on the head of what I was saying--"the meaning of life" is a piece of reasoning, not a set of feelings about this facet of your life. And as such, the reasoning is flawed. If God created human beings, I don't necessarily know what meaning he intended for humanity, much less each individual, but he didn't create some of them to be meaningless. And if there is no God, then we're completely free to make the meaning of life whatever we want it to be, and for a person who so far has been unsuccessful at procreating to settle on procreation as the full meaning of her life is unreasonable. And while I understand that the reasoning and the feelings are closely entwined, they still aren't the same thing, and I was suggesting that if you could adjust your reasoning, you might be able to assuage some of your pain. I am not saying your pain is wrong or that your feelings are wrong (for the record, nor did I say any of the other things you listed in your next post
). I am saying you will have a choice about whether or not to retain this pain in this precise way--i.e. it's even more painful because it negates the meaning of life--or to look at the pain under a rubric of somewhat different reasoning (one example, what I suggested, that it is not the full meaning of anyone's life, but only one part) and perhaps find some comfort. You aren't a bad person if you let go of a part of the pain--i.e. it seems possible that because you have been trying so hard to meet this goal, it might feel like if you let any of the pain go, it makes what you have gone through worthless, but I don't think that's so. FWIW.
Neither FbL nor I were "arguing against you." FbL specifically said "arguing against IT," which could be either the reasoning or the despair, both of which are bad for you.
I am sorry to have put you on the defensive. I do disagree with your reasoning, but I am again saying that it's just that--the reasoning, not the pain--that I am commenting on.
Posted by: Anwyn at March 28, 2009 07:44 AM (dzxw9)
I am truly sorry for your loss.
I know the pain - both my daughter and I have been there.
Hang in there...you are in the thoughts of many who are trying to send you strength,
Posted by: Tink at March 28, 2009 07:57 PM (ADv8Q)
You have never been far from my thoughts and prayers. Nor will you. Do what you have to do, feel what you have to feel. We love you, we support you, and we pray for you no matter what.
Posted by: HomefrontSix at March 28, 2009 08:48 PM (RlqpK)
What HF6 said.
Sometimes, it's less important to express our own thoughts and more important to just listen.
Posted by: Semper Fi Wife at March 29, 2009 04:07 AM (HdP+f)
uncloaking here momentarily just to say that I, too, have been watching and caring and praying and hoping for the best. . . . and have 'prescribed' your blog to a family member who has recently had to take that dreadful pill herself for the first time. And to lose her hopes of a baby. . . .
I don't know the 'meaning of life' - perhaps it's something we all spend all our lives trying to figure out.
Posted by: queenie at March 30, 2009 04:12 AM (NVT/8)
You know my thoughts, and that you and your husband are in mine. I am with Homefront Six and especially with Semper Fi Wife on this. This is a time where it is far more important just to listen and offer you quiet and unconditional support.
Posted by: Laughing Wolf at March 31, 2009 05:56 AM (QFjwa)
I just wanted to say that I know what you meant.
For to me, the meaning of life is indeed to create life. Both figuratively and literally -- nothing gives me greater joy than seeing my husband "come alive" -- but I strongly feel that my life would be incomplete without being able to literally create life.
Right now we are practically and financially unable to support a child. But I still hate every birth control pill I take.
I heard the raw, real, honest truth in that statement, and I know you needed to say it.
(PS - I miss your blog.)
Posted by: TW at April 01, 2009 03:35 PM (qWzEG)
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