Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Why I'm Grateful I Didn't Become a Mother

For the majority of my life I planned on having a child and I was going to do what was necessary to have a child and end the cycle of Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP) in my family with me so that I wouldn't pass it on to my child. I had a surrogate ready and willing and we were saving for the IVF that would be necessary as well as the egg selection to prohibit utilizing my eggs that had the FAP gene. However, I never felt quite ready to take the plunge and start the IVF process. The timing seemed off but the longer I procrastinated, the older I, my husband and my surrogate became nearing the age that pregnancy may not be recommended. I also was heavily concerned with the risk of pregnancy complications to my surrogate and if necessary, how the restrictive abortion laws of our state would affect her if she required to terminate the pregnancy in order to protect her health and life. I couldn't bear the thought of being the cause of harm or death to her when she was doing me a favor by agreeing to be my surrogate. After a lot of deliberation, I came to the conclusion that it would be better that we forego attempting to have a child and so I said goodbye to that dream. It was a heart wrenching decision that took a long time to fully process and accept. It was a difficult decision but I knew in my heart, it was the right decision for me.

And then a year later, my life changed and I was divorced. I not only was grieving the loss of my marriage but I was also re-grieving the loss of my dream to have a child. Even though I had decided to forego becoming a mother, with the divorce I was forced to fully let go of that dream unless something once again drastically changed in my life. If I were to become a mother, I would either have to make the conscious decision to attempt IVF with a donor or another life partner, adopt a child, or become attached to a life partner who already had a child.

In spite of all my dreams to become a mother, I am grateful that I am not a mother though. Deciding to become a single mother would not be an easy task and not one that I could easily financially afford either.  It would be a difficult life on my own as a single mother, financially and physically, and I still would face the struggles of living with chronic illness and caring for a child as before but now I would be on my own doing so. Finding a life partner with a child already is a real possibility as it is hard to find someone around my age who doesn't have a child or children.

I've also become accustomed to my life as it is and as much as I previously wanted a child, I don't feel as though I'm missing out. I'm still able to enjoy the company of the children who are in my life and I'm able to do so without the stress and financial burden of raising a child. It is a well working system actually. I'm able to engage these children in fun and exciting activities when I'm able to do so and if I'm sick that day, I simply need to tell their parents so. I've also been blessed with these children being understanding and supportive when I am feeling ill.

The decision to not have a child is not necessarily an easy decision and it takes time to process. It was a long road to travel but ultimately I am content with my decisions and where my life is now. It has been helpful in my acceptance to acknowledge the realities of the struggles I would be presented with in my situation as well as the good things that make up my life. I've discovered it is possible to live happily childless even though that was not my initial plan. I have made peace with my life decisions and it has helped me to appreciate my life just how it is.

Monday, August 5, 2019

A Tribute to My Ex Husband

what I want you to know about my ex

I don't regret my decision to divorce my now ex husband even though I wish our marriage had worked. But sometimes there is pain we can't overcome or it's not in our best interest to remain in a particular relationship. That was sadly the case for my marriage but I remain grateful for him. Too often we focus on our heartache and pain, forgetting what was good and what remains positive in spite of it all. Today I want to give credit where credit is due.

He is a kind man with an astounding heart. He is always there for a friend or family member in need. He works hard and cares about those around him. He was everything I was looking for in a partner. He did his best to always give me what I wanted or needed in our relationship. He listened to me and supported me, he provided me care when I was ill.

My ex husband and I are not friends, per say. I don't know what we are exactly. But I do know that if I need him, he's always there for me - from our 1st date to years after our divorce. We made a promise to each other when we separated that we would remain there for one another and he has kept his promise thus far.

Us with Zia and Ruhle
When we were together, we adopted two dogs - Ruhle and Zia. We loved them both dearly and they were extremely attached to both of us. When we separated, I took the dogs with me. I think he realized how much I needed them or maybe he's just that kind of a person. A couple months ago, our 1st dog to adopt together, Ruhle, suddenly passed away while staying with my ex husband while I was on vacation. He took care of everything for me with Ruhle's passing and we mourned together. Since then, I've adopted another dog to keep Zia company. They unexpectedly escaped my yard recently and I called my ex husband to let him know. I didn't expect him to do anything but I wanted him to particularly know about Zia missing. He was willing to drop everything at work and come help me find the dogs. Thankfully, they came home eventually.

He does more than just help me with the dogs too. If I need help with a home project, he will take care of it for me if I ask him. He works long hours but if I need him, he's there - whatever it may be, even if I just need to talk. He's always been like that.

I always say it's a shame what happened to our marriage. He was loyal and loved me deeply. He gave me everything I wanted and he was everything I wanted in a life partner. We were a perfect match. Like any couple, we both did things to hurt each other that we regret but we loved each other with all our hearts. Unfortunately, he made some life decisions that broke my trust and I couldn't recover from it. But I will always give him credit for all the good that he embodies. I have forgiven him and am not bitter toward him. He remains near perfect in my eyes. He is a good person and in spite of our divorce, I can't imagine my life without him in it in one way or another. We may never be friends again but we'll always be there for one another.