2023 Author: Anita Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-22 03:30
If there is one essential step that some couples struggling with a fertility problem must sometimes take, it is the mourning of the biological child.
The same grief is experienced by people who want a child with all their hearts and who, for all sorts of reasons other than medical, will not be able to live this wonderful experience. There are a thousand and one reasons why a human can feel this deep desire to become a parent without being able to realize this project. As I cannot speak on behalf of everyone, out of respect, but also because I cannot judge a situation that I have never experienced, I will tell you about the reality that is specific to me. My own reality: I have been infertile for only two years. An ovarian cyst problem that has "gone bad", nature sometimes does that. My spouse and I were propelled despite ourselves towards this mourning that we had not even thought possible. The biggest lesson learned from this adventure? Never take anything for granted… not even our fertility.
Deciding our path
There are of course several “options” for medically recognized “infertile” couples. We could have turned to in vitro fertilization (option of which I am very fond,really talked a lot about the surgeon). My body was in pain, I was still on my hospital bed after emergency surgery, I had just learned that it was "screwed" for me unless I used assisted reproduction or, mentioned quickly, to adopt a child. I did not feel able to go for a “medical” option. Both physically and psychologically, I did not feel capable of it. It was my only certainty at the time, but I was still ready to discuss it, because we were two people involved in all this. I was silent and I looked out of the corner of my eye at my spouse, sitting on the chair next to my bed, who was also crying. I felt responsible for the situation. Not that I had to find a culprit for all this, but it was still "because of me" that we could not have a child, heir to our X and XY.
We then agreed to have two choices: to feel sorry for ourselves or to discuss all this, together, despite the pain. Life was sending us this ordeal and we had to overcome it together. Simultaneously, the word adoption was spoken by both me and my spouse. We smiled, first glimmer. It was an option that suited us. We had already touched on the subject, in the past, by chance. Who would have thought that one day we would talk about it in a much more official way in terms of a life project? From the outside, our decision may appear to have been made quickly. Nobody made usmention, but we were aware that some might say that it would have been in our interest to take our time and discuss it with the medical team. Could we really eliminate out of hand a method allowing us to have a biological child? Our path was there, for us it would be adoption.
Grieving is important
There was, however, a need to mourn. If we ever had the opportunity to have a child, he would not be of our blood, physically he would not look like us and we would have delicate questions that we would have to answer one day. At the time, we said to ourselves - without thinking too much about it - that it was not serious. That a child is a child, and it's true. But the mourning was definitely present and we had to talk about it to deal with what was to follow. We had to ask ourselves these questions and be prepared to face them. Anyway, the social worker who would do our psychosocial assessment was going to ask us these questions! Might as well talk about it right now.
Grieving is done by discussing it openly among ourselves, by releasing the emotions we have to release and then there is the notion of time. Time, which has the reputation of “arranging everything”. But time, itself, is not magic. It is the time you take to think, to speak, to cry, then to get up again that will ensure that the mourning will slowly give way to a new project. Some will say that the mourning of the biological child will always remain in itself. In my case, maybe because I have a high level ofresilience, I told myself that my destiny was to be a mother in a completely different way. Life had simply made it clear to me. I know, it's questionable reasoning, but it's ours.
The gaze of others
It is important to be strong when adopting. Be convinced yourself, because, believe me, we hear green and ripe footsteps. We had the opportunity, through in vitro fertilization, to have a biological child and we did not. We had the opportunity to adopt a child from Quebec and we did not do it either. We turned to international adoption because the deadlines were shorter and for a few other more personal reasons. But we felt that in the eyes of some people, we were “strange”. If our families have always fully supported us in this decision, if our friends have shown themselves to be open and happy, have discussed all this with us and allowed us the emotions necessary for mourning, it is important to know that all the people we meet do not don't react the same way. These “pearls” all become, each in their own way, a small mark that will stay with you. Some “classics”, others more surprising…
- “Is it expensive to buy a baby? »
- “Are you comfortable going to buy a poor family’s baby? »
- “Is he going to be purebred at least? »
- "Aren't you afraid of not liking him since he won't look like you at all? »
- “Do you have a guarantee if he ever gets sick? »
- “A baby from Vietnam? Ah… It’s going to be beautiful anyway…”
- "If you ever see that he doesn't love you, I hope you will leave him in his country!" »
How to blame people? It is often for lack of knowledge that these words are pronounced. But you really have to be ready to hear all that, because, believe me, I know very few adoptive parents who have never been served this kind of remark. Hence the importance of adjusting the steps one at a time and in the correct order. Your mourning, the frank and honest discussion at the level of the couple, the foundations of your choice and the announcement of this choice. The groups of adoptive parents have been a great help to us during all these months. We felt with these people that we were understood and we could openly share our anger, our fears, our disappointments. There are local groups, but also some groups on the internet. There is a package of up-to-date, very practical information as well as discussion forums. Whichever way you choose, try to find people who have been there. Having the impression of finding a big family that understands each other without having to tell each other everything is so helpful on rainy days.
You can read all of Chantal Massicotte's articles on her life as a mom, in this file on Mamanpourlavie.com.