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To Grieve what “Never Was”

Just over a year ago, I had a hysterectomy.
I was scared, I was lost and honestly my emotions were all over the place.
I understood my need for the operation – but I didn’t want it.
This was the end of the line for me.
For nearly 20 years I had been on the mind-fucking journey of being told one moment that I could have children, then the next that I couldn’t.

I wanted children.
I love children.
I am an amazing Aunty who would be there at the drop of a hat for my nieces and nephews (regardless of how old or young they are and how long since I last heard from them or saw them).
I am the “adopted” Aunty Kate to many of my children’s friends who are looking for someone to look up to.
I love my step-daughters as if they were my own. I care for what happens to them, what I can teach them and how I can best be there for them.

This was meant to be the year.
This was meant to be (after having been given the “go ahead” and such high hopes!) that my husband and I could have a baby together.

We had talked about it for the last few years.
We had even discussed names – if it were a boy “Joseph Vincent”, if it were a girl “Nola May” …
Names that embraced the tradition of passing down names in our families – a name from each side that meant something to us.

I went for my regular pelvic exam and it was over.
I already knew it would be hard, but now it was impossible.
I only had one ovary left as it was and here was a sonographer telling me that my ovary appeared to be “crushed”.
I cried.
I couldn’t help it.
I didn’t want it to be true.
I knew deep inside though that it was.

I began to grieve.
I grieved what “never was”.
I needed to move forwards, I realise that – however I needed to be able to “let go” of what upset me.
This was hard. Unlike when a “person” dies – I did not have a gravestone to visit, I did not have a room full of memories, I did not have anything to hold onto as such – other than hopes and dreams that would never eventuate. This was a definite case where the “Believe and it shall happen” mentality was flawed.

I had baby bassinet, high chair, baby blanket and other baby items that I had collected over the past few years – I believed that this would happen. I wanted it so bad.
I had to get rid of this stuff. I couldn’t face the reminders anymore.

  • I sold the baby items on Facebook. I sold them at a low price, with the intention that they went quickly.
  • I decided that the money was not to be used on bills or anything mundane – we used it to have a “Date Night” and spoil ourselves and focus on ourselves as a couple.
  • I decided that I had to move forwards and work out what was positive in the situation, whilst still acknowledging and being willing to name, and release these things to simply being “part of my story” that brought me to where I am today.

I began to grieve.

  • I talked with my husband about how I felt, how he felt, how we both felt about it. We both felt a sense of loss but what was most important was us and how we were as a couple moving forwards. We would have loved children today – but they were a bonus. We were married to each other to be with each other – whatever that meant.
  • We accepted that it was ok to be sad about it.
  • We began to refine our goals – acknowledging our future without children in the near future.

It is ok to acknowledge when things go wrong.
It is ok (and healthy) to grieve when we experience a sense of loss (regardless of where that loss is experienced)
After acknowledging grief – you can deal with it and begin to move forwards.

 

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