Feeling Lost…

I think that sums up how I’m feeling. I feel lost, like I don’t know where my place is any more? Not quite in with the infertile crowd, not really in with the new mom’s either, not quite fitting with the mom’s post infertility and the only place I do fit is with the mom’s post adoption but God knows there are so few of us. I’ve discussed this with a few of my fellow mom’s through the miracle of adoption and I know from these conversations I’m not alone in feeling this way. The thing is while I’m still infertile, I feel apprehensive about trying to be encouraging towards my fellow infertiles still walking the path, I’m afraid my support comes off as smug. Mostly because prior to Ava’s arrival in my life, that’s what I would have thought, had mom post infertility (mpi) tried to offer me support, I’d always have the thought of how easy it was for her to say that because she was holding what the rest of us were striving for. So I want to be encouraging but I’m fearful of coming off as smug. I don’t fit in with the mpi’s either. I can’t share stories about the horrors of morning sickness, of feeling my baby move inside my pregnant belly, the birth process, breast-feeding none of that. My feelings of being isolated are also party due to some of the thoughtless things that have been said to me in the past few months, words that while I’m sure weren’t meant to hurt me, have hurt deeply, words that have left me feeling like I’m not a real mother, or like some people don’t think I’m a real mother. Words liked how Ava isn’t a legacy for Walter and I. That one stung, it hurt so much to hear someone say that just because my daughter doesn’t carry my genes, she can’t be my legacy. Those statements, coupled with the somewhat luke warm response that my postings about my precious Ava receive have left me feeling sensitive, overly sensitive, hurt and feeling like I need to find away to protect myself and my child. And while I do understand the reasoning behind the luke warm response that my postings about Ava receive, I have to be honest and admit that it hurts me that photo’s and information about her are received in this manner. Which kind of starts the whole cycle all over again of feeling isolated and not belonging anywhere. The truth is, I think on some level, I have some form of survivor guilt made worse by the strict code of conduct we infertiles inflict on each other. With mother’s day just around the corner, it should be a time when I should be rejoicing in the great blessing we have received, instead, I find myself almost afraid to even mention it for fear of hurting someone’s feelings. The thing is, I’m battling to find the right balance between being true to myself and expressing my own feelings and being concerned for the feelings and hurt of the community I am so deeply immersed in. But as a very wise friend said to me yesterday… its time to live and let live, you cannot be everything to everyone. And somehow, someway, I need to try to put into practise and start really revelling in our good fortune.

May 6, 2010
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29 Comments

  • Reply orbit365

    I’m so sorry that you are feeling lost.

    You are a Mom. Walter is a Dad. You are Ava’s parents. Claim it.

    That is one KAK comment re: the legacy thing. Just ignore the ignorant morons. I know that this is sometimes easier said than done but it will get easier with time. And I definitely want to hear all about your first Mothers Day. And I love seeing pictures of AVA.

    Love you. And your girl..xxx

    Julia

    May 6, 2010 at 7:35 pm
  • Reply tan32

    Sharon I too am sorry your feeling “lost” it’s a hard place to be.

    My advice is to live for you and to put you and Walter and Ava first. Enjoy every bit of Ava and if people don’t want to understand that your now a mom then sorry for them. Your real friends will stand by you no matter what.

    Enjoy your first Mother’s day it’s a special day and you deserve to be happy. And I agree with your wise friend.

    May 6, 2010 at 8:34 pm
  • Reply ilsek1

    Hi Sharon

    We don’t know each other, but all i want to say is, people are so full of shit. I have twins with donor eggs and you know how often i hear oh she looks like you, oh no wait thats not possible because she is not yours. Of course she is mine, and of course Ava is yours. You are the luckies person to have her and her to have you. Take that you idiots.

    LOL

    Ilse

    May 6, 2010 at 9:18 pm
  • Reply ksmind

    It’s late. I’m home from book (read: wine) club and not sober!! so my apologies for “being honest”.. BUT.. fuck it.. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!! – Its your first time to say that (& there is only ever one ‘first time’) and… YOU deserve it (not that others don’t, we who want all do) but HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! for Sunday xxx

    May 6, 2010 at 11:24 pm
  • Reply hcouperus

    Sharon, I haven’t got the words of wisdom for you 🙁 but keep up the good work in providing AVA with an AWESOME home environment, excellent upbringing and more importantly LOVE! All I know is that being a MUM is hard work both emotionally, physically and mentally without having other people critize you! People should be encouraging! I second the other comments ENJOY mothers day, AVA is soo worth it!

    And just for the record, I LOVE your blog, I appreciate your honesty and an insight into infertility.

    May 7, 2010 at 12:05 am
  • Reply Me

    OMG someone actually said that to you “how Ava isn’t a legacy for Walter and I”?

    Unbelievable.

    She can be whatever you want her to be, whatever SHE wants to be, she is after all YOUR daughter. Genes and DNA do not make a daughter or a son, or a mother or a father, love from the heart does and you have plenty of that.

    As for the lukewarm response to your posts on Ava etc I will admit that I’m guilty of that but I either respond with gusto or not at all. At times I’m in a place where I can be really happy and excited about what you’re posting about, other days I’m in a place so dark that it takes my very all not to want to put myself out of pain for good. I’m a believer in if I have nothing good or nice to say, then I won’t say anything, which I think is better.

    As for finding your place….don’t rush it. You’re talking 7 years of infertility, ttc, miscarriages and disappointments vs 20 weeks of sheer bliss, enjoyment and happiness. 7 years is a long time to just fade into the background. You were one of “us” (and yes still are to a degree) for alot longer than you’ve been one of “them”. You will find your place, it’s just going to take some time – which isn’t a bad thing.

    One day at a time, one foot in front of the other, lean on those around you who love and support you on the days you need to and give two fingers up and a big “fuck you” to the haters…..because you and I know, they don’t deserve anything else nor any more of your time.

    xxxx

    May 7, 2010 at 1:40 am
  • Reply merphin

    There was a family meant for Ava and that was YOURS!!!!
    The five of you (dogs incl) are a family and that should be the end of the story.
    No arguments – Ava is your (first) legacy and she will be the product of all the skills and knowledge that the two of you can share with her, she will grow into the person she was meant to be because of her parents – Sharon and Walter.
    I really hope you claim this and find a place where you are happy with this, for it was meant to be.
    Love and blessings
    xoxo

    May 7, 2010 at 3:11 am
  • Reply staceysthoughts

    First, I can’t believe that anyone would suggest those hurtful things. Of course Ava is your legacy. You two are her parents and you are the ones who will nurture her and raise her and give her a solid foundation. She is truly a beautiful child and you and Walter are her REAL parents, day in and day out!

    Next, I wanted to tell you that I was just crying my own tears tonight, to my husband, about how I feel caught in between two worlds. I still feel funny about Mother’s Day (just finished a post about it — to publish this weekend).
    I know that while our histories are similar, our journeys have taken different directions. But I think some of those feelings of not knowing where to belong are similar. It is a harsh reality when you realize that some people can’t or won’t support you BECAUSE you finally became a mother, even after such a long struggle. Ouch.

    Anyway, just want you to know that I love your story and your life with Ava. And I’m excited about following along as you pursue bringing home another baby, whichever route you choose.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:58 am
  • Reply staceysthoughts

    Oh, and Happy Mother’s Day!! 🙂

    May 7, 2010 at 6:02 am
  • Reply ttcnot2easy

    Ava IS your legacy, your destiny and your fate. Your daughter. And I agree with Julia – “claim it”. Relish it. It’s easy to say forget about those who hurt you, rather focus on the love and support you get from others – because I know how hard it is to deal with the hurt, when all you really want is 100% love, acceptance and support. Particularly from those who have walked the IF path alongside you – because you are able to relate to what they feel and where they are. Even while your precious daughter is in your arms.
    Thinking of you and wishing you strength.
    xx

    May 7, 2010 at 6:04 am
  • Reply bratty37

    Hi Sharon…my first reaction to your post was “Well, she needs to change her circle of friends..”…I always remember Oprah saying something to the effect of “Make people responsible for what they bring into your life”..coupled with Dr Phil saying “You teach people how to treat you”
    But then I reflect on my own life. I am very non confrontational…if someone said “the Legacy” thing to me, I probably would have smiled and gone home and cried myself to sleep.
    Reality is that now, you are responsible for another life..a life that is more important than any person out there (infertile/MPI)…
    You still have alot to offer the “infertile” world cause of your journey…
    Don’t give these people power over you, Sharon…

    May 7, 2010 at 8:34 am
  • Reply skrambled

    Sharon, I can imagine that finding a place to be comfortable in can be difficult. It’s almost as if you did have the nine months to celebrate the end of your journey. It just happened like a whirlwind and you had to shift from one extreme to the other very quickly. In my humble opinion ….. I think that you should allow yourself some time. Some time to acknowledge what you have been through and then finally celebrate where you are now. It’s a victory! Claim it and enjoy it!

    Ava is YOUR daughter and definitely a legacy to you and Walter. Whoever said that needs to take a lesson in empathy. That is a very hurtful comment.

    I’m speaking from my heart here and I really hope that I am not coming across as insensitive.You are welcome to let me know if I do.I really pray that you find peace soon. Remember that in the mean time you have so much great support around you in real life friends….. That is also a celebration in itself.

    May 7, 2010 at 8:43 am
  • Reply niseysmusings

    Sharon, I believe that souls choose their parents. Whether they grow within you or come to you through adoption, fostering or any other way.

    I believe with all my heart that Jaden has chosen Heine and I. It took him a 15 long months to find us but he did.

    Ava was much smarter and she chose you even before she was born. She chose to have you in the delivery room, she chose to have all of her firsts with you, she is your daughter.

    Kahlil Gibran wrote in the Prophet
    Your children are not your children.
    They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
    They come through you but not from you,
    And though they are with you they belong not to you.
    You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

    You will do your best with Ava just like any birth mother will do their best, they are no more or no less because they birthed their children.

    It is understandable how you feel like you don’t fit in. You were the ultimate infertile! You were the best IF friend to hundreds of women online, your IRL friends were/are IF it was every waking thought of every day for seven long years. Your infertility defined your life. Now you feel like you’ve lost that and it is hard, it is understandable that you would go into “mourning” for a part of your life that is no longer.

    The reality is though, that you are still infertile, but now you’re a mom too. Its a funny place to be and I don’t know how you can reconcile that. You will always upset people and get stupid people making stupid comments. One of my H’s friends (who has a child) told H not to adopt because its much better to have your own kids. WTF? Its life. We’re all guilty of putting our foot in it from time to time.

    Have a super fabulous Mothers Day!

    May 7, 2010 at 8:49 am
  • Reply jhcwp

    Hi Sharon,

    I don’t post often, I do love reading your blog though and love your updates of Ava, she is an absolute cutey! I am hoping not to upset you with what I am going to say but maybe just put things in differnt perspective….you allow your ‘perception’ of what others ‘may’ think of you to rule how you feel about your life. You are you, and your family is what it is…live it! Fit in where you want to fit in…let other people be, they have their own roads to travel. I think people that live with infertility carry varying amounts of guilt and sadness with them and can project those onto other people. you can only control your thoughts, not what others think of you, or what you think they think of you…… You are a great Mom to Ava, a mom who suffers from infertilty, who has experienced the beautiful process of adoption, you are blessed, you have knowledge and experience to help others…be proud of it. For people who don’t like it, let them feel how they feel…

    May 7, 2010 at 9:01 am
  • Reply zamom

    Firstly, I somehow disabled being able to see the photos and videos on your site. If you can help, I’d be grateful, then I could gush even more about your gorgeousness. I am still astounded that you get reactions like you do and I can only imagine how hurtful it all is. I do believe as Ava gets older and moves away from the “recently born”, could still be breastfeeding, etc. phase of her life, you will fit in very easily. With Zoe now it’s all about schools, extra-murals, etc. no one cares whether she was breastfed, sleeps through the night or how she came into the world. Yes, when you’re around other new moms I can imagine you feel a bit left out but I can assure you it won’t be for much longer. I am a very firm believer that nurture trumps nature in a huge way, so Ava is every bit your legacy.

    May 7, 2010 at 9:45 am
  • Reply zamom

    Oh and another thing, I don’t think we ever get over infertility. Whenever I hear about pregnancy announcements and they’re the one’s where the couple decide to start trying and in the first month or so, it all happens. I am obviously happy for them but it still hits a nerve and I think to myself that they don’t even know just how lucky they are.

    May 7, 2010 at 9:48 am
  • Reply marina1605

    Hi Sharon. I’m so sorry that you are feeling this way. But don’t let this stop you from enjoying finally becoming a mother. You’ve waited so long for this and you shouldn’t worry that your happiness will hurt others. I agree with the statement that you can’t be everything to everyone. And as for the #$%wit that said that about your legacy, what an ignorant fool. My mother always says that pregnancy and birth don’t make a mother. Loving, taking care of and nurturing a child is what makes a mother and you’re doing all of that and more for YOUR CHILD, so stuff what everyone else thinks.

    Have a fantastic Mother’s Day on Sunday. It’s our first one and a happy day for a change, so make the most of it!

    xxx

    May 7, 2010 at 10:01 am
  • Reply darylfaure

    Sharon, all I can say is “to thine ownself be true”. You are a wonderful mom to a beautiful little girl. How you became a mom is not important – how you are as a mother is what counts. I’m afraid there are always going to be silly insensitive people around, at every phase of your and Ava’s life, so try not to focus so much on their thoughtless comments, but rather focus on the comments that help you to grow as a person and mother.

    You also cannot spend your life apologising for having found your happy ending after walking the path of infertility. All you can do is remember what it felt like to be there, and be supportive to those still in the trenches. Sometimes, words are not necessary, and maybe a kind gesture will say more to someone still in the trenches, as we know that sometimes words do hurt when you are stuck in a dark place.

    Have a most wonderful mother’s day. Shout it from the treetops and be justifiably proud of who you are and give thanks for your wonderful daughter.

    May 7, 2010 at 10:01 am
  • Reply TJ

    Well screw the asshole that was so damn insensitive! And so sorry you’re feeling so lost! I guess we all feel lost at certain points in our life. Though crossing over can cause that feeling to be more prominent especially when you have close friends still in the trenches. I still feel lost myself some days. I guess putting it plainly…we fit into the Mom category…stuff the sub categories. (Though I understand that some stories are difficult to hear from other Moms) But apart from the pregnancy stories, you have a beautiful birth story and you are able to offer a wealth of advice to new Moms as well on many topics!

    You’re still a new Mom and all I can say is having spoken to my aunt about Adopting her daughter…it gets easier when things settle in, and when you as parents just learn to forget about what others think. The fact that Ava is adopted won’t be on your mind everyday. Because she is yours, she is your own! No matter how you became a Mom.

    I mean, how incredible is your little miracle? Have you noticed how much she resembles you? She was sent to you and you know that!

    May you have an absolutely FABULOUS Mothers Day! This year is different, this year you ARE A MOM!!! 😀 And You can celebrate and revel in that fact while at the same time giving thanks and appreciating both your own Mom and your beautiful daughter!

    Your happiness will shine through in Ava, and give her and yourself your everything. Don’t suppress your emotions or feelings because you’re afraid of hurting someone! You’re only going to hurt yourself in the end!

    Oh, and my favourite days are – Wordless Wednesdays!

    May 7, 2010 at 10:33 am
  • Reply suestuart

    Hi Sharon, although we now have Katy who, as you know, was conceived via IVF, please know that in some small way I do understand what you are going through. Although we only had Nathan for 6 short weeks he will always be my son, yet he is forgotten by almost everyone. I still perceive him to be a son/grandson/nephew/cousin, but its as if he never existed.

    I thank God that your adoption of Ava worked out differently. She is and always will be your daughter, your legacy, your heir, your responsibility. She is YOURS, no matter the circumstances of her conception.

    Happy Mothers Day for Sunday, mommy!

    May 7, 2010 at 11:05 am
  • Reply vroutjie

    Hi Shaz,

    I can understand how you feel, but bugger everyone else!! You are just as much a mother as anyone who brought their baby into the world themselves!! You deserve to enjoy Mother’s Day in full – and please do – because you are a mother! Just because some people don’t understand adoption that is not your fault but theirs!

    Enjoy every moment of your unique situation and your precious little miracle!!

    Lots of love.
    A.

    May 7, 2010 at 11:21 am
  • Reply Zeu

    Hi Shaz,
    It will get easier as Zamom pointed out. Insensitive people are out there, and if they can spread a bit of their “poison” and lower you to their negative outlook, they’ll try. Fact is, some people can not stand to see other people happy and will continously pass remarks to try and derail your happiness.

    Mothers day is coming up, and you are every bit a Mother to Ava as any other biological mom to her child.

    Enjoy the day, hug and kiss your child, for you are HER mother!

    Hugs,
    D

    May 7, 2010 at 12:44 pm
  • Reply mommy2m

    Hi Sharon
    Of course Ava is your legacy. She is your child in every way. Her biological mother chose you and W to be her parents. She entrusted Ava to you with her love and blessing because she knew you would love Ava the way mom should love her child. She gave you Ava because she knew Ava would be safe and happy with you. In short she gave you Ava with the intent that she should be your legacy. It is not genetics that make a parent. It is the love, the joy the pain, the sleepless nights and dirty bottles, the worry, the fear and all the laughs. YOU ARE HER MOTHER!
    People will lash out at you because you are now living the dream you longed for for so long. It is a dream so many people want and although most are incredibly happy for you, some will struggle to be able to share your joy because you have what they desperately need and want and yet it is out of their grasp. I think that in the envy your 7 year struggle has been forgotten. You have earned the right to be joyful and to embrace this wonderful opportunity to be a mom, a family of 3 and hopefully soon, of 4! It is time to take ownership of that joy. Maybe it is time to move on from people who are unable to support you. We often hang onto to relationships out of guilt, we struggle to cut ties to our past which prevents us from effectively moving on to our future. You don’t owe anyone an apology for your status as a mom, you don’t owe anyone an apology for the way you feel about Ava and you certainly don’t owe anyone any apologies for blogging about your life and what is important to you. We all have our own journeys to take through this life. Sometimes people come into our lives for a short while to teach or be taught, sometimes that period is longer and sometimes it is forever. Learning to let go is part of our lesson.
    Know that you do belong. You belong to a group of women called moms. It is not about how you achieve the role of mother but what you do with it. You belong to a wonderful, strong group of women who are infertile. Some will experience motherhood and some won’t but that is not a reason for you to suppress your motherhood. GIve those that want it your support, and those that don’t, walk away with love and understanding. Things change when you become a mm. Your priorities change, your time lines change, your whole way of life changes. As I have said to you before, my journey has been very different to yours but many of the results have been similar. Many single friends or those without children, don’t understand the all consuming job of parenting and slowly start drifting away. From a huge group of friend the only ones we have left are those with young children. It is an adjustment but I finding a whole new world full of friends who understand my world. It will happen to you to.
    Happy Mother’s day, Sweetie!!!!! May your day be filled with love and laughter!
    Regards
    Robyn

    May 7, 2010 at 1:34 pm
  • Reply samcy

    I can’t say I know what you’re going through and how lost you’re feeling cos I clearly don’t.

    What I will say is this. Ava is your daughter and your legacy 100%. STOP focusing on what others say. STOP focusing on insensitive remarks. Your wise friend is right. Live and let live. Post your excitement at being a mom for Mother’s day on FB and twitter. Revel in the fact that you’re going to have a special day. Focus on that new group of friends that you’re making through getting involved with baby things. Nurture the friendships with MPI’s. That is how you’ll find your “niche”. As I’ve told you MANY times there is nothing wrong with doing all the above.

    Happy Mother’s Day.

    xxx

    May 7, 2010 at 4:40 pm
  • Reply dee

    Shaz – seriously stuff everyone else who have bad things to say. Just let the comments roll like water off a ducks back. Im sure I speak for everyone of your followers – we WANT to hear EVERYTHING about Ava, her progress, you and your progress or else we wouldnt have asked to follow your blog. If I were you I would shout from the roof tops, enjoy mothers day and yes, I want to hear how it goes and how wonderful it feels to actually have a live breathing baby to call your own.

    PS I dont ever see you as smug
    xxx

    May 8, 2010 at 7:06 pm
  • Reply Mash

    There’s such a danger in this warm, cosy, infertility community. Because it gives us such a strong sense of belonging, and who are we without it? The infertility community is such a comfort for a time in our lives, but then we move on, either choosing childlessness or becoming a mother one way or another. It’s very obvious to me too, that stepping out of the trench means stepping out of the support structure.

    On some days, I love hearing about Ava and your life, and on other days, when I feel so scared and vulnerable, then I just don’t read about other people’s babies until I feel better. On those days I feel drawn to the blogs that emulate the space I’m in.

    You have every right to enjoy where you are at.

    May 9, 2010 at 1:00 pm
  • Reply Jaded

    This journey toward motherhood has so many layers that it’s unbeleivable. You have expressed so many truths in this post. I still have not had Ziggy and I am already dealing with many of the issues that you have broght up. Still, this is your time for happiness – IT HAS ARRIVED. Don’t deny yourself the happiness because you fear you owe something to others. You owe it to them to be honest – about your emotions, your encouragement and even your happiness. Despite the hurt that others are going through – i know that on some level thay will accept your encouragement has genuine.

    May 9, 2010 at 3:14 pm
  • Reply coachmarcia

    yay, I’m in. The access worked 🙂

    I sit here GOBSMACKED that someone could be that cruel to say something so ugly. I know Sue from infertility support group and I WEPT when she shared her story – as she said, how people discounted Nathan just because he was adopted.

    I’m of the school that you need to be you and move on without those negative nellies.

    Another perspective on the quietness when you post about Ava – I subscribe to and read MANY (too many?) mommy blogs. But I must be honest, the ones I love the most are the ones where I hear more about the mommy than the baby LOL. That’s me – I never have been the type to totally go gaga about babies, mine or anyone else’s. *blush*

    I have a post brewing about seasons of friendship too. One of these fine days I’ll post it.

    May 13, 2010 at 2:56 pm
  • Reply pandoragelb

    I agree with Bratty, don’t give people that power over you. I once heard this somewhere: ‘If someone is jealous of you, don’t let their negative energy affect you. It is not your problem.’ I have tried to apply that in my life, and in the end I really only care what my family and friends think. People do say strange things sometimes I just think it is for lack of anything else to say. Someone asked me how any mother could give up her baby for adoption. I don’t think it occured to her that I may have been the wrong person to ask! Anyway, carrying a baby for 9 months and giving birth is not the only thing that makes you a mother. It is also what happens after that does. And looking at your photos, I can see love and happines shining out of your eyes, and I recognise that look, I see it in my photos. You are a mom, no doubts about it. Look how happy Ava looks! She is exactly where she belongs.

    May 15, 2010 at 8:42 pm
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