Thursday, September 25, 2008

Calling it a growth opportunity

I am still feeling the effects of the events of last Saturday (previous post). I am sad, sad, sad. I don't blame Belinda for not telling me her family didn't know (we were in a local article together so I think it was a safe assumption) although it would have been nice. I'm sure she was doing the best she could and to be fair, she seemed surprised to see her mother. I don't blame her mother. As many of you pointed out, she was probably doing the best she could too.

The actual event, in hindsight, wasn't that big of a deal. I never intended to have any kind of relationship with anyone in Belinda's family and I still don't. I will likely never see B's mom or any other relation again. Whatever they think about things is their issue, not mine.

The repercussions of the encounter has very little to do with B's mom and a lot to do with me. What she so casually and innocently pointed out was how important genetics are. She felt a strong connection to a complete stranger's baby simply because they share some genes. It's more than making a child who is genetically programmed to lean toward certain traits and behaviors, it's about leaving a legacy.

I won't leave that kind of a legacy. I hope to leave another kind - the kind that comes from raising a child to be happy, kind, responsible and all those things that we hope for in our children. I am not naive. I know the template was set on the day she was conceived. If she was meant to be a sports car, I'm not going to change her into an SUV. My hope is that I will guide her to be the happiest sports car she can be. Ultimately, isn't that more important?

The last few days haven't just been about the genetic connection either. The events of Saturday brought out a whole lot of grief. The grief that comes with losing a child and not being able to have another. The guilt and regret of decisions I made early on that could have changed the entire course of events. The helplessness I feel looking back and wishing and wondering why I couldn't have done it differently - either by making different choices or just somehow willing it to happen. It was a vivid reminder of what went wrong. Even though I know it is wasted energy, sometimes it is hard not to get stuck in it.

I have heard grief is like climbing a spiral staircase. Although you are making progress, you keep coming around to the same view, just slightly different. I suppose this is how it will go. Some things in our lives just have too great of an impact to ever go away completely.

I have spent a few days on the side of the staircase that faces the past and sees the sadness, but I won't linger here any longer. I will likely come back to it, but maybe next time it won't take me by surprise or perhaps I will just keep walking instead of pausing to wallow in it. As we all know, life is too short to not enjoy the good in it. I know I have an abundance of good in my life right now.

In an effort to keep moving forward, I have decided to get more sleep and exercise - two things that have helped in the past. I suspect I already eat enough chocolate.


Smiling said...

Just letting know that I hear you and have some similar experiences myself... I still circle back to wondering why I did what I did, why did I wait, why didn't I listen to my gut that I shouldn't wait... But then again this journey is turning out to be interesting in its own quirky way. My donor and I stayed up last night chatting about resemblence. She was grateful about how being a donor has made her realize how much resemblence is not genenic in that her children often 'channel' the mannerisms of close family friends. I just laughed at how I go in mental circles about the genetics of it all, this whole things makes her think of the other side of the coin.

I wish you joy as you round the bend and support when it comes back again.

battynurse said...

I'm sorry this has been difficult for you. I think it would have thrown me for a loop too. One thing I think of is that while yes, genetics are important they don't have to be the most important thing. Genetics gave LB her hair color and eye color and things such as that but you will be the one there giving her love. Regardless of what genetic link is there if there isn't love it doesn't matter much.

Fertilized said...

Kami - I just wanted you to know that I am here and still listening.

Lori said...

"I hope to leave [the legacy] that comes from raising a child to be happy, kind, responsible and all those things that we hope for in our children."

That's the hard part.

And you will. You will.

Sky said...

Oh Kami, I swear my heart breaks for you. I wish I could implant my devil-may-care attitude about genetics into you, truly.

But you are who you are and you can't not care about something you clearly do care about.

I just deeply trust that in time, years will pass and you will look at your daughter one day and realize you'd forgotten the whole genetic thing. Because, you see, I believe wholeheartedly that you're going to look at her someday and see yourself in her in every single way that matters.

You'll see.


luna said...

kami, I so appreciate how you can face this aspect of your grief and see it for what it is. you will leave a legacy in the love you share and the guidance and support you provide LB. but that doesn't mean you haven't lost something too.

Geohde said...


What can I say? This post really touched me....

much love,


Me said...

I really don't know what to say. I've ALWAYS been totally empathetic to your feelings about the still birth, IF, DE and genetics. I can not imagine how it feels to be smacked with it all at this stage of the journey. Gosh I'm sorry that woman was so insensitive. (HUGS)

MrsSpock said...

Grief as a spiral staircase? That seems like the perfect analogy. I'm sorry this has unexpectedly smacked you in the face. I have no doubt, though, that every act of mothering is weaving a bond between you and LB that is stronger than genetics. Her seed may have come from somewhere else, but you are the soil that has nourished, surrounded, and supported her from the moment she was conceived.

Irish Girl said...

I am familiar with the spiral staircase you mention here. But you're right, each time we come around to see the same view it looks just a little bit different, and maybe the important thing is to see it all, appreciate it all -- good and bad, above all: Keep Moving. :)

JourneyofHope said...

My first visit to your blog. Seeing your grief for what it is isn't easy. It takes guts.