Our housekeeper back in Israel would base major life decisions based on revelations in her dreams. She believed strongly in the ability of dreams to inform, clarify, and portend. She was a little nutty (though a very conscientious cleaner).
A few nights ago I had a pretty interesting dream. It was the first adoption dream I had in a couple of years. The last one I remember distinctly must have been around two years ago, when we were doing IUIs. In this dream we were presented the option of a newborn boy or girl or both for adoption.
The interesting twist (because this was a dream there has to be an interesting twist) was that we were also involved in surrogacy at the time, but we didn't actually know who our gestational carrier was or whether she was in a successful pregnancy.
So in the dream, it was unclear whether we were being offered our own biological children, whether neither of them were our biological children, or whether it was a mix. Y was very concerned with clarifying the origin of each baby before agreeing to anything.
The revelation in the dream was that I hardly cared -- if the information was readily available, I wanted to know it, but in the absence of that, it didn't really bother me whether or not the children were biologically ours.
The dream actually wonderfully clarified for me that I just really want to be a mom. I want a child in my home that is our child. The details of how that child comes to be -- in whose uterus and with whose genetic material has become a lot less important to me.
For a long time, I wanted to be pregnant so so badly. I wanted to experience pregnancy at least as much as I wanted to experience motherhood. I don't count the first trimester losses because I never got very far, but with the twins I was really pregnant and I got quite big, too.
I found out being pregnant had its magnificent aspects, for sure - watching my belly grow and swell and my body change to support life, feeling the babies, the happy ultrasounds. But for me, pregnancy was also not everything it was cracked up to be. I had a difficult go of it and spent a lot of my pregnancy in bed at home or in the hospital.
The total length of time when I had a real bump but was still out in public, not holed up in my bedroom or a hospital room, probably comes out to about 3 weeks. I still associate pregnancy with illness and fragility. I think deep down it's really better not to move.
I see very pregnant women all of the time doing normal people things -- shopping, pushing strollers, exercising. All of it just blows my mind. They can do all of those normal people things and the baby just stays inside, growing away!
I watched my body change in these extraordinary ways, I got the huge belly, but still I didn't get the babies -- or I did get the babies, but I didn't get the babies to bring home and keep, which is a pretty big detail.
Wanting to experience pregnancy and wanting a baby are two different things, it turns out. Now I am mostly focused on the part of the journey I've missed out on. It would be nice to repeat the first leg (pregnancy), albeit successfully, but I know the first leg surely doesn't guarantee the second leg (motherhood), nor is there an absolute requirement to personally complete the first leg in order to experience the second leg.
This forced break is allowing me lots of time to reflect and entertain different possibilities more seriously. At this point we are on a forced break because in Canada it takes months to get an initial consultation with a RE. We are currently scheduled for mid-November, and then it would take a couple months after that to begin a new IVF cycle.
I have come to the conclusion that carrying my own baby and/or a genetic connection to the baby are not deal breakers for me anymore. For Y it is different -- I think he is more open-minded towards surrogacy but adoption is still out for him. I can't force him to get there.
I don't think either of us is quite ready to abandon traditional IVF and using my uterus, but it is both liberating and comforting to be open to the possibility of other options (surrogacy, adoption, etc).
I am trying to set some sort of timeline for us pressing forward with new options -- drawing a line at what point I give myself permission to say I've had enough and it is time to pursue a new option. Ultimately, I am willing to be flexible with my timeline when the milestones and dates on it loom close if it is appropriate, but for now a self-issued ultimatum might be my ticket to freedom.