The pain of (not) childbirth


I have seen what total focus can do.  I have seen what hope beyond hope can do.  I have seen two people so in love that they drifted apart.  I have cried my own tears and hoped my own hopes they would not.  That they would release each other from their one objective, one focus, one hope beyond hope.

Biological creation of oneself.

I watched – we watched – as two people we loved dearly slowly shredded each other.  The love and joy of pregnancy and birth and beyond? That was beyond their expected easy reach.  Because that was the next step after marriage. To have a family.  They had it all planned out.

And try they did.  And try and try again.  Then onto the medical route and all the tests. And all the while that deep inner sanctum we all have and are? Scratched and tarnished and shredded one day at a time … one period at a time … one ejaculation at a time (that is pure imagery folks – this level of detail was not offered – or sought).

Who they were and what they are?  That became less and less important.  Who they were not and what they were not? That became who they were.

I remember so well the day they said they were going for adoption.  I remember the tears.  Happy tears of joy.

Finally there was hope they find each other again!  And they did.  Even through a very intrusive drawn-out process.  Even through endless questions, interminable forms to complete, training sessions to attend – all the while assessed, measured, weighed-up for flaws.  Even through all of that they found themselves again. Found again who they are – rather than what they are not.

As a father I watched in astonishment.  No one had poked their noses into our most intimate moments, thoughts and beliefs.  No one had questioned our ability to be competent parents.  It raises all sorts of questions. It wears one down.  But in a different way.

And their fellow adoptive hopefuls?  Decades older.  Grandparenting age mostly – just like me – and finally admitting defeat (either of science and/or their finances to fund a solution).  It is not how parenting should be.  It is not parenting. And in the main they mostly carried a long list of wants and do not wants of their prospective child.  Because maybe when you have spent a large portion of your relationship, life and funds chasing a dream – why would you give that up for any old child? The problem is that “perfect babies” are just another hope, another dream, another “who we are not.”

Our loved ones had no such list.  Just one age related request – the desire to be a mother/father in “age-gap” – rather than a (perceived) sister/brother of their child.  That was all. Everything else was okay.

And – to cut a long story short  – I want you to know that biology is not what makes a parent.  The reason for these words is simple:

What makes a parent is love.

No child is ever a reject – nor damaged – not anything other than loved – and will always be simply “our child” once love takes over.

And it does – and it did – and it is. Love became their focus – love became who they are, what they are. Their family was full of love, is full and overflowing –

Biological reality never goes away.

It just stops mattering.

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Sequel time:

Maybe with all that pressure removed … all that focus … all that burden … all that “bad stuff” … I have no answers. I have only joy.

Because they are now a family of four – and in the middle of growing a second “biological” child. No science involved. No funding needed. I have no answers only joy. Soon they will have be a family of five. All equal. All loved. All their own children.

And I wonder …

If they had not wanted to be parents more than “biological parents” … would they still be together … would they have carried their pain into new relationships with new partners … would they have ever become “biological parents” … would they have “lived” – or would they have chosen, through their focus, to defer “living” in favour of achieving a personal dream?

God may have a purpose in allowing or not an easy route to childbirth. I have no answers or opinion on behalf of God. I have no answers to any of this.

But I do wonder …

Does any God really want us to want something so badly that we let it tear us apart?  No God I know would desire that for us. No God I know would desire any of us to “smother and shred another” – no God I know would ever want us to do that to ourselves.

And (for me this is the absolute truth) the God I know is not my biological father.

He is just “my father” and has shown time and again that –

I am just “his son”.

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Inspired this morning by the pain and tears of another blogger – and the many comments of pain and tears from others in response.

These words also checked with the two loved ones concerned – they are too precious not to.

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12 thoughts on “The pain of (not) childbirth

  1. very good read – I sense through your words, perhaps, another love – yours for your friends! I have learned through these kind of “waiting” periods, that God is only bringing us to a place where he knows we are ready to be blessed!

    • PP thank you. You sense correctly – they are much loved. The pain of others in a similar time and place – still hurting with an end in sight … that pain spreads just as love spreads and outflows.

  2. “Does any God really want us to want something so badly that we let it tear us apart?”… there is so much truth in this statement. I am praying for your blogger friend…

    • Julie, thank you. Something is wrong in the “de”value we place on couples who struggle to bear children. But maybe something is wrong in the way that same “value” is able to influence those struggling. No answers, just a lot of love.

  3. I have not mentioned this yet in my long protracted story. We applied for adoption when we were unable to have our own. We were deemed unsuitable. Too much baggage! Too much intrusion! Too much honesty! It was after we were turned down that I became depressed. Last hope! Last chance! Gone! It was after that that my friend and Jesus found me again and lifted me back on to my feet. Such love! Kevin and I are still together, older, bruised, prickly at times, cuddly at other times, comrades over a cup of tea and coffee, sometimes distant, sometimes close, best friends travelling together with our cat, my baby. Enjoy the fishing and family time this week-end. Love, Julia

    • Good morning Julia – and after a very wonderful R&R – I have pondered your words. And remain inadequate to the task. Because each one of us has a unique story. And each different persective will – at some point – bump into another. Even my own changing perspective causes me my own bumps. Yet if these words scratched your unique story, my apologies. “Scratching” is never the intent of any words placed here.

      Reading your comment: “It was after that that my friend and Jesus found me again and lifted me back on to my feet.” may be the only non-unique element to all our unique stories.

      • Evening Paul,
        Sorry, I didn’t have time to reply this morning. I was already late for work. I am glad you have enjoyed rest and recuperation. It is often at this time of year that we need it. I am sorry if I sounded scratchy in my comment above. That wasn’t intended. I am glad that your friends are now a family of four with another one on the way. It is a joyful story to be celebrated. And it was good that you wrote about it. I know and celebrate similar stories of people known to me. And then I come along and pour cold water on it. Poor me! It didn’t happen to me. I don’t think i quite meant it like that. I was glad you gave me the opportunity to mention part of my story that is hard to talk about. It is very private and the hurt at the rejection went deep. In some ways it hurt more than the miscarriages. Fortunately for me at the time, I had confided in a friend and colleague who also was rejected.So it helped me to realise that there might be something wrong with the system as much as anything that the social worker perceived to be wrong with me. And since our rejection I have heard of others. I am being scratchy now. I think the adoption process stinks. And the people it lets down even more than us (potential parents) are the thousands of children in care. My rant over for the time being. No, perhaps why I added my comment was to say that I can still consider myself blessed by God despite outward circumstances; despite the denial to us of something that we hoped was potentially good (for us and the children.) I may not understand why in this life. i may sometimes experience of longing or yearning wondering what how our life could have been. One thing I am sure of is that God is close to those who are suffering, and that for a time, was me.
        Lots of love, Julia

      • Julia, the more you write the more I see a very special person. Like all of us – imperfect. Unlike all of us – so very gracious and so very real. That combination gives your words – for me – great power and humanity. I am always reminded that He provides these connections for a reason – face to face, blog to blog, in so many different ways. And – as usual – I am generally the last to understand why! 🙂

  4. Thank you for your lovely words above. I think you are pretty special too. And I am sure your many regular followers think that too. I have just been discussing blessings with another Blogger. Several people have been kind to me and showing me appreciation this week, sometimes when I think I have just been doing my job. Your words are like a blessing to me. Our three-in-God knows when we need it. Our contract at work comes to an end on 31 March 2015. (Ssh, say it quietly, I am not really allowed to write anything about work).Our little team have been under a strain all month wondering what will happen next. Tomorrow our Managers are coming to meet with us with (we hope) some answers. Thank you for your blessing (unbeknown to you). It will stand me in good stead for tomorrow. Love, Julia

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