Sunday, March 04, 2007

Those difficult moments

(I know part of this post may upset some adoptees and birth mothers out there. I'm sorry ahead of time, please know that each situation is unique, I'm not referring to you, and really this post is about my husband and me.)

Yesterday we all went out to a family party that was meant as a celebration for my 10 year old niece. There was a bunch of extended family there, and for the first time, the little girl I mentioned waaaay back here.

When I first heard that this very young relative was pregnant unexpectedly, I had wondered out loud to my husband about the possibility of us adopting the baby, simply because knowing her, I knew that this woman would not be a very good mother, and I didn't want CAS to seize the child and take her away from all her blood relatives and give her to strangers to raise or let her bounce around foster care. It wasn't something we had done anything about, and she of course, had no interest in giving up her child. But she also had no interest in being a good mother, she really sincerely thought it would be lots of fun to hang out with a baby, assumed she would gets "lots" of money from it, (yes, a quote). Totally unrealistic...

Well, over a year later, back in the real world, it has been very very hard for her to keep her child. She gets daycare subsidies, but works nights in a bar, so she never sees the little girl. (She refuses to try and get a day job, "too boring.") Her ex-boyfriend keeps trying to get more and more time with the child, and gives her some money, but not much because he has very little money. Two parents (who are more like kids themselves), no high school education, no parenting skills, and no motivation to try. Yes, the child will have food and shelter courtesy of grandparents, and no-one will physically hurt her, but still not exactly a great situation...

Anyway, the baby was there, with her grandmother, and all of us. I kept it together and tried to be nice and polite, baby chit-chat and all. (Honest admission: It is hard for me to see any baby anywhere, not just this one.) The hostess had called me and given me a heads up that they would be there, which I was glad for, since I could stick myself in the right frame of mind ahead of time.

The strange thing was my husband reaction...Mr. Cool and Collected was acting so strange, I couldn't get over it. He was running around COOING after this little baby girl. Trying to get her attention, making goo goo faces. He was positively yearning for her to pay some attention to him, to play with him, to hug him.

He NEVER does this, with any baby except our own boys, and they haven't been babies in ages. It was just so hard to see him, so obviously wanting a child, and knowing that it probably won't happen.

He never talks about our lost daughters, just alludes to "the reason we bought the car," or "what happened before."

For years now, he has acted like he doesn't even want me to try to get pregnant, that he has no interest in having more kids, and that he only goes along with all my obsessions just to keep the peace. (Interspersed of course, with comments that make it clear he wants to have a baby. And of course, we are still having sex, blah blah blah *eyeroll*) A few months after one of our miscarriages, he actually told one of our mutual friends that he was only going along with my renewed attempts to get pregnant because he knew it wouldn't work anyway. That really hurt...

But now I wonder, did he really mean that when he said it? Or is he just desperate to not get hurt again, to not be disappointed again, to not have another terrible loss eat us both up. When he said that, was he only trying to protect himself? Gahhhh, if he would rather stick a fork in his eye than talk about his feelings, then how am I supposed to know what's going on?

I'm starting to wonder if any man on earth exists who will talk about his feelings openly and honestly. Somewhere? I've met a few...but not a lot. And in the blogosphere, well, there are very few male bloggers who talk about infertility and loss. IRL, not very many ever show up at my support group meetings.

I'm starting to think that there must be some secret group of men out there who talk about their feelings when women are not a club we don't have the password for.


  1. It's a club that even they don't have the password to. I really think that men have the same feelings we do, they just don't know how to access them (or they do access them, but in strange [to us, anyway] and indirect ways). And I think actions speak louder than words.

  2. I hear ya...I have been trying for the past 15 years to get dh's feelings to the surface and it's usually fruitless.

    I hate hearing about unexpected pregnancies and people who have "oops" babies. Even being done having kids and being two years after my losses, it still stings...I suppose it always will.

  3. I really hear every word you have written. And for what it's worth, I do think that your husband is trying to protect himself in his own dysfunctional way. And I agree with Adrienne, they don't have the password to that club either, well most of them anyway. Most of the men I know avoid expressions of hope like the plague. As if just admitting to hope will certainly kill them. My own husband refused to believe the BFP until he had solid numbers from the blood tests. And even then, he isn't doing any advanced planning because as he says, "You never know." Grrr.

  4. It's my husband's defense mechanism. He doesn't allow himself to think about it because he doesn't want to get hurt (again). He can deal with what has happened in the past, because it DID happen and there's nothing else to do but "deal".

    For him, it's too painful to get caught up in the "what ifs".

  5. I'm right there with you. I know my husband so well, but in terms of his feelings about the mc and Natan's death, I think he's an enigma even to himself.

    It's so hard not to get angry about "oops" pregnancies and I go totally insane over women who have babies after not realizing for 9 months that they were even pregnant! I try to comfort myself by thinking I certainly wouldn't want those babies to have died, but you do just want to grab their parents and shake them!

  6. Yes, men are from some other planet.

    It must have been hard to see that little baby. At least she has good grandparents to raise and shelter her.

  7. Even my adorable husband is definitely password-protected in the feelings department. Unless someone has just, God forbid, died. And you're totally right, they don't talk amongst themselves either. I do always wonder if it's nature or socialization? Probably both.

  8. I know whatcha mean on the "fishing for his true feelings"...I think they just bury 'em so deeply, it is too painful to dig 'em out! I hope deep in my heart of hearts that's the reason my hubby never showed any outward grief over either of my miscarriages -- even #2 @ 14 wks that landed me in the hosp! Sure, he was concerned for ME, but it's as if that fetus & all his or her potential never existed...
    And I do appreciate your kind comments on my blog Aurelia -- come back anytime, I'll try not to bitch so much ;-)!

  9. Men huh... I know just what you mean. I get so frustrated when I try to talk to Mr. B about IF or our MC. It frustrates me that he NEVER brings it up. He never talks about it, but I saw how much the MC hurt him. He really cried when it hit home as we walked out of the hospital, but since then, he never talks about it. I think it must be some male defence mechanism they use.

  10. Every now and then MrP gives me a teeny tiny insight- a teaser if you will; that he thinks quite deeply- then just as quickly it's gone and I think I've imagined it...

  11. I encouraged my hubby Mr. Kite to start blogging about our journey, but he decided to blog on politics instead. And yes I was looking around for male perspective blogs but I can't find any. It's either they decided to blog about something else or they're now pregnant. Men deal with their emotions differently. And talking about it is just not one of them.

  12. I am kind of confused. You prefaced that this post might be upsetting to adoptees or birth mothers, but I don't see how it could.

    I know that wasn't the point of your post, just my little old observation.

    I don't think men will ever totally get it. Sometimes, they get a bit of it, but I don't know if they can ever get the whole thing. I think it is part of having a penis. It clouds their judgement and makes them stupid sometimes.