Ten years really is a lifetime ago. I can honestly say that the only time I felt sad in the weekend (well, when I wasn’t thinking about my father who would have turned 83 yesterday), was when I was thinking about my husband and the lack of children in his life. (I've got a post brewing about how this affects our men - and our their loss affects us. But that's for another day.) I had a good weekend, even while I recognised the ten year mark. The sadness has gone. Maybe not permanently, but certainly for most of the time.
You see, I can’t imagine what it would be like to have a nine year old – or can imagine it only fleetingly - simply because I never had an eight year old, or a seven year old, or a six year old, etc etc. It is simply too much of a mental leap to imagine being a parent of a nine year old, and so I just don’t think about it. I could try to force myself, but that would be like hitting my head against a brick wall. And why would I do this? I think this is actually how time heals, and why it is possible for me to say now that I’m very happy with my life.
I know that after pregnancy loss, some women spend the entire nine months thinking about where they “should” have been in the pregnancy, and then a lesser number spend time marking how old their children would have been. I do that only rarely. I remember following how many weeks pregnant I would have been, in the first few months after my ectopics, my brain torturing me to remember, scared to forget, if that makes any sense. But after I wrote all the details down, I was free not to dwell on it. And so it helped me heal.
These days, I rarely think about dates or what-ifs – and if I do it tends to end up here on this blog, so perhaps gives a distorted picture of how I feel about my infertility, my losses. My ten year anniversary crept up on me by surprise. I have to think back and calculate how old my eldest would have been. But it is all theoretical. The emotion that used to be there, isn’t there anymore, not usually. My infertility, and my losses – they’re still part of me. They made me who I am. But these days I am at ease with that. I like writing those words ... at ease. They represent a release of sadness, of bitterness, of guilt. They show acceptance, and peace. And I like that. Because that’s how I feel right now.