We Three

I love Sila. A lot.

It’s such a joy to have her in our family.

Does it make me think about having a baby?

Yes. It does.

I hold her and I love her and she wants to be near me every second.

And of course I wonder what that would be like…with a baby.

But, month after month, no baby.

Year after year, another birthday.

Day after day, still not attempting the project of adoption (a.k.a. moving to the states, getting a stable job, getting insurance, a car, and an address.)

And so, I feel every possibility of a child passing us by.

I think about it a lot.

And I hold Sila a little tighter.

—-

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35 Comments

  1. Anonymous September 9, 2015 at 12:09 pm - Reply

    You are speaking right to my heart. I know exactly those same feelings. You are not alone. <3

  2. Kristen - Dine & Dish September 9, 2015 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    Oh….thinking of you. I can't imagine how hard this tug on your heart must be.

  3. Hannah September 9, 2015 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    Right here with you, sister. I know those feelings, too. But we're also finding joy and purpose in our every day. Such a strangely beautiful to be. I'm proud of you. I'm proud of us.

    • mara September 10, 2015 at 6:01 pm - Reply

      I loved this – THANK YOU. I'm proud of you and proud of us, too.

  4. Ruth September 9, 2015 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    I have a friend who through life choices has not ended up having a baby. She finally found a husband that loves and adores her and through his life choices adoption/foster care is not an option. She has made peace with these decisions and has found LOTS of joy in their life together. Whether or not, you end up having a baby, what you are doing now is effecting people in such a positive way. Definitely not a replacement, but definitely a legacy you are leaving behind. I hope to some day meet you in person, as I am certain you are a kindred spirit and they are rare. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me everyday. I am grateful to know you through this blog.

    • mara September 10, 2015 at 6:07 pm - Reply

      Oh, Ruth – thank you!! Your words spoke to me. It has always been my hope that this blog and retreats, etc., would mean something to someone. In way, since I don't have children that I can affect so directly, this is my way of still being an influence for good if I can. And perhaps some marriages or current or future moms/dads/families out there could benefit in some way. So thank you for your words. Truly, they mean so much.

  5. 2dognite September 9, 2015 at 4:06 pm - Reply

    I give my dogs a lot of credit for getting me through some of the pain of infertility. In one of my darker (and more hilariously unstable moments), I cried and told my dog that I was sorry for spaying her and stealing her fertility. Aaaaaaand then very nice men in white coats brought me to the loony bin.
    But all levity aside, squeeze your dog because the purity of that love is as real as it gets.

    • mara September 10, 2015 at 6:09 pm - Reply

      This is great. Thanks for sharing! 🙂 🙂 And so glad you've got some little companions.

    • Alpine V May 18, 2016 at 1:27 am - Reply

      This made me smile. I so feel this way. The love of my doggies brings so much joy and laughter in the midst of the pain of infertility (or any other painful experience). Dogs and dog-people are AmAzInG! 🙂

    • Alpine V May 18, 2016 at 1:30 am - Reply

      So perfect! The love of a dog truly heals the soul. 🙂

  6. John Kruse September 9, 2015 at 5:21 pm - Reply

    Beautiful, Mara. 🙂

    • mara September 10, 2015 at 6:08 pm - Reply

      Thank you, John!!! So nice to see your note. Danny and I feel indebted to you and Elon for your friendship and fire. They are both so very, very much appreciated – you have no idea.

  7. M September 9, 2015 at 8:00 pm - Reply

    I am so sorry. Infertility is so, so hard. Thank you for writing this, though. It's beautiful and is a great demonstration of how to live with love when circumstances are sad. I appreciated reading it.

  8. A Few Good Eggs September 9, 2015 at 8:18 pm - Reply

    Isn't it amazing how an animal can open your heart in such incredible ways? I feel similarly about our cat and I don't know how I would have survived infertility and loss without him. Their unconditional love is such a blessing. I don't have any words regarding your feelings about growing your family except to say that I'm sorry this continues to be a struggle.

    • mara September 10, 2015 at 6:14 pm - Reply

      Yes! I had very little idea, actually – since this is my first dog. I'm kind of taken back, at times, by how much we adore her and how much she affects us and makes us melt. So glad you have a kitty! And thanks for your sincere note.

  9. Lindsey September 9, 2015 at 8:43 pm - Reply

    After having a stillborn at 6 months my dog was such a life saver. My arms needed to hold something tight, and she was happy to oblige. She never left my side. She is spoiled beyond belief now, which may be bad news if we ever do have a living child. But I love her so much. The infertility journey is grueling. I know you have the tools to grieve the loss of your unborn children, but that doesn't mean the process will be easy. Big hugs to you.

    • mara September 10, 2015 at 6:18 pm - Reply

      Big hugs right back! I'm so sorry about your baby. Sending love for all you've been through and all that is ahead. And so glad you have a little doggie in your family. XOXO

  10. NADYNE September 9, 2015 at 10:45 pm - Reply

    Mara,

    I felt compelled to write because, though I haven't dealt with infertility, I do know what it's like to be childless and wish to not be.

    Without going into details, and turning this into the longest comment you've ever received, let me just say that, for most of my life, I thought I would have kids, and was heart-broken when I started to realize, around my late thirties, that that might not happen.

    Though the logistics are different, I think I understand very well how you feel. But the reason I’m writing/what I want to tell you is this: there is an amazing, beautiful, rich life to be had without children. Just as having children can be amazing, beautiful, and rich. It's a different life than most people's (which, in part, is what makes it sometimes seem so lonely/sad/scary/strange from the outside), we don’t get to see many positive examples of it portrayed in the media, but please trust me when I say that it is no less awesome. There can be just as much love, growth, creativity, sharing, sense of belonging, purpose – all of the good things. And those things can be felt just as intensely. Especially, when the people living that life are as grateful and thoughtful as you and Danny are.

    The position in which you (and many women) find yourself now, the position in which I was in for many years, is , in my opinion, the hardest part. It's the not knowing whether or not it's going to happen that is crazy-making. Wondering if you're making the right decisions, weighing pros and cons, wondering if there's anything more you can do, questioning, analyzing, researching options, trying to remain hopeful while surrendering to what is, losing hope, getting hope, losing it again, feeling like you're running out of time, having faith, losing it, getting it back – it's incredibly draining, both mentally and physically. But the good news is that it doesn't last forever. And what's on the other side, once you make it through those choppy waters, is fantastic, either way. With or without kids.

    I am almost 43, and I never thought that I'd say this but I'm now actually happy that kids weren't in the cards for me. Every day, I see and feel the advantages of not having a child. Beyond just being grateful to be done with all of the not-knowing-whether-or-not-it's-going to happen/living-on-the-edge-of-my-seat period of my life, I feel like there's so much I wouldn't have the chance to experience if I had kids. As there would be if I did have kids. And, if I'm going to be completely honest, I can't believe how much time and mental energy I spent wishing for something that wasn't happening. It seems almost insane to me now. I spent so much time wishing that my life was something it wasn't. I spent years thinking and wishing for a person/baby who doesn't even exist, mourning a life that wasn't mine.

    There is no doubt that these years in which you’re figuring out or waiting to figure out what the outcome of all of this will be are extremely trying. But, whether you and Danny have children or not, there is greatness in store for you both. I guess I just wanted to remind you of that.

    I also wanted to recommend a book, to you and/or to your readers, which helped me immensely during this time. It’s “The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness Through Difficult Times” by Pema Chodron. It's a powerful book, and I'm so grateful that it was recommended to me during that period of my life.

    Lastly, thank you for sharing your life with your readers, Mara. I don't know if you've ever heard the James Joyce line: "In the particular lies the universal", but it certainly applies to you and Danny, and to your work with this blog. In sharing the particularities of your own lives, you help us understand our own a little better.

    Sending lots of love your way,
    Nadyne

    • mara September 10, 2015 at 6:21 pm - Reply

      Thank you, thank you for your beautiful life and for taking the time to share it here for me and readers. You are an inspiration – and so many could benefit from what you said. I love this line and agree completely: "There can be just as much love, growth, creativity, sharing, sense of belonging, purpose – all of the good things." Much love, M

    • Julia September 11, 2015 at 8:27 am - Reply

      This comment from Nadyne really moves me. My husband and I have been working through infertility and our desire to start a family for the past 7 years. As much as this has hurt, and on so many levels, I am also grateful for the opportunity to open my heart and eyes even more to the many different ways in which people experience the longing for a child. Life circumstances can create their own kind of infertility, which to me can be as painful and frustrating and challenging a journey as that of diagnosed infertility. Longing is longing, and I think there are many stories of longing for a child that get lost in the dominant infertility narrative. So, hugs to you Nadyne and to you, Mara. I am so touched by your willingness to write about this, Mara. There are few online spaces where I feel my own mixed feelings about infertility, IVF and "what does it all mean?" reflected so clearly.

    • Anonymous September 13, 2015 at 8:37 pm - Reply

      Nadyne, beautiful comment. (Just ordered that book so thanks for the recommendation!:) This blog really is such a place of beauty, peace and positive thinking. Married to a wonderful man who has two children and a vasectomy and does not want to have more children. Trying to figure out what "I" want so I can discuss what "we" want to do and it is painful at times when people ask me if I want babies. Of course I do. But there are so many other thoughts and emotions that also seep in. I get anxiety over something I am not entirely sure about, and am scared to discuss openly with my husband. I got pregnant my first marriage on the pill..and had a miscarriage. It was really for the best. And now, I have someone I love and would love to have father my child and it may not be our destiny. Our choice. Our life. But it is still beautiful life full of love.
      On another note, I also have a dog who literally saved me. From an abusive relationship and taught me love and comfort unlike I had ever known before. Four legged babies are also as important as babes. xoxo to all you wonderful ladies.

  11. courtney September 10, 2015 at 2:15 am - Reply

    Thanks for your vulnerability, Mara. You have such a beautiful spirit. You are strong, capable, and sending joy to so many corners of the world. Thank you for your love. Love from Vermont (and now Brooklyn, for the semester 🙂

    • mara September 10, 2015 at 6:23 pm - Reply

      Courtney! Thank you, dear woman. And Brooklyn? Ahh…I'm missing out big time. I'll never forget meeting you – even if it was too brief. You're amazing. And best of luck for this next semester!!! So inspired by you. XOXO

    • courtney September 11, 2015 at 5:45 pm - Reply

      Thank you, sweetie. Yes, I'm pretty much across the street from Peter Pan Donuts– yikes! soooo tempting all the time haha. I feel we will meet again… xoxoxo

  12. Anonymous September 10, 2015 at 2:27 am - Reply

    This post was so vulnerable and real. As a reader I sometimes think that because you've learned all these amazing tools for dealing with trials, you don't struggle or have to work hard at choosing happiness anymore. But of course you do! Thank you for being open and honest. I'm so sorry about this ongoing struggle, but as always you are handling it with strength and grace. Lots of love!

    • mara September 10, 2015 at 6:28 pm - Reply

      Yes! We have to work at it at times. The "work" part is something you know you can always do and always go back to. And it's liberating every.single.time. But it is still work! 🙂 Thanks for your kind note. Much love, M

  13. Marie September 10, 2015 at 6:19 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing this post, Mara. Sending lots of love to you.

  14. Anonymous September 10, 2015 at 12:07 pm - Reply

    It sucks that you've ended up with a beautiful dog and not a baby.

  15. Monica Stebbing September 10, 2015 at 4:42 pm - Reply

    I can't write anything that hasn't already been said but I want to add another thank you to this chorus. Your blog has been such a blessing in my life.

  16. polischuk September 10, 2015 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    My hubs and I often say that our fur babies truly "fulfilled the measure of their creation" by filling the void in our hearts. LOVE reading your posts, such a positive approach that can be applied to anyone's life situation!

  17. jana chambers September 14, 2015 at 5:44 pm - Reply

    Sending you love today and always! This post hit close to home…longing for the life I envision in my head but not knowing how it will really all play out! Thanks for your continued example of hope and courage. Once again your blog has blessed me!

  18. Anonymous September 17, 2015 at 10:25 pm - Reply

    I don't know if this is helpful in anyway and I am not trying to meddle or be annoying. I just thought if there is a small chance that this can help you, then I would want to mention it. I know a person who is a gestational carrier for couples who can't carry their own babies, but who have can make them…if that makes sense? She lives in Utah, is LDS, and a mom to four of her own already.
    She recently had twins for a couple who had been trying for many years.
    Here is their blog: http://www.tuttletown.com/#were-having-twins-1

    • mara September 17, 2015 at 10:59 pm - Reply

      That is the most miraculous story! Thank you so much for sharing this. That woman is amazing! What an incredible, generous offering she has given to those parents. Just beautiful. I have thought about surrogacy. And we do even have 3 embryos. I know the process is very complicated and usually expensive and it has felt out of reach. But I do think about it.

  19. Andrea Quimby March 7, 2016 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    Hi Mara 🙂 Chiming in on this in 2016, but hope you see it anyway! What a beautiful thread of comments and messages. What I really admire about you very much is your lack of rushing and instead, I sense a real choice to be very thoughtful about this. You and Danny will do, or not do, whatever feels really and truly right to you as a couple. Many blessings and love to you.

  20. tcarole November 15, 2016 at 5:31 pm - Reply

    Hello from a fellow Cuencan expat! As an adoptee, my decision to adopt came easily when we found ourselves infertile as well. Before we adopted our son, though, we adopted a furry boy in a tuxedo that I loved so deeply, I still grieve 6 years after he left us. No one can say how deep love goes for an animal or a person – every love is different and if it fills your heart up, as my Samson did for me, then that is perfect love. If a little person is meant to come into your life someday, he or she will, but it's the NOW that matters and it sounds like you're doing the now quite well. Happy to have found your blog and maybe I'll see you on the street someday and we'll become friends. You seem like lovely people.

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