Life Update

If you have been wondering why I’ve been so quiet over here, stay here for an update. 

We have been very busy since we returned from our family vacation. We had “camp” or respite with our niblings (the kin we fostered for a summer) and then immediately went into a full home renovation in preparation to sell. I’ll start with a brief update on the niblings. 

Niblings are doing so well. Grandma and grandpa have legally adopted them and they are all settling into their new family dynamic. They are growing and learning and thriving. Most importantly, they get to see their mom regularly. After being over a year out from making one of the most difficult decisions of our lives, I would do it again for the outcome. 

We had been talking about selling our house casually for a while but started to get serious about it this year. In preparation to sell, we knew we wanted to make some cosmetic updates. One lesson I did take from my childhood that I think is worth continuing is “leave things better than you found them”. We bought this house my junior year of college, in a “buyer’s market” in an attempt to have more space for about what we were paying in rent for a small one bedroom apartment. We bought knowing it was safe and functional but needed some love. We had hoped to fill the house with many people, namely multiple children. 

We have spent the last decade slowly improving upon the house with a big final renovation this summer into fall. I do think we will be leaving this house better than we found it… but I hope I leave a better version of me too. After we found out that I am essentially sterile and we’re not going to be having any more children, I really struggled (and still do… and still will). I’d look around the house we had purchased to fill with children and feel sad. We are lucky, we did add one. It just wasn’t what we had planned. The house now felt like another reminder. 

Being who I am meant, I could either feel my feelings (which I am told by my therapist is the healthy thing to do) or I can push myself to the brink of exhaustion just to feel anything beyond despair. So I threw myself into the house renovations. Knowing that my body will never carry life again, I put it through construction. My body can’t have more babies but it can spackle and paint and move furniture and manage construction projects. My body can stay alive even when it doesn’t want to… 

Along the way, this maladaptive coping mechanism (and frankly, probably considered self-harm) changed. My partner reminded me to rest because I deserve it, my therapist reminded me that if I don’t let the feelings process, it will be worse later on and my community reminded me that there is space for me and my grief. My staying busy to run away from the depravity that is infertility grief became pushing the trauma out through physically moving my body… because our bodies remember when our minds want to forget. So I reclaimed ownership of my body that is strong and capable of the heavy work that is construction from the grip of infertility. And I took time to stop and allow the waves of grief to knock me down and overtake me moments before I bob back to the surface. 

As we wait for the right buyer to come along and begin to make wonderful and happy memories in the house that no longer serves us, I am reflecting on the time we spent here. We bought it wanting to fill it with humans… and over the years we have… but not in the way we imagined. It has been a place to say when there wasn’t a safe place to go, it has been a temporary home, it has been an overnight accommodation and it has held multiple children, even if only one is for keeps. It HAS served its purpose and we thank it for its time.

I may have started this renovation in a place of sadness at what will never happen in this house but I leave it feeling strong, content and full of hope that our new house will be a place of peace and healing. The new house is for a family of 3 who are at peace. 

So while we will leave this house better than we found it, I know I will leave the house a better person too. A person who is calm, who is happy and who is going to be okay. 

@hannahlouise89

Our house when we bought it 11 years ago to now as it waits for its new family. #ForSale #Renovation

♬ My House (Challenge Version) – Flo Rida

About mama@heart

After 3.5 years of infertility, we were beyond thrilled to discover our last IUI had been a success! Our RE called it a miracle but we knew it was divine. Now I blog about motherhood after infertility. We practice attachment parenting with a focus on natural and gentle methods. We babywear, cloth diaper, advocate for breastfeeding and many others. I hope you enjoy.
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