We always thought we would have kids. We started trying when we believed we were ready. A month went by, then two months, six months, a year. Nothing happened.

Something was wrong, but nobody could tell us what - and they still can't to this day. We tried IVF three times but our results were not good. We were devastated.

Eighteen months after our last IVF cycle, we knew we would not be having our own children. And, somehow, we have moved to a life that is much different to the one we thought we'd have.

This blog is about what we do now we know we won't be having children - the thoughts, dreams, realities, sorrows, and joys that have become our new life path.

I hope you will enjoy what I will be sharing, and I hope that if you are at the point where life without children is a reality for you, that you might find some hope and inspiration here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Puppy love...

Time really does pass by quickly! I thought I’d only missed a week of blog entries, but it seems it’s getting close to three weeks…whoops!

The truth is that I haven’t been feeling well lately in terms of mental and physical health. Struggling is a word that comes to mind. I won’t go into all of it as the blog entry “Where I am…” on the 28th of July says it all. The feelings and thoughts I wrote about in that entry became more intense in early August and I’ve been to see a psychologist who has helped me immensely. I do want to share with you my revelations and the changes in my thinking…but not today…
Today I want to write about a little puppy who has kind of broken my heart this week.

Three good boys...Odi, Ari, and Charlie
We have been looking after my sister-in-law’s puppy, Charlie, for the past ten nights. Charlie is ten months old, extremely wriggly, and very, very cheeky. Our dogs, Ari and Odi, adore him. Our cats, Felix and Frankie, on the other hand, aren’t so impressed with Charlie being in the house. Frankie taught Charlie all about claws when he got too close to her. Luckily Charlie is smart and went out of his way to avoid her from then on.

As the nights passed I realised that I was regularly counting how many more nights Charlie was staying. It was six nights, now five, now only four. It was going way too quickly. I didn’t want to give Charlie back. It wasn’t “Oh, Charlie is so cute – I want to keep him” in a joking way. I couldn’t even think about giving him back. I didn’t want to and I feared my heart would break if we did. I tried to think of ways that we might be able to keep him, while knowing all along that it wasn’t an option.

Even the thought of Charlie not being here with us made me cry.

I couldn’t understand why I felt so passionate about keeping him and so desolate at the thought of Charlie going home. It wasn’t like we would never see him again and we had our four fur-kids to look after and love.

It was in the psychologist’s office, after she had asked me why I was feeling sad, that I had a revelation.  I burst into tears and said that I didn’t want to give Charlie back because it made me think of Minerva and losing her (see blog entry "Sweet Dreams..."). I miss her so much and giving Charlie back, while not the same as Minerva dying, brought up intense feelings of loss.

Charlie in his bed...
Then there was the realisation about how nice it was to have a baby in the house. Okay, I know Charlie is a dog, but he is also a puppy. He needed to be comforted more than Ari and Odi (who are seven and eight respectively) and he wanted to come inside and go to his bed to have naps. Charlie has a bed that has zippered flaps to keep him in, but he’s managed to chew a hole through the front flap. As such we put the front of the bed to the wall and put him in his bed using the flap at the top of the bed. 

When I picked Charlie up and put him in his bed it felt like I was placing a baby in its cradle.

So, Charlie filled some of the missing pieces in my heart from losing Minerva and wanting a baby. It was comforting and I didn’t want it to end. I feared that the feelings of sadness, loss, and even the anger, associated with these two losses would rise again.

It seems we never truly “get over” any loss that we experience and that grief can return, even if only slightly, with every loss that occurs in the future. And this loss might be as simple as having to give a puppy back to his owners after ten nights of caring for him.

Charlie's close up...
Charlie went home last night. I miss him so much, and Ari is very lost without his little minion, but it was heart-warming to see Charlie so excited to see his (human) mummy and (human) brother after so long. It was as it should be to take Charlie home.

And now I know that my grief about Minerva and my grief about not having a baby linger still.


Mali said...

I think grief is often intertwined. And grief lingers. It comes and goes, and just when we think it has gone, it returns again. But gradually it is less and less. I'm sorry that the joy of having Charlie in the end called so much pain.

Kate Bettison said...

Hi Mali - I completely agree. Grief is a strange thing...I am missing Charlie, but I wouldn't trade having him stay with us for the pain I might have with his leaving. And it is pretty cool when he comes running to us when we visit him! He is such a little comedian!

Anonymous said...

Hi my name is malia.. I am 19 and I just found out I can't have children never ..I'm in so much tears reading these.. I feel not that alone anymore.. thank you guys

Kate Bettison said...

Hi Malia - I'm so sorry to hear that you are unable to have children. It is a very difficult thing to know that you will never have children. You are definitely not alone - and you are always welcome here. x