AUTHOR: Carolyn Savage | POSTED: November 20, 2010 | COMMENTS: None Yet - Post a Comment
CATEGORIES: IVF, Pre-2/16 & Post-2/16, Tags: "Norman Rockwell", challenges, constant battle, coping, dysfunctional family
Sean’s right. We were told during a premarital meeting with the priest who married us that “every family is dysfunctional.” I remember thinking at the time, “I wonder what our dysfunction will look like?” Nearly eighteen years later, I have a vivid picture. Don’t get me wrong, Sean and I function quite well together. We have three great kids (two teenagers and a two year old), a home that is mostly clean (you’ll hear about the “mostly” part in a later post), and a marriage that is still intact and pretty strong (but is wildly active with bickering and conflict). We pay our bills, enjoy our friends, and partake in the regular activities that all parents/couples do, but a Norman Rockwell painting we are not. Well, if we were, it would be a new kind of “Norman Rockwell” painting.
Of course, all of the above was true before the infamous phone call of February 16, 2009, but the mistake at our fertility clinic, and my pregnancy with another couple’s genetic child added a whole new layer of adventure and challenge to our marriage and family life. As one will read in our book, we tell our story honestly. The good, the bad and the ugly are laid out for the world to see. Why air our most challenging moments for the public eye? For me it was just another way to tell the truth about our lives. I want to make sure that people understand that sometimes doing the right thing and making tough choices involves a battle. And battle we did. We battled with the external forces that put us into a very unfortunate situation, we battled with one another, and I battled a lot with myself. At night I lay my head on my pillow with a clear conscience about the fundamental decisions we made regarding my pregnancy and the genetic family of the baby I was carrying, but sleep doesn’t always come easily thanks to a whole host of other issues that plague my mind. I guess I want people to know that giving up a baby boy that we deeply loved and desperately wanted was –and continues to be–complicated business.
Of course, all of us have complicated lives. We all deal with tough choices every day: some mundane, some with extreme consequences. Challenges have a way of creeping into our lives with little or no warning. And that is when we are called to cope. That’s what our book and this blog are about: coping. Sean and I are just two imperfect people, making our way through our lives, coping with the “stuff” that comes our way. We screw up a lot, but we love one another and laugh a lot, too. In the toughest of moments, the love and the humor are critical.
My hope for this blog is that it brings people a reality check with a dose of loving reassurance that there are no perfect people in the world. Even those that seem to have it “all together” balance darkness, bad habits, and selfishness with happiness, love and charity. As I make my way through each day I have a mental image of me swinging on a rope. Some days aren’t so bad and I’m comfortable. Other days the rope is going really fast, and I’m slipping. The toughest days are the ones when I’m merely hanging by a thread, but every day I’m holding on, trying to shimmy to safer ground. It’s a constant battle and a wild ride. Hopefully you’ll stick around, share some of your experiences, and reach out for help when you need it. Maybe we can weather this ride and fight this battle together!