Monday, August 10, 2009

What Makes Me Cry... BlogHer '09 Community Keynote

Here is video of the post that left me a weeping mess and reaching for the edge of the tablecloth to mop up the non-stop flowage.

( For more beautiful writing, check out Mike's blog, Cry It Out. )

The thing about this piece is that it, along with Black Hockey Jesus' reading of Five, just ripped open my sort-of-healed wound that is my aching desire for a daughter. [Insert obligatory caveat that of course I love my darling three boys HERE.] I hadn't cried once (about this particular pain) in the last few months! I was coming along nicely! (Hmmm. Sounds like denial ain't just a river in Egypt, now doesn't it?)

Since crying myself out at the BlogHer Community Keynote, and don't discount the general stress of my impending departure for England (6 more days!), my feelings are so raw. I am every emotion at once, at any given moment or every day right now.

And then a few days ago a neighbor friend was innocently chatting about her sister (current mother of two boys) who is pregnant with a third. A third that ultrasounds have indicated is a girl. Squueeee! And with a good-natured elbowing, winks at me and says, "But YOU thought you were going to have a girl, too, right? So, she's not betting on it."

And, here we go....

Tears spring forth as my chin quivers and I work to control my bottom lip from rising. I had to excuse myself and practically run back home. The well-meaning (and well-liked) neighbor came over later in the afternoonto apologize. Like she could predict that I would still be touchy about this after almost four years.


My therapist asked me months ago.... shit, has it been almost a year?.... whether I had taken the time to grieve for the daughter I'll never have. I thought I had. But, I guess like any other loss that one sustains, there will always be times when the feelings resurface. And ache like they did when the burden of grief was first acquired.

Part of the rawness and emotional rollercoaster-ing is coming from my recent endometrial ablation that, besides the intended purpose of making my periods less severe, ensures that I will never be able to carry a baby to term again. It's not that I wanted to ever get pregnant again. I really didn't.

Um, I mean don't.

It is just so final. It is the end of a chapter. Actually, more like the end of a book. A book that has been a joy to read, but painful in the amount of tears that were shed as you went on the journey of that character's story.

I know there is a whole series of books ahead for me and my family. We have the three years overseas in the UK to look to immediately and there will be countless more adventures, I am sure, as the boys grow up. And, hopefully, there will be daughters-in-laws and granddaughters that I will be able to dote over and love. Making this grief I carry with me now a distant memory.


If you weren't there and have some time to watch them, I'd highly recommend watching the official BlogHer video of the whole Community Keynote:

Be sure you have a box of tissues on hand, though, because you will need them.


  1. Oh Amy. I really had never thought too much about this issue of only having one gender or the other until this raw post of yours. I feel for you my friend, and the end of the journey is so friggin' hard....I am at the end of my journey as well knowing that I will never have another kid. New chapters are tough but I love at the end of this post how you write that you are looking forward to the other girls' in your life that you will get to mother. In some way.

    And I will not watch that keynote - I cried enough tears on that day. Geez.

  2. Oh, those keynotes made me bawl like an idiot, I know exactly which ones too.
    I have a friend with three boys who, after trying for a girl every time after the first child, has finally given up the fight. She now relishes the fact that she has these young men to raise right in order to attract and marry the girls she always wanted to have so she gets her "girl", only without the emotional teenage years.
    I like her ideology, but I do see some yearning there when Sprite and I are around.

  3. I'm so sorry. Thinking of you.

  4. Once the realization of no more babies hits home, it's a tough one to swallow...and you do feel a loss. And to reiterate, boys are great and always love their Mother.

    This post has so much emotion and you have so much going on. I'm thinking of you.

  5. I think my mom felt like this when my brother and I were growing up. She'd always latch onto any girl either of us brought home with us, and she seemed to fawn over neighbors' daughters at the bus stop or cousins' daughters at family reunions. It hurt my feelings a little, but I got over it.

    Now, she goes crazy over her granddaughters. You're right about that opportunity being likely in your future, but it takes a while. Be patient and enjoy the neighbors, cousins, and girlfriends while you wait!

  6. The keynote was one of the things I most regretted missing. So I've been meaning to watch the footage.

    I know it's hard to be "done" and think of the things that will never be. And I know that I would be sad about not having a daughter (and if I didn't have boy/girl twins the second time around I'm fairly certain that I'd be the mother of two boys).

    It doesn't matter that the most important thing is that everyone is healthy. That's obvious, and beside the point. I feel like this about my special needs son. I love him just the way he is - but that doesn't mean that I don't cry over the fact that others don't...

    But kids aside - I think this is a major part of getting older - the what if's and could have beens. I have friends who sometimes feel sad about their (very well thought out and VERY right for them) decision not to have children at all. And I don't know anyone who doesn't have some kind of life regret about school, career, family... You are brave to face yours and to be honest about it. Both to us and to yourself.

  7. oh lord, amy... we're all just a big heaping mess, aren't we??? i am thinking about you, sweet world traveler, as you start your new chapters and books with your boys.

  8. I hope this comes out right, but - um - I'm one of those who did NOT want girl children. Know why? Because a girl would be sorta like me when I was - oh - 12? or 15? And that was NOT fun for my mom. I was a horrible kid.

    Anywaddle - in that regard, I think that if I had only had girl children - whom I would have loved - I'd be grieving no boys. So I do somewhat understand.

    6 days? What? Are you sending ice cream from here or across the pond?


  9. Hold on. I have to wipe my eyes because it's nearly impossible to type and cry at the same time.


    Last night I went to bed and was resigned to falling asleep on a pillow soaked with tears. Seriously. Just last night.

    (and right now, too, it would seem. I'm edging dangerously close to a wet tshirt contest here)

    I feel like I actually ache for another baby. I'm not so sure the ache is for the hope of having a girl, or just for a baby in general, but I feel like, even though I am so blessed to be the mother of two incredible sons, it's as though there's a hole in my heart where another child is supposed to fit. My husband...well, my husband says nothing when I bring this up. It's a long story, and it's probably a contributor to some of the tears. Perhaps my heart and mind are trying to find some meeting place where they can mourn the idea of not having another child. I don't know. All I do know is it often leads to the ugliest of ugly cries.

    Between the boys, I lost a pregnancy at three months, though the doctor said it likely happened sooner and just took my body time t catch up. I believe with my heart that aches that that child was a girl, and even though it's been eight years, I find myself still crying about not getting to experience life as her mother.

    So...I get this. I guess I get this. And while we can love the life of what we have, there is forever this sense of what if.

  10. I understand your sadness about not having more babies, even though, in your conscious mind you KNOW you don't want to have any more. I had my tubes tied after my 3rd was born (I was 35) and I truly didn't want any more kids.... I'd have been very upset had I gotten pregnant again! but for a day or so, I was sad, knowing I COULDN'T have any more.

  11. Wow, Amy. It's not just us...


  12. Amy, I love you for putting this into words for me, not the grief over a daughter, exactly, but the general grief, the general feeling of loss over leaving behind pregnancy and babies and all that goes with it. My youngest is six weeks old and I'm trying to just enjoy it, but I feel like every single day is another page turned in this chapter and it's the final chapter of a book I loved and cried over and laughed out loud over. Yes, exactly, thank you.

  13. Hell I bawl like a baby at cat food adverts and Disney Pixar films (word to the wise, avoid UP if you are a cry baby like moi). So really, even before I clicked "play", there was little hope. Off to invest in Kimberly Clark.

  14. I have 3 boyz too. My daughter's name would have been Lydia. All 3 times. *wipes away teardrop*

    So I know what you mean.

    Looking forward to working with you, fellow moxie lady!


Thoughts appreciated. Advice welcome. Douche-baggery scoffed at then deleted.