Weddings, Children, and all those dreams

Tonight I went to my friend’s wedding. It was beautiful and she is very happy. Yet, it was sad all the same. She’s moving states away with her new husband and their family. There were moments at the wedding that I had a really good time. There were other moments that I am all too familiar with, from just about every other friend’s wedding in the last several years. It’s those moments when you realize that you are painfully alone. Those short seconds in time when you think, “I want what they have.”

I’ve never been one who planned or dreamed of her wedding as a child. I don’t know to this day what my dress would look like. Some part of me would like a Church wedding, but I don’t think God minds a little creativity. I could picture myself on a beach or maybe a lake. A simple dress, flattering, but not overdone, appropriate for the setting. Just friends and family, heck in jeans and t-shirts if they like. Simple good food, nothing crazy, nothing overly expensive, lots of dancing and laughing and having a good time.

For awhile I even envisioned that my wedding would be an elopement. I think because I hate the idea of all the money and planning that goes into just one day, but I do like the idea of feeling special for a brief period of time. More though, I would want that memory for my hubby and I. It could even be just us in a remote setting. I don’t know….

It’s all just a dream right now anyway. I wonder why we put any thought into something when the critical piece is missing.

As you may recall from an earlier post, I’m attempting online dating again. I had a phone conversation the other night with a gentleman from the site. We addressed the topic of our interests in children. I have always wanted to be a mom. I wanted that legacy, someone to sing like me, or have my smile, someone to be all the good in me and none of the bad. But as I get older, I’ve had to face the harsh realities.

A few years ago I went to a routine doctor’s appointment. The doctor said she felt something during my exam. I had been feeling just fine and in my head my first thought was that she was crazy. Nevertheless, she wanted me to have an ultrasound of my abdomen. I got nervous and I remember talking to my parents and hearing all the perfectly ok things it could likely be. I went into the ultrasound not so worried, I really believed I was probably fine.

Later that day the results were in. There was a complex hard mass. At the time, they mistakenly believed it was in my right ovary. It was in fact outside my uterus, thankfully. Anyway, long story short, as I think I told a similar story recently, all was well that ended well as it was surgically removed and thankfully benign.

However, my grandmother had been an ovarian cancer survivor. Among a boatload of other cancers floating in my family, that was/is one of the scariest as there really are no obvious symptoms. In talking further with my oncologist, they recommended genetic testing. About a year after my surgery, I underwent just about all the genetic tests they could do at that time due to significant family history and my own personal scare.

What I’m trying to say, though I fear not very well, is that when all this was happening I was forced to reevaluate my stance on children. What if I couldn’t have my own kids? What if I would be facing a hysterectomy, which was at one point in time a serious possibility? I had to learn to accept that maybe I wouldn’t have my own children. Then I had to evaluate whether I would want to adopt. I’ve always been open to adoption, but I don’t know that I’d want to adopt without a husband. It would be harder in so many ways, but also more difficult to successfully adopt as a single working female. Maybe when I was younger I could do it, but I’m not so sure that I have the stamina I once did.

With the medical issues and my being single, I started to think about whether I could be ok without ever being a mom. Whether I could give up something I’d always dreamed I’d be….something that at some point in time was the only way I knew I would want to define me. Oddly, I came to the conclusion that thankfully with my niece and nephew I was kind of living vicariously. I could enjoy most of the benefits, without any of the difficulty. It’s not quite the same, but as I get older it seems more and more like it might be all that’s in the cards.

I investigated other options – invetro, harvesting my eggs for a future date, etc. All are expensive and have their own issues and worries associated with them. I was really surprised, like somewhere in my dreams I turned a corner. I went from desperately wanting to be a mom, to feeling like maybe I could be ok if I wasn’t. Then I started to think that if I ever do find Mr. Right, well the clock is ticking for one, and maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to just enjoy us and life and being in love.

I guess what I’m saying is I’m kind of torn. Do I still want children? Don’t I? I guess the answer is now that I’m not sure, I could maybe go either way. But I am increasingly sure that I want to know that feeling…the feeling you get when the person you are with is so perfectly matched and right. I have thought I was in love before, maybe it was real, maybe it wasn’t. But looking back, I’m not really sure I have ever been loved. Does that make sense? My longest relationship was with the kind of guy where I often find myself questioning, “did he ever really love me or just the idea of me or what I did or could do for him and by being with him?”

So I’m trying to explain my way back to how this post started. Forgive me, I’m more tired than I realized. I don’t know how to answer someone who asks if I want children anymore. I’m very torn. I was honest with the guy on the phone, from the dating site. But the one thing I do know, is I’m not ready to give up on finding love. And I hope that one day, the wedding someone is at where they look up and think, “I want what they have,” could one day be mine.

 

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