Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Guest Post: Miracle Stories April 20, 2012

By Quasi-Momma

In responding to the April 4th Whiny Wednesday post, a few of us commented on the frustrations of having to deal with the inevitable, “Have you considered … adoption, fostering, egg donation, or surrogates?” It is annoying.  Why do other people think (a) they have the answers and (b) that we haven’t considered whatever “solution” they are proffering?

The worst is the suggestion followed by the “miracle story.”

I was extremely surprised when I got such a story from a friend.  She is a new mom who suffered several miscarriages on her way to mommy-hood. I am happy for her, and still consider her a sister-in-arms, even though she’s crossed over.

I was sitting in her living room broken-hearted over recent news of a pregnancy in the family, when the conversation turned to the financial barriers of adoption.  She launched into this story of a friend who was an obstetrics nurse who managed to adopt a baby from one of those “I didn’t know I was pregnant” patients that you hear about on TV, but never quite believe they exist.  The total price tag was around $6,000. What an incredible stroke of luck.

 

I honestly did not know what to do with that information.  What was I supposed to take from it?  I am supposed to camp out in emergency rooms waiting for a mom who might not want her baby?   Seriously, I love my friend, but this was not a helpful story.

I think that Americans are groomed to expect a happy ending. I personally blame the entertainment industry for this.  All problems are resolved in Hollywood.  No problem is insurmountable.   It is so pervasive that when people encounter real life scenarios that can’t be fixed, they are confounded, and that’s when the suggestions and the stories start a-flyin’.

What these well-intentioned people don’t understand is their stories usually have the opposite effect than what was intended.  Instead of feeling inspired, we feel deflated.  Why someone else and not us? What are we doing wrong? Have we not tried hard enough? Are we unworthy?

I do believe in God and the power of faith and prayer, but with that comes surrendering to the fact that our destiny may not look the way we envisioned it.  God is not a cosmic ATM. If we all got the miracles we prayed for, everyone would be a lottery winner, right?

We all have different paths, and they are beautiful in their own way. Part of our struggle with childlessness is embracing it for what it is worth and finding the beauty in ourselves and our lives with or without baby. It is not an easy path, and, unfortunately, there is no easy way for us to make others realize that.

Luckily, we do have an amazing community here. One that reminds us we are not alone, and that in itself is something I consider a small miracle.

Quasi-Momma, whose real name is Susan, is not quite a mom, but really wants to be. In her blog, Quasimomma, she explores her struggles with pregnancy loss and facing childlessness while grappling with the ups and downs of step family life.

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26 Responses to “Guest Post: Miracle Stories”

  1. RuralRabbit Says:

    I almost didn’t open this post because I didn’t want to hear one more miracle story. I’m glad that’s not what it turned out to be! I do think people have good intentions, but it tends to give me false hope. I know that’s not the way it will work for us, I’m getting to be okay with that, but then I hear a miracle story and I go back to, “what if..”.

    • Quasi-Momma Says:

      It’s draining isn’t it? I feel like I’ve got my feet planted in two different worlds. One where I’m bracing for a probable outcome and one where I’m blindly clinging to hope.
      Just when you settle into one, you get ripped back into the other. Here’s praying we find peace whatever our outcomes.

  2. kris Says:

    Thank you! These were the exact words that I needed to hear this morning!

  3. Maria Says:

    I personally hate those miracle stories. People who tell them to you think they are helping by giving you hope. It just made me feel like I wasn’t worthy of a miracle becaue I was never on the receiving end. I now think those miracle stories are nothing more than urban legeds. If you press people to give you real information about who it happennded to, it’s always someone knew somebody that knew of someone that heard of someone… Anyway, these stories are neither helpful or kind.

  4. Kathleen Guthrie Woods Says:

    Great post! Please share more of your experiences, your journey.

  5. CiCi Says:

    So true! These “success stories” only make me feel more like a failure. I know the intent is to make me hopeful but it doesn’t…not in the slightest. I read another post recently that showed that we are actually the success stories. We’ve overcome all of our obstacles, challenges, let downs…and we’ve come out of it with our heads and hearts in tack even though we didn’t get what we were searching for. Sure, some days are incredibly worst than others but we are living our lives in a way that we never thought we’d have to. I’ve learned to be happy with the cards I’ve been dealt. That’s a miracle in itself, isn’t it?

    We are the success stories!!!

  6. Jodi Says:

    These words encouraged me today, “I do believe in God and the power of faith and prayer, but with that comes surrendering to the fact that our destiny may not look the way we envisioned it.”

    My husband and i just returned from the doctor where we learned I am miscarrying the first pregnancy I’ve had after 4 and a half years of infertility. I am re-surrendering today.

    Thank you for the post!

  7. Dorothy Says:

    Love the line that said, “God is not a cosmic ATM.” So true!

  8. Jules Says:

    Thanks for the post….. you’re right that even suggestions even with good intentions hurt us in both short and long term. Even before the surgery that took away any chance to have children, “You can adopt!” had been thrown my way so often. So often that the next person who suggested it had ended up finding her head bit (by moi) with a long rant about adoption, especially when I pointed out to her (and some other folks in recent past),
    “You think adoption is possible?”
    “Oh yes, I know some did get to adopt! Let me tell you who..”
    “before you go..are they deaf?”
    “What?”
    “Are the adoptive parents deaf?”
    “Uh no..”
    “Any of them being single parent?”
    “Umm…”
    “Anyone earning under 30,000 dollars?”
    “Not that I know of…..”

    “Now you suggest adoption to me?”

    (silence)

    Now I should write a post on my blog about this….I should.

  9. Elena Says:

    Love that post. I don’t think it’s just America and I’m not sure it’s Hollywood that brainwashed us that way – or if there is something very human in wanting to hear a “miracle story” that enabled Hollywood to brainwash us.
    I love pop culture and see a lot of Hollywood-and-the-likes movies. I love to read crime fiction because it makes me feel good when everything comes to a solution in the end. But I also love to take a break from the “happy-end-pressure” now and then. one book you could try is Scarlett Thomas’ “Our Tragic Universe”. It’s a novel and rather a strange one but all it’s about is just that: That our lives are not following a storyline, even if we wish they did. I choose crime fiction sometimes which leaves the heroe/detective helpless when facing the greater evil behind the crime he/she may have “solved” (as for example in books by Henning Mankell or my new favourite, Denise Mina).

  10. Andrea Says:

    Thank you so much for writing your thoughts. It’s mind-blowingly comforting to see another woman sharing the same thoughts I’ve had. I’ve also been dealing with family pregnancy news and as much as I’d love to be happy for them, I fail to do this completely. I also can’t stand the miracle stories… They tend to depress me more than anything. It’s one of the reasons why I’ve isolated myself from certain people; whether it’s the appropriate thing to do or not, I just can’t deal with the pity comments sometimes. I do want to get out of this depression that comes and goes, I really try. I just don’t know how.

  11. Mali Says:

    I hate the miracle stories too. I remember seeing a magazine cover about a local sports celebrity’s “miracle baby.” I grimaced, but picked it up (waiting at the check-out) and saw that they’d been trying for THREE WHOLE MONTHS. I mean. That’s just insulting. No I did not buy the magazine.

  12. Julie Says:

    Beautifully said!

    I agree 100% that God has a different plan for each of us and for some that plan doesn’t include having our own children. This doesn’t mean we are any less worthy than someone else. It just means that we have different struggles and opportunities than other people do. I have found a lot of peace as I have tried to find what is positive about not having kids. It is still a daily struggle sometimes, but overall I’m much happier that when I had the attitude that I was nothing if I couldn’t be a mom.

    • IrisD Says:

      Almost like a form of mediation to silence the negative thoughts, I find myself lured to some of the more positive blogs from inspiring Childfree women. I too want to focus on the positive.

  13. Pamela Says:

    And today another celebrity success miracle story landed a sucker punch … while I’m happy for Giuliana Rancic and her husband, their story once again perpetuates the myth that all treatments inevitably end in success.

    • IrisD Says:

      This one I guess is more a matter of money. Not that many people have the option of hiring a gestational carrier. Others might have ethical concerns about it.

    • Quasi-Momma Says:

      I’m with Iris on this. I’m not all that familiar with their struggle. I’m not a big reality show follower, but I was aware of it. I also knew that they’d most likely attack the problem with money. This is TV, there must be a happy ending. Living a life of uncertainty isn’t good for ratings. (Oooh, I’m sounding bitter today, aren’t I?)

      • Andrea Says:

        To be fair, these two particular celebrities have tried to get pregnant for years now. As they were trying in vitro for the who-knows-what time, they learned she had breast cancer. They stopped all fertility treatments to address the cancer. With a new lease and look on life, who can blame them for finally giving up the IVF approach and go for the surrogate approach. As bitter as I still am about many things, I am happy for these two.

        • Quasi-Momma Says:

          I would never deny anybody their joy, and good for them really. If I had the money, you’d better believe I’d be looking into egg donation or adoption. But unfortunately not everyone can do what they are doing. It doesn’t diminish their struggle by any means – what they’ve been through is painful, but at the same time it also makes it seem all that more accessible, when in reality it’s not.

          • Andrea Says:

            That’s very true. The sad reality for us “without-baby” women is that people think the solution is so easy and/or inexpensive. “well… Can’t you adopt?” “can’t you do IVF?” I have yet to find someone who doesn’t expect me to snap my fingers and forget the pain of my infertility, and jump into one of the options above. For me, it’s taking a while to give up a dream, and get used to an alternate ending, here. But oh well. I’m just glad I’m able to speak about my struggles here openly..!

  14. loribeth Says:

    I can remember talking with one of my drs once about “miracle babies.” He said, “There’s a reason why they’re called MIRACLE babies… because they are so rare.” People hear about one miracle pregnancy/baby story and assume that if it happened once, it can happen again. They have no idea how many heartbreaks there are for every miracle out there, and what a toll each one takes,

  15. [...] This post was originally published on April 20, 2012. [...]


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