Evening Feels

My husband’s traveling for work, so naturally I’ve been on the computer more than usual… and I’m admittedly guilty of every millennial’s biggest technological flaw… going down the rabbit hole. 

It started catching up on one of my regular TV shows, Nashville. *Spoiler if you’re not caught up* I was watching the episode where Scarlett has a miscarriage… so I was immediately up in my feels because, you know, babies.

After (or who am I kidding… probably during) the episode, I got on Instagram and seriously my entire “suggested” or “popular” page (whatever it’s called) was full of pregnant women. Y’all, for at least 6 weeks, I’ve been marking every picture on Instagram as “See Fewer Posts Like This” but here I am… still flooded with them. Great feature, Instagram… Glad to see you’ve got that one figured out… *eyeroll*

As I was flagging all of the pictures as “See Fewer Posts Like This,” I noticed a picture from Samantha Busch. Although I do not follow her, I know of her through NASCAR as Kyle Busch’s wife. I knew that they had a baby a couple of years ago… but what I didn’t know until I saw this picture was that they conceived through IVF! WHAT.

I’ve been looking into IVF basically since the day that my then-boyfriend told me he had a vasectomy. I’ve always brushed it off as unrealistic because of the price, and also the “I don’t know anyone who’s done this” factor.

Here’s where the rabbit hole really began…

I immediately went to her blog, which I used to have bookmarked but never really followed, and BAM there it all was… she literally blogged their entire fertility and IVF journey. What a blessing! There are detailed posts, YouTube videos… the whole works. Even more inspiring, I read about how they have created the Bundle of Joy Fund, where to date, they have helped 22 couples pay for their infertility treatments. How awesome is that!

Anyway, I decided to be a #CoolWife and text my husband… while he was out having some drinks with his colleagues… and let him know all about this. I’m sure that was exactly the text he wanted to receive in that setting. Good move, Ashley. Anyway, I’m sure there will be a conversation to follow upon his return.

After that #CoolWife fail, I decided to watch the next episode of Nashville. In this one, Scarlett was still grieving her loss (obviously), but what got me in this episode was Gunnar. *Again, spoiler if you’re not caught up* Gunnar was in his hometown reminiscing about his upbringing. He lost both parents at a young age, and was raised by his Grandma beginning around age 11, who was pretty cold towards him. Gunnar was processing that everyone he ever loves abandons him, and how no one in his family ever supported him or showed them they believed in him.

Y’all… I relate to this on so many levels. This definitely will be another post for another day. But I could 100% empathize with Gunnar when he sang The End. Let’s just call a spade a spade… Gunnar and I both have abandonment issues, for real. But here he is, laying out his [fictional character] emotions for the world to see…

So here I am, heading to bed in my feels, without my husband. It’s all good… tomorrow is a new day! But lesson [possibly] learned… don’t allow yourself to go down the rabbit hole! If there’s a topic that you’re trying to avoid, the Social Media God’s will make it appear.

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Redirection

Hello, old friends! It’s been awhile since I sat down and put my thoughts into writing. A lot has happened since we last met. Our 2 year old turned 3, we went on a week long beach vacation, I had a birthday, and I got a promotion at work! On deck, the latest news is that SD4 starts Kindergarten in 10 days! (Yes, we eventually decided on a school district by making a deal with BM… tit for tat, you know. That’s another story for another post…)

Another update that has shifted our family dynamic is that a few weeks ago, BM got engaged to her boyfriend of 3 months. I can’t say I consider him a part of the parenting team yet, but he is very nice and I hope that he doesn’t regret his proposal after he spends more time emerged in what is often our chaotic dynamic…

Through this summer, the [mostly] ups and the [occasional] downs (more affectionately referred to as “baby-mama-drama”)… I’ve realized that my feelings have taken a shift. Things that would have rattled me months ago now seem petty and like a non-issue. I have progressed in my feelings of “family,” and have continued developing my parenting style and abilities in this blended family.

The question that is always on my mind now is this big philosophical, and perhaps biblical one: What exactly is my role as a woman if I am never going to bear a child?

It seems silly, right?! I have two amazing stepdaughters. There are thousands of women in the world who are unable to physically bear children for one reason or another, and who are not as lucky as I am to have two beautiful girls to love on and care for. So why complain, Ashley?! Why worry about it?

Despite the obvious reasons above that my never bearing children should be a non-issue, the topic is still regularly on my mind. I’ve become more sensitive to pregnancy announcements, and have become hyper-aware to the fact that most TV shows and songs on the radio are about parenting to some degree. I feel absolutely sick seeing any post from a man about their feelings towards their wife/baby-mama in the form of “She is so strong… what a miracle… watching her carry then deliver our child…” My stomach is immediately in knots over things like this.

But why? There has got to be a way I can feel like I’m truly “a woman” without bearing children. There must be a reason God made me a part-time “second-Mommy” instead of a full-time “one-and-only.” There has to be a way that I can look back on my life when I’m old and gray, and not feel like there’s a void in my life because I never had a child.

So what is it? Where do I go from here?

I’m happy… so, so happy. I love my husband and my girls, and I love my job. We have family goals and I have professional goals, all of which are realistic and attainable. Life is good. So why is this issue always on my mind?

That’s what I’m going to explore, and process through this blog moving forward. I’d imagine that the content of my posts moving forward will remain similar to what they have been in the past, but know that I am writing from this place of personal hardship. Of grieving a loss that I ultimately chose. Of learning how I can be a woman without being able to do the very thing that makes me one.

This is my journey, and I hope you continue to follow along on this wild, beautiful, mess of a life I’m living.