For Sale. The Whole Lot.

This has been another summer of grinding through thoughts and feelings. I do my best to share with friends and my spouse, but I honestly forget. Reaching out to stop reaching in. I hear daily from CH, “what are you thinking? Where are you?”

We are done. We are done trying to have another baby. It didn’t work out. Yes, we tried all of the options available to us that would potentially work. They didn’t. And we are done. Just, done.

My perfect family. The three of us. Maybe one day, via adoption or foster care, there will be more, but that is on hold as CH and I take a breath to just breathe. Enjoy the summer. Enjoy our daughter. Enjoy each other.


Those 18 boxes of baby clothes and toys in the basement? They’ve been haunting me for more than two years. And now, after The Decision, they will be sold and given away. That constant reminder of what wasn’t happening will slowly be dismantled over the next few months, leaving… what? That hole that won’t seem to go away. That emptiness.


My best friend was in town last month and we spent a perfect day together. As she accompanied me to pick up even more fertility drugs that didn’t work, she told me something I replay in my head endlessly:

what you have is what so many people wish and dream for.

She’s right. With a husband and a healthy (knock on wood) daughter, I have what people pine for. And I am happy. I just need to learn to mend that part of my heart that longed for so long. I can be happy and sad at the same time –  we just don’t have words for it in English.


My dear friend NVC also said something to me I bat in my brain in equal rotations from the comment above:

You need to live your life.

So simple, but in the mix of timings and complications and distractions, in many ways I was missing the living life while trying to make another one.


I can’t predict the future, but I think I will always be sad about this. Please, let me be sad about this.

– MD


35 thoughts on “For Sale. The Whole Lot.

  1. *hugs* We made the same decision a while ago (for some of the same reasons and some different reasons), and while I’m mostly happy about it, I’m still a bit sad about it, especially as so many in my mom cohort have gone on to have baby #2.

    Let’s have another play date soon — K loved your house and asked “when are we going to see that little girl again?”

    • Thanks, Enid. Yes, Madison is quite the fertile town:) I often remind myself that from the myriad of kids on our block, some are adopted, some are from single parent families, and even in that mix, there are multiple variations. Our kids are lucky to grow up in this town. And yes, please come over again soon!

  2. I’m so sorry Marlene. I love you.
    I trust that with the people in your life
    who count, all your feelings will be honored and acknowledged.

    • The hugs do help. Isn’t what we often want is someone to hold us and say, “I’m sorry you are hurting.”

  3. Go ahead and feel it. You need to in order to “live your life” Sometimes feeling it over and over again for a while. I have recently learned that life just makes decisions for me sometimes and it is my job to let that happen and learn. You have a beautiful family. Big hugs to you friend!

  4. I was struck by how your words embody both courage and grace. There is sadness in life to be sure, and we all help eachother carry through. Hugs to you.

  5. So beautiful. You’ve been one of the first parents in my life who has really shared it all. The sad, the bad, the good, the stop-and-thinks, and the awesomes. Thank you for letting us in on this part, too. It’s powerful and somehow, I feel liberated as I read it.

  6. Marlena, Had no idea you and CH were struggling with this. Too caught up in our own struggles, of course. Give me a call? I have a support group option for you and a growing your family option for you too. Much love, Jayney

    • Jayney – thank you! I will take you up on that in the fall. We need the rest of the summer to *be.* Hope to see you at the playground soon. – MD

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  8. You have every right to every feeling you are feeling. I wish for you eventual peace (when the time is right). Your family is beautiful and perfect! My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you.

  9. From the Grandma, mother, and mother-in-law–I can’t imagine being more gifted than I am by the presence and presents I’ve been given by you three. I’ll give away the small car seat and bouncing chair in my basement with sadness, of course, but sadness for your dreams not fulfilled, as my dreams were only that my children have fulfilling loves and families, whatever that configurations may be by choice or circumstances. And you are a perfect family–so blessed are we all by you three. I am glad you are sharing.

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  14. I missed this. And, fuck, am I just so, so sorry.

    I remember a couple years ago when I kept having miscarriages trying for our second, and we were together in this. And, now, we’re not, and it is just so awful and unfair.

    Having been on the precipice of this decision, I can imagine how you’re feeling. I hope your heart has had some time to heal since you wrote this, but of course, you will always be allowed to be sad. Don’t ever let anyone make you feel guilty for that. You are lucky, of course, to have your beautiful daughter. But, longing for another child to love doesn’t make you ungrateful.

    I’m sorry, Marlena. Truly.

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