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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Being Okay with Infertility

Note: When I wrote this, we had our eldest daughter, who we hadn't thought we'd be blessed with, and then a 3 year gap where we really wanted more children. After the gap we were blessed with 3 pregnancies in a 4 year period! Olivia and Jackson are 20 months apart, and we will have another baby after Jackson turns two. When you're in this situation - wanting a child badly - it hurts your heart so badly and can become all you can think about. I pray for those who know exactly what I mean. 

I've seen Thankful Thursdays done on many blogs, and I really like the idea. I think I will take it up. And we will start up with what I think is the biggest and most obvious thing I am thankful for... one of the little things. My little DD, Nicole. I am thankful for her joyful spirit, I am thankful she was a fairly easy baby, I am thankful she is so very smart (even if it's terrifying that she can find the right key and start the truck, at 20 months) and thankful she is so very loving.

I'd almost say I'm more thankful than some moms for my child, but I won't, because I honestly have no idea. I wouldn't know what it feels like to assume you will never have problems conceiving with your spouse. I knew from the start. We'd only been dating a month or two when he told me that according to doctors, he would never have children. I cried about it, but decided I was okay with that. I married him with the understanding that I would go back to school (I'm trained as a graphics designer, but decided that for me it sucked the joy out of creating.) the fall of '07. (married august '06). However, October '06, just four months after the wedding, I got pregnant! We have often referred to Nicole as our wedding gift from God. It changed our plans, especially mine, dramatically. But I wouldn't trade it for the world.

You see, I could have spent the other day cheerfully blowing dandelions by myself in the backyard, theoretically. But I doubt it... why would I have even been sitting in the grass on a weekday afternoon if I wasn't a stay at home mom? I wouldn't be having these simple moments. Not to say that I would have been incomplete if I had never had Nicole. I would have gone on blissfully, thinking it would be nice, but hey. I would have been a complete person had I never had a child. I am just a different complete person now.
When I simply faced with infertility 100%, no baby no way, I was fine. In fact, I didn't find out I was pregnant until about 7 weeks, I thought I was just PMSing really long and hard, because I wasn't looking for the signs of pregnancy.

After I had Nicole, I was obsessed with whether or not we would have more children. I was so thankful for her, and relished every moment spent with her, smelling her hair and cuddling for hours. But there was a definite tinge of desperation to it all. I would walk past a mother with a double stroller, her infant and toddler in them, and I would start to cry, wondering if I could conceive again or not. (There was definite some post-partum hormonal stuff involved that level of sensitivity, though.)
When my husband was told in his teens he would never conceive, he did what every hormone-driven smalltown boy would do. A lot of wild oats were sowed, with 'no consequences' on the brain. (my DH grew up in the church, left it for five years, and by the grace of God returned to His flock. That's where I met him - in church, when he joined mine. Because every girl wants to meet the fresh meat new guy.) So odds were that Nicole was just what we felt she was - a bit of a miracle.
After 'trying' for baby#2 for 10 months, we had tests done. (Normally you have to wait a year, but my doctor knew there was background here.) The odds we were given of getting pregnant again are about 8%. For me, that tortured me. I would have handled 0% better.
Truth be told, I can't handle 'maybe' well. For my DH it gives him hope, but for me, it drives me crazy. I went through a phase where I'd start to bawl over some TLC special and pee on twelve sticks a month just in case because I am kind of bloated and felt a twinge and y'know, I sneezed yesterday, and that could mean I'm pregnant?!!?!! I was tracking my cycles and my CM and all that jazz, and the rollercoaster just made me so depressed.
Finally one day, I stopped praying 'Lord, please let me get pregnant this month.' and started praying 'Lord, please let me be at peace with this, whatever your will is.' When I prayed the right prayer, He answered my request! I stopped obsessing.
I still have to change the channel when Baby Story comes on, and when I'm two weeks late for no reason I literally go insane. I get so deeply depressed when I feel hope and it's for nothing. But for my regular, my day to day, I am happy, I am okay. I am grateful. I 'tried' for more than a year. Now I have stopped trying to get pregnant and I am just living my life as God gives it to me. Instead of living in this 'maybe' zone and not daring to move forwards in case my plans change, I am making plans and living my life. When Nicole goes to kindergarten in three years or so, I will go on to get my B. Ed, and I will continue to live my life.
I am so thankful for my daughter. If I only ever have her, that will make me a bit sad, but no less thankful for her. She is all I need, and if I am given more I will be ever so grateful and ever so blessed. But she is all I need, and for that I am thankful.

There is one important thing I want to say to all the women out there struggling with infertility:
It is okay to be okay!


4 comments:

  1. Your daughter is beautiful. :)

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  2. What an encouraging story. I think we all need to pray more that God will help us to be content, rather than to better our situations. DOn't miracles feel more like miracles when you are not expecting them? Thanks so much for sharing this :-)

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  3. Thanks for sharing this. Your story is so inspiring.

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  4. Since I've written this post, I've been blessed with another daughter and 11 months later got pregnant again! So, it seems like our waiting time was just a trial the Lord put in our path. :)

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