I have seen so much lately in everyone’s blogs about dealing with pregnancy, babies, etc. while infertile. It’s something I have spent a lot of time thinking about as well. So I wanted to write down my thoughts.
When I was just a couple years old we went to visit family in Wisconsin. My cousin who was a few years older than me had gotten a baby doll for Christmas. Any pictures of me that Christmas, had the baby doll in them. My mom said I was obsessed with it from the first time I saw it and didn’t let my older cousin play with it at all. Lucky for me, she was very generous.
Her dad ended up buying me one of those baby dolls later. I still have it this day and know exactly where it’s at in storage. My mom said I took care of that baby doll better than some people treat their actual babies. I changed it, bathed it, picked out outfits, and when I went to my dad’s for the weekend I would lay out clothes and instruct my mother to take good care of her. Most of my childhood memories and pictures have that doll in them. Almost 30 years later and that doll is still in almost new condition.
I have been not only obsessed with the thought of having a child, but also being pregnant for as long as I can remember. I always wanted to hold real babies and would cry when they were taken by their parents. I remember playing house and stuffing a pillow under my shirt and pretending I was pregnant.
I always felt like it’s what I was meant to do. Be a mom. Carry a child. It just always seemed like an obvious path for my life. As infertility became a part of my life and two miscarriages blind sided me like a slap to the face, I found myself completely lost.
I started seeing others my age get pregnant, and have their first child. I can still remember the pain I felt with every pregnancy announcement. I didn’t understand why it was “their turn” (I’ll come back to this later)…
Fast forward to now. It has been 7 years since my last miscarriage and the years have come and gone without so much as one positive pregnancy test since that time. The people that were having their first child, now have many, and some by a different partner. Some of those people are divorced now, and their children that are the same age as my children should have been now are splitting their weekends and holidays.
Through a whole lot of counseling, and even more life experience here is the conclusion I have come to…
Nothing but death is guaranteed in life. Not even life is promised to us (as many of us know a pregnancy does not always mean there will be life). That once we are here, the only thing that is ever guaranteed is that we die. That may seem morbid to some, but it’s true. Now, I am a Christian, and I believe in life after death, even for our unborn children. But here, on this Earth, not even life is a promise.
And, just as it was when I was a child. My cousin having the baby doll I coveted so much, did not affect my ability to have a baby doll. I had to wait a while for my Uncle to buy me one like hers, but I got one, and it was mine, and I didn’t have to give it back. Just like that, my friends, family members, and colleagues having children, does not affect by ability to have a child. I may have to wait longer, and I may have to spend more money, but babies are not “sold out”, at least not for me, not yet.
It could happen, and I could come to a point in my journey one day where just as I moved to college and packed up my childhood room and baby doll for good, having a baby just won’t make sense. I will cross that bridge if/when I get there. But for now, I still have a chance. There wasn’t 20 babies passed out this month and I didn’t get the right raffle ticket.
Now, I think back to the couples that it was “their turn” to have a child. As I mentioned some of them are now divorced, all for different reasons, but I think to myself. What would life be like without that specific child in it right now? If they weren’t born, what would have happened to their parents, to their siblings following after? I think of my second oldest niece, who I found out was coming after my second miscarriage. Her mother found out at 20 week she was pregnant. At the time, I was so frustrated that not only was it obviously easy for her to get pregnant, but that she had now blown through half of her pregnancy without even knowing it. Now I know that my anger wasn’t about her, and that I didn’t wish for her NOT to be pregnant, I just wished that I would be too. I wanted it then and I was not prepared to deal with how it would feel to watch everyone else get what they wanted (and sometimes didn’t want) as I was still waiting.
I think we just have to do the best we can. Be kind to ourselves and to others. Realize what our limits are and communicate those kindly to those around us so they may help us get through this. No one wishes this journey upon anyone, and I can almost guarantee you if they did sell babies in raffles, your friends and family would buy all the tickets for you. As painful as it used to feel for me to watch others get the dream I had chased since a child. I couldn’t live with myself knowing I took even a fraction of their joy away.
If you are out there experiencing this struggle in pain, it is my hope that you will have kind and loving people to help get you through it. If not, I am always available via em.ail and will chat with you anytime you need it. (HUGS)