Infertility after kids – it still sucks.

Let me start by telling you how VERY thankful I am for my boys every single day.  I would not forgo our experience with infertility because it blessed us with Charlie and Harrison.  I know that I am lucky, blessed, happy and loved.  But I am only human and I am selfish.

I am that person who would respond with an enthusiastic “10!!!” when someone would ask how many children I wanted.  I pictured myself driving a large van with my many mini-me’s piling out for school, perfectly dressed and never having consumed fast food or farted in public… and then reality struck and after marrying my best friend I quickly realized that I might have to tame my expectations.

Lenny and I, we are the lucky ones.  Despite infertility our battle was relatively short (3 years) before we were blessed with Charlie via an FET (frozen embryo transfer) from an IVF cycle and less than two years later we were blessed with Harrison via an FET from the same cycle.  And our experience with fostering has expanded our family in ways I never dreamed.

But you should know that I still cry.  That I ache.  That I long.  That I do not feel that my family is complete despite knowing that this is a possible reality.  Our many totes of baby clothes and items that hang out in the attic are an act of desperation, hoping and praying that it could happen that we’re blessed with “just one more”.   When I see my babies laughing, when they hug me or kiss me, and even when they’re crying and especially when they need me – it’s there: the knowledge that it might not happen again.

I regret not taking more time with them.  Not documenting every. single. feeling. when I was pregnant with them.  I know, I know!  They’re young, we have their entire lives ahead of us.  But each day they get older and each day I’m reminded that each thing they do, each milestone they pass, each experience we have – it could be the last.

I want you to know that I am that mom: the mom that loved being pregnant.  Who will never ever ever complain about my boys to others and really does think they are as close to perfect as is humanly possible.  I have consciously tried to never complain to another about the lack of sleep or the time or activities I’ve sacrificed because to me those things don’t matter.  I have loved every second of every day that I have been a mom.  You might think I’m exaggerating but I would not trade even the hardest, stinkiest, most gut-wrenching experiences with my boys for anything in the world!  And I would give anything I’ve ever had or will have to experience this again.

Each month when my lady friend does not arrive on time (or let’s face it, a day or two ahead of that) I am thinking “it could happen, it really could…”, feeling each cramp, longing for a headache or a strange ache in anticipation.  Each month I try to talk myself down although around cycle day 26 I can’t help but start to wonder… and each month when that signal that we are not pregnant arrives, I feel defeated.  I was an irrational mess for so long that Lenny shouldn’t have to deal with it and it’s also not socially acceptable to complain about such a thing when I already have children, so I keep it inside, sometimes crying only when I’m in the shower or not at all if I can’t find the time…

It’s hard when strangers make comments about my parenting.  It’s hard when people ask if we want another, or even more annoyingly if “next time we’re trying for a girl.”  It’s even more difficult when I hear/read/experience parents that abuse, neglect or just don’t appreciate their children (or their pregnancy).  It’s hard when Lenny and I plan for our future and beat around the subject of Baby #3.  It’s hard when friends and family forget the struggles involved with having our first two and make insensitive comments.  It’s hard when Charlie asks if he can have a sister or brother.  And it’s hard when we’re not even really “trying” but it’s always on your mind.  Baby announcements, baby showers, ultrasound pictures, vasectomy discussions, abortion/anti-abortion discussions: still hard.  Doable/manageable, yes.  Difficult, double yes.  I’m only human and I am selfish.  We are blessed and I don’t regret a single thing we’ve had to experience to get to where we are but INFERTILITY STILL SUCKS.

A quick message to my infertility warrior friends: I know that I am the lucky one.  I advocate and pray for you all on a daily basis!  You have been through so much and I know your daily struggle to try to have JUST ONE.  I will continue to hope and pray that no one has to struggle with infertility and that all can find their happy ending!  

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