Infertility might be a thing of my past and I have four kids in spite of it but it still sucks. I don’t want another baby. My family is complete but it took 12 years for that to happen and the sting is still there. I don’t know if it is a sting so much as a far away ache. It’s one of those things that is always there in the background but on any given day, something will trigger it and it can be brought to the forefront and hurt like it is still happening.
To say it shaped who I am is an understatement. It’s the reason that I am ferociously overprotective (well, to be fair, not the only reason). When something isn’t given to you right away, it’s a little harder to let it go. It’s also the reason I feel so much guilt. I wanted these babies for so long…I founght for these babies and now they are making me crazy. Shouldn’t I be more grateful? Even when I desperately need or want a break, in the back of my head is, “This is what you wanted.” I have to remind myself that infertility took a lot away from me but the one thing it didn’t is that I am still human (even if I felt like a pin cushion and a number while I was going through it) and needing a break is a very human thing. It’s the reason I have the many issues I have with my body. It didn’t work the way it was supposed to so I resent it. What was so easy for some to do was so difficult for me so I was and am still mad at it. Infertility didn’t care about my dreams. It didn’t care that I was in a strong marriage. It didn’t care that we had the means to afford a baby. It didn’t care about any of that. It looked at me and laughed and said, “Ha! You want a baby so bad? Well, you can’t have one. You have to be different from everyone else. You don’t deserve to get one the way everyone else does and even after you move mountains to have one, you still might or might not get one.” It’s hard to love or even appreciate something that failed you so many times. I wish I could get to the point where I looked at my body and felt gratitude for it giving me 4 beautiful children but infertility (and CF) have colored the mirror in a way that I can’t.
So have the miscarriages. To go through what you have to go through in order to get pregnant only to have to endure the pain of a miscarriage is devastating. You not only grieve the loss of the baby and all the dreams you had for him/her but you wonder if you are undeserving of being happy. You feel stupid for thinking that this time it would work. That the pain of infertility was behind you and only good things were ahead. You paid the toll and now it was a relaxing ride ahead. Nope. Instead, you get to live with fear. Fear of why it happened. Fear of being stuck with a broken body that keeps hurting you. Keeps breaking your heart. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to escape myself to get away from the pain. Barnes and Noble, every girls’ weekend, every girls’ night out, anytime I was away from Leo or the kids I did have…no escape worked because wherever I was…I was still there.
I questioned the very faith that had sustained me my whole life. Where was God? Why wouldn’t He help me? Why couldn’t He be bigger than the infertility? It was hard to depend and lean on someone who I felt had forgotten me. But I did. I prayed for strength. I prayed for peace. I remember praying, “You put this dream in my heart. Either take it away or make it come true.”
I hear all the time that God’s timing is perfect and in some instances, I agree. On days when I am dealing with a teenager, two preteens and a toddler all at the same time or I’m scrambling to find a babysitter, I have to wonder, is it really? I think it was when I really admitted to myself that I was not in control, that I finally found peace. We all know it wasn’t the babies that brought me peace. They brought something…but it wasn’t peace in the sense of quiet or calmness. It was more of a peace that I could put all the pain behind me.
Or pushed down where I didn’t have to always think about it. But then I hear of someone trying to have a baby or a troubled pregnancy and it hits me again: Why? Why is it hard for some and easy for others? I see so many deserving people who are struggling to do the most basic thing and it brings it all back. The desire to experience the ease of getting pregnant and then the joy of telling everyone and then nine months later, bringing the baby home. Ignorance really is bliss when it comes to being pregnant and giving birth. When you don’t know all the things that can go wrong, you live with a lot less fear.
So, I have four kids and two angels in Heaven. Does that mean that I am no longer hurt by infertility? No. God’s timing might be perfect but infertility still sucks.
Pouring my heart out with Shell today: