This post is intended to tell our infertility story in its very truest form. There are parts of this post that are raw and highly emotional. If you are struggling with infertility, this post may hit home with you a bit more than you imagined. If you need someone to listen, please email me at Kristen@theroadtodomestication.com.
I have always wanted to be a mom. ALWAYS.
I can remember in Elementary School when I set up my bedroom like a studio apartment, and pretended that I had all the normal elementary school duties, plus those of a wife and mother. I stayed pretty busy that year!
I’ve also never met a baby that didn’t love me, and that I couldn’t get to sleep within just a few minutes. I’ve always been pretty proud of that fact, and couldn’t wait to have a baby of my own.
My plan was always to get married right out of High School and start having babies immediately. As I got older, I realized that was a bit unrealistic for me personally.
I graduated High School and went on to college where I double-majored in Journalism and Public Relations, and threw in a minor in Biblical Studies, too. Right out of school, I began working for a publication company, and within 4 years, I was the Editor in Chief of 13 magazines, the Director of a PR Firm, and had about 50 people working under me. I had “made it” professionally.
But I was TIRED. 80 hours a week was simply EXHAUSTING. And I had no “life”. I did nothing but work. Even though I loved the work, after a while, it still got to be too much. And I started to remember my dream of being a mom.
So I quit my crazy high stress job. I went to work as an administrative assistant and office manager at my church. I started to build my “life” again. And the plan was, if I wasn’t married by the time I was 30, I was going to adopt. I was SO ready.
But I never made it to 30. One of my friends blew me out of the water when he expressed his intentions to be much more than my friend, and, after a bit of adjusting to the idea, we started dating. A year later we were engaged, and six months after that, I married the guy. Yeah. He’s pretty awesome.
We decided to enjoy being married for a year before we even talked about kids. And that we did.
We traveled. We worked and saved. We had quiet nights and getaway weekends. We did it all, and loved every minute of it.
When we hit a year of marriage, we pushed the kid conversation further and focused in on purchasing a home. And a family-friendly vehicle. And me getting an even more family-friendly job. (We’re nerds. We love to have things all planned out and prepared in advance.)
So, at two years of marriage, we had had tons of fun. We owned a home. Our student loans were almost completely gone. We had family friendly vehicles, good jobs and no debt. We were “ready”!
Since it was “the perfect time”, off the birth control I went, and the fun began.
One month went by. Then two. Three. Then four. Five. Six.
I was getting a little antsy. I had done my research, and I knew we wouldn’t be labeled “infertile” until we had been actively trying for an entire year with no results, but still. What on earth was taking so long?
As if I wasn’t already frustrated, it had begun. The questions.
“So, how long have you guys been married now? When are you gonna have kids?! You’re not getting any younger, you know. If you wait until you’re ready you’ll never have kids. Better get on the ball! Get on the stick! What are you waiting for?!”
Every time someone started in with those questions, my heart broke a little bit more. I wanted to scream out, “We’ve been trying for months and no luck, so just SHUT UP about it!”
And to make matters worse, all our friends were having babies.
It was wonderful. New babies are amazing and sweet and wonderful, and I still loved them! We would go to the hospitals and visit, and take food when they would come home from the hospital and babysit when they got a little older. All the while, my heart was breaking. Would this ever be me?
In the home that we purchased, we left one of the 4 bedrooms empty. And we had done that on purpose. It was going to be the perfect nursery. Double closets, beautiful natural light, warm wood floors…I couldn’t wait to be pregnant and find out if it was a boy or girl and then decorate the heck out of that room.
Seven months. Eight. Nine. Ten.
Not even a faint positive on a pee stick.
At night, when my husband would go get in the shower, I would go in the empty room. I would shut the door behind me, sit down on the warm wood floor, and sob. I would look around the emptiness and suddenly see the outline of a crib…changing table…a glider…in my mind. Then it would all disappear and I’d still be sitting there. In an empty room. Sobbing.
But just for a few minutes. Then I would get up, splash some cold water on my face, and be back on the couch perfectly fine by the time my hubby finished his shower.
Eleven months. TWELVE MONTHS.
Hellooooo “infertility”. I was completely crushed.
Well, we celebrated an anniversary a few days ago. An anniversary that I never wanted to celebrate.
When I first when to the gynecologist and told her we had been trying to have a baby and weren’t having any luck, she commented, “Well, no worries, you’re not considered infertile until you’ve been trying for a year and still haven’t gotten pregnant.”
Well, Happy Officially Infertile to us. August 1 marks the day.
It’s surreal, really.
It doesn’t feel like a year since we’ve been trying, but yet it feels like an eternity that I’ve been longing for a baby. I don’t know how it can be the same and yet different.
I’ve gone through one round of the Clomid and am prepping for another. I DID ovulate with the first round, so that was great! But no baby.
That was a hard one. I mean, I KNEW in my intelligent mind that it probably wouldn’t work the first time. But still. When the period came. It was like a kick in the stomach. Just like all the months when we were trying before the medication and every time…the period still came. You fight to keep your composure and fight to catch your breath and stop and wonder: am I doing the right thing? How many times will I have to do this before it works? Will it ever work?
I’ve stood in front of the mirror and looked myself in the eyes and asked myself, what if you are not meant to ever be a mother? Are you okay with that?
And I watch other couples. Who “accidentally” get pregnant. They have no idea.
And I watch the news of these parents who abuse their children. They have no idea. I don’t understand why people like that are allowed to have children, but we aren’t.
Some days I feel SO strong. I believe it’s just a matter of time, and I focus on the good things in life and thank God every moment of every day.
Other days, it’s all I can do to get to the evening so I can get in the shower, turn on the water, curl up on the floor and sob. No one can hear me there. No one knows how horrible it is.
And I’ll never understand why, on those most vulnerable days, the first thing in my news feed is a birth announcement, or a pregnancy announcement. It’s like a slap in the face.
I worry that Jerrod will leave. I worry that one day, it will all become too much for him. That he will just not be able to do it anymore. That he will leave for someone who makes life easier for him. And that I’ll be alone. It’s a fear that haunts my dreams. Literally.
And there’s no one I can talk to about it. There were a few people I talked to. One betrayed the confidence. The others have babies now, so they can remember what it felt like a little. But it’s not agonizing for them anymore.
And it’s agonizing for me.
I dread the next pregnancy announcement. I dread the next baby shower invitation. I dread the next family I take a meal to because they have a new addition, and the mother asks if I want to hold the baby.
I can’t describe how my heart feels when that happens. It feels shredded. Dripping with blood. Almost ready to collapse. It literally and physically HURTS.
This is the hardest thing I’ve had to go through. Ever.
Let me just say that through all of this, my husband was absolutely amazing. He was frustrated, too, but not nearly to the degree that I was! He hadn’t spent his whole life imagining being a dad, but he knew how much I wanted to be a mom, and how much it hurt me that it wasn’t happening. Without his support, I would have given up LONG before I did.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Due to the amount of comments from all of my wonderful readers, it is not always possible for me to respond to each one. However, I absolutely do read them all, and if you’d like to address something specific, or have a question for me, please don’t hesitate to email me at Kristen@theroadtodomestication.com. I will respond to your email as soon as possible! Thank you for visiting the blog!