Monday, April 23, 2012

The path less traveled

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. I know I don't write a lot about my infertility. At this point in my infertility journey, talking about it is like talking about the mole on my stomach. It's still there, it's always going to be there...nothing new to report.

My husband and I probably aren't the typical infertile couple. We decided to get off the crazy train of infertility treatment early on. We didn't try IUI's or IVF, we didn't try cycles and cycles of fertility medicine. We aren't considering a surrogate or adoption.

We decided it was either going to just happen...or it just wasn't.

This was the best decision for us, financially..emotionally..and physically.

After we made that decision, I had to learn what it was going to mean to be a childless woman. How was I going to measure my worth? How was I going to find my purpose? How was I going to find my joy? What was going to keep me motivated?

It wasn't an easy lesson. There aren't any cookie cutter answers to all those questions. I struggled for a long time with who I was going to be if I wasn't going to be a mother. I mourned the loss of motherhood. I still do sometimes but there are no more crying jags on the bathroom floor.

But slowly and finally, I have come to a place of understanding. I am still a whole person, despite my dysfunctional ovaries. I have a lot to offer the world...other than mothering. I can strive to be the best wife and friend to my husband. I can keep and cultivate a warm and inviting home for my family and friends. I can invest my time into my fur-children and my nieces and nephew. I can explore my interests, indulge in my hobbies. I can devote my efforts into keeping myself healthy.

I realize now that I can be happy without having children. I know that my marriage can survive, and grow and thrive, without having children.

It wasn't the path we had planned or expected. But, with my husband by my side, I am still glad to be walking it. And I'm looking forward to the future more than I ever have before.