"Infertility is a heart-wrenching, faith-questioning, relationship-testing, life-altering experience."
National Infertility Awareness Week is April 24th - 30th. I don't normally like to bring up my infertility. It's not that I want to hide it, really. Or pretend like it doesn't exist. Mother Nature makes sure I get a reminder every month. I just feel like talking about something like this all of the time gives it too much power.
My infertility is just a small part of who I am.
There was a time I let thoughts of it consume me. My infertility ran our lives for a little bit there. There were a lot of doctor visits. A lot of blood draws. A lot of tests. A lot of living by a calendar and forced intimacy. And two surgeries. One planned, in which I discovered I have Endometriosis, and one not planned, in which I had an Ectopic pregnancy.
There were a lot of tears. A lot of negative pregnancy tests. A lot of anger. And a whole lot of confusion. I was mad at God. Mad that He deprived me of my motherhood. Mad that He deprived my husband of his fatherhood. Mad that He robbed my mother of her Grandma-hood. I was confused about how our marriage was going to continue without becoming parents. I mean, what else was there other than parenthood?
But, I finally let go of all my doubt and fear and anger and started trying to figure out who I was going to be as a childless woman.
Having a very supportive spouse and family has helped. Everyone has been very understanding of my decision to stop seeking further infertility treatments. Jeremy has been a saint through everything. He has always supported me 100%, no matter what I wanted to do.
It's helped that most everyone has stopped asking why I don't have kids yet. I forgive any new people I happen to meet. It's normal for people to ask about kids when they are getting to know someone. But even they usually leave it alone after the very normal 'So do you have kids?' and I respond with 'Nope, but I have a bunch of pets'.
And speaking of pets......having pets is a very rewarding alternative to having kids. Honestly, they make us feel like a family. They are our family. We are a family. I HAVE a family.
I don't like living my life always wanting things I don't or cannot have. There really is no point and it's a waste of energy. Instead I focus on the things I do or can have.
I do have a wonderful husband who is the love of my life and very best friend. I have a beautiful love cottage filled with things that make me happy. I have pets that look at me with pure love and trust.
I can fill my time with whatever passion or hobby I feel like without feeling guilty. I can sleep in as late as I want on the weekends without feeling guilty. I can spend all day reading a good book (or two) without feeling guilty. I can spend my money on things I want without feeling guilty or worrying about paying for college. I can watch movies with sex and swearing...any time I want.
What I'm getting at is I know mommy-hood is great, but I've come to realize that not being a mommy is great too.
Yes, I am childless. But my infertility is not who I am. Me infertility is only a part of my story.