Monday, August 19, 2013

The Ability to Reproduce

Recently I've been reading a lot about pregnancy. Many of my online friends are getting ready to welcome their little ones into the world, and their blogs are full of hopes and dreams and tips on how to stay thin and loose postpartum weight while juggling their dimpled newborn. And I'm happy for them. So happy it hurts sometimes, because I'm a little jealous too.

You see, I really want to have a baby. I've wanted Brian's baby ever since I spied him across the coffee shop, where we met for the first time. Odd feeling. I thought, because until that moment I'd never wanted babies. Even in previous relationships, I really wasn't interested in procreating. Ever. 

But after marriage, I felt for the first time financially and emotionally ready to start a family. I couldn't wait for those two little lines!
Our Wedding Day

I thought it was easy. Get married. Have unprotected sex. Boom. Baby. At least, that's what they always tell you in high school. It just takes one time, girl, one time.

It doesn't help that every woman in my family has achieved pregnancy with a drop of the hat. I've been thinking about dropping hats for months and still, nothing.

I'll be honest, I used to look at people who were dealing with infertility or complications with pregnancy with mild sadness and a large helping of relief. Oh-I'm-so glad-that-will-never-happen-to-me. But, it is happening. Because it has almost been a year, and I'm not pregnant yet.

The past 8 months or so, I've struggled with questions like

Why do I feel so ashamed?  
Is there something wrong with me?
Why isn't this working?
Maybe this month I'll be pregnant?

I even have the names picked out. For a girl, Larkin Elizabeth. For a boy, Sage Alan.

To make it even more complicated, last night I saw this on Pinterest: “You haven’t really lived until you’ve tucked your kids in.” What? I thought, to myself, Maybe I'll never know what that joy feels like.

It’s hard to ignore the fact that there’s a whole segment of the online population categorized as “mommy bloggers," and not feel like I'm missing out on something. And, as a young married women, it's beyond annoying when people ask me when I'm going to have kids. What do I say? We are trying, but nothing is happening? We want kids? Maybe later? Mind your own business?


To be honest, I'm a bit angry over all these expectations and feelings. Because not every family has to have children in order to be complete. Contrary to that pin, you can live a full and abundant life without ever tucking anything into a bed. On the other hand, I need to realize that everyone with a kid is not pointing the proverbial finger at me. It's just a fact of life that some people can have kids and some people can not. No one is judging anyone, and nor should we.

If you are struggling with infertility, I have some things to say to you. First of all, its not the end of the world. When I started researching infertility, I found a ton of blogs where women talk about themselves as if the entire world is over because they cannot grow a child in their uterus. They say things like "I've failed as a women," and "My life will never be complete." Yes, I understand that when you want to have a baby, the inability to produce one is sad. But it is not the end of the world. You shouldn't feel bad or ashamed about something you have no control over. You are still a complete person. While their might be something biologically wrong with you, there is nothing wrong with YOU.

The fact that you can't have kids should NEVER stop you from living life to your fullest! Do you hear me? Go out and dream other dreams! Live other lives! Don't obsesses that you might never have a biological child. IT'S OKAY! Really. And don't let this tear apart the relationship between you and your husband.

One of the things I've learned is to never make sex completely and totally about having a baby. Sure, its okay to plan and its okay to have sex in order to have a baby--what I'm saying is, don't lose the romance. Don't lose the spontaneity, the fun, the passion! The most annoying thing I think I can hear is "well, I guess we should have sex, since you might be ovulating"--or, "I hope this time I/you can get pregnant", or (after another month of Aunt Flo) "all that sex was for nothing!" Sex with the love of your life is never for nothing, and it should never be just a tool used for having a baby. Don't bring expectations into your sex life--keep that intimacy free of worry and fear so that you still have a place to totally open and at peace with each other.

we so silly!
I realize that a year of infertility and a few miscarriages are nothing compared to many other heartbreaking stories I've heard. I have not been to the doctor yet about my struggle, but I do plan on going. I want to try to have a family, and I'm determined to rejoice, no matter what the outcome. So what, I can't have kids? I will focus on the fact that I am still alive, breathing, creating and knitting and living.

Sometimes I think that perhaps I am destined for a different fortune--a different kind of life then the normal "have 2.5 kids work, retire, and die". I am determined to be excited no matter what happens. Having kids isn't the only way to live. This life, these dreams I have--this is my adventure, and I won't squander it just because I happen to have a few unfulfilled expectations along the way. Instead, I will change my focus, blaze a new field, and keep learning, dreaming, and trying to be who God made me to be. Because, as a christian women, I'm going to trust God completely with my life, kids or no kids.

I'm not going to spend my years thinking I've failed. I'm going to live with no regrets. Will you?

To read all my posts about infertility, click here! 

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