FatherWinter and I have been very blessed in terms of family. We have our handsome son, Superbug, who is my son from a previous relationship. We are actively pursuing adoption for our loving daughter Honeybee and love her more than we could ever express. We are also actively desiring to expand our family with additional children. It’s something we have always wanted to do in addition to adoption. We always knew we wanted a large family. FatherWinter is one of eight for goodness sake. What we weren’t prepared for journey to large family was infertility.
FatherWinter and I have been trying to conceive naturally for just about three years. We’ve tried apps, counting calendars, eating fertility inducing foods…you name it. Nothing has helped. In those three years, two of FatherWinter’s sisters have given birth to three children. One sister got pregnant one month after getting married. Eighteen months after that beautiful delivery, she gave birth to another baby blessing.
FatherWinter’s friends have been dropping pregnancy announcement like rain drops. One, a former girlfriend, also announced her pregnancy a month after marriage. A colleague announced his wife’s pregnancy two weeks after holding our Honeybee and saying aloud how he would like to start trying with his wife. One week, FatherWinter received subsequent pregnancy announcements every single day of the workweek. Sigh….
It’s been the same with me. There are two women at our office who became pregnant within weeks of each other. They recently delivered. Both babies are beautiful and both moms very happy. Then, there are a couple of our mutual married friends. A few months ago, a very dear friend announced her pregnancy. We were ecstatic for them!! They weren’t trying, but simply stopped any preventative methods. A month later. BOOM. Pregnant. Recently, another pregnancy was announced and I was thrilled. I mean thrilled like literally yell out loud thrilled. She is an amazing mother and her husband is an amazing father. But, I’d be lying if I said, I didn’t feel that familiar ache in the pit of my womb. It held like a menstrual cramp. I knew it wasn’t. It wasn’t an ovulation cramp either. I call it my womb’s cry. Every so often, when I am told of the joyous news of a pregnancy, my womb cries out and I feel it in tangible form.
I feel awful about it. I love the announcements of pregnancy. I really, really am happy for all of my friends and family members who are celebrating or surprised at the news. But, there is a part of me that still mourns the fact that I seemingly can not and will not become pregnant.
Recently, FatherWinter and I had a conversation that truly involved a soul baring moment. We discussed the fact that we were both sad that we couldn’t conceive. Yes, I’ve been to the doctor. She has said there is no reason why I shouldn’t be able to conceive despite having a plum size uterine cyst. FatherWinter has been evaluated as well. There are some flags there, but nothing that should keep us completely from conceiving. Yet, here we are. We can’t get pregnant and it is hurts.
We are more than happy and thrilled that we get to be parents to our Honeybee. That will never change. She is our daughter and we love her with everything that is in our mind, body, and soul. We just acknowledge that giving her another little brother or a new little sister to share her life with is going to be very difficult.
The same holds true for our Superbug. He brings a lot of love and a lot of joy into our life. I wouldn’t negate his presence for anything!
You know what else is hard about this? I feel like I shouldn’t be feeling this way. I feel like someone else will see our grieving for the absence of biological conception as a statement that we aren’t loving and dedicated parents to our Honeybee (and Superbug). That is not true. Honeybee is not some consolation prize. She is absolutely our daughter and means the world to us. Not because there is something owed, but because we love her honestly and truly. But there will always be someone who believes the worst and that is why I believe so many people keep their infertility struggles to themselves.
Infertility is an awful experience. I know there are many women who are experiencing it and many men who are mourning right along with their loved ones. I just wish there wasn’t such a stigma associated with infertility. It would be amazing to have a dialogue without fear of judgment.