When we got married we decided we would wait two or three years before having children.
I never imagined it would be ten years before we welcomed our first child into our lives!
Over the years that we waited we cycled through trying different methods of conceiving, having periods of rest (while not preventing pregnancy) and back around to trying again.
Statistically, a woman who is trying to get pregnant will conceive in about four months and a woman who isn’t actively trying has about an 11% chance of getting pregnant. After a year of active trying I felt pretty poorly. After three years of alternating between trying and not-trying I felt a little depressed. The longer we waited the worse I felt.
I watched friends get pregnant and have babies: some got pregnant so easily it was ridiculous. We were losing our age group of friends as our peers had children and moved into a different circle and we in turn moved out of their circles because being around their children when we didn’t have any became increasingly painful for us.
When we were first married we would sometimes lay in bed and talk about our future children: when we would have them, what their names would be, what their room would look like, the kinds of toys we wanted them to be interested in. As we got further into this journey of infertility we stopped talking about those things and started more and more to avoid dreaming about our future children.
We started talking about how great it was to be without kids. We could go anywhere we wanted, whenever we wanted and eat whatever we wanted at all times of day! We could spend ridiculous amounts of time doing boring things like going to museums or holding a fishing pole by the lake.
We told ourselves how great this was…but there was still a hole in our lives.
Though we considered adoption, which many of our family and friends have successfully done, we didn’t feel as though it was time to pursue that option.
We began investigating infertility and looking for different ways to remedy the problem. There are certain infertility treatments we determined we would never try as the cost was prohibitive and there were no guaranteed results.
There are a lot of things that can be tried before costs get prohibitive, however. Some of these, such as taking different drugs, made me unreasonably moody and gave me adverse physical side effects.
Every time we tried something and it didn’t work I was frustrated.
Eight years in we found ourselves overjoyed with news of our first pregnancy! But our hopes and dreams were dashed when it ended early with a miscarriage. It ended so early that only a handful of people knew we had been pregnant.
Though it didn’t feel like good news, our doctor told us that it was because now we at least knew that we could get pregnant.
Then, at nine and a half years, we got pregnant again and it stuck this time. Suddenly we were in a world of baby bedding, diapers, baby names, birthing classes, and so much more. It was exciting and overwhelming, but after all that we went through we were cautious. We waited until we were through the first trimester before widely sharing our news.
The fear of losing the baby was always present in our minds, so at every milestone we gave a sigh of relief. At 20 weeks when we had our first ultrasound we were relieved that we could actually see him, that it wasn’t just our imaginations in overdrive. At 24 weeks we gave another sigh of relief as the baby would be viable if born that early, though would need a lot of medical intervention. At 36 weeks we gave another sigh of relief because at that point he was considered full term.
When he was born nine days late it was the most amazing day of our lives.
But now what? After ten years of waiting, what now? We no longer had close friends with children, we really were enjoying the freedom of not having children, and we were a little stuck in our ways at this point. We took our little blessing home and we began to adjust.
So we’re not so stuck in our ways anymore and we miss having a little freedom, but it is so worth it!
However, the damage we did by isolating ourselves from our friends with babies was not easily reversed. Some of our friends realized what had happened and reached out to us. Others are pretty much only Facebook friends now.
We’ve managed to make some new contacts and friends. It helps to meet people coming in and out of church nursery, and I’ve made more friends and contacts through a local moms’ group. Though we’ve lost most of our age group for shared parenting experiences, now we can look to them for advice and support instead.
And then, surprise, surprise, we were pregnant again ten months after our first boy was born! What a surprise blessing for our family.
Infertility is a harsh reality that afflicts many couples. In the times that we live in there are now solutions to overcome infertility but the emotional damage can be overwhelming and the support of family and friends is invaluable.
Do you know someone who is pregnant after suffering through infertility? Reach out to her! Chances are she’s longing for relationships with other mothers and doesn’t know how to reform those bridges she burned. What you do for people you know who are now suffering or have suffered through infertility can make a life changing impact. Pick up the phone, drop a card in the mail, send a friendly email, or drop by–your gesture will not go unappreciated!