Many of you are probably waiting to hear what I have to say about this topic. Especially my fellow gals deep in the trenches of infertility.
Here’s the short answer:
Motherhood hasn’t physically changed anything about my infertility…but it has completely changed the way in which it affects me.
As soon as Josie made her entrance into the world, everything in my entire life shifted and changed for her. My days and nights have been consumed with being her mother ever since her birth.
I anticipated that change. What I didn’t expect was how I would feel towards our battle with infertility.
How is it different, you ask?
1. Infertility Amnesia
I NEVER thought I would be capable of forgetting the lowest of low days of our infertility journey but it’s happened.
They seem like a distant fog now.
How can the pain of waiting 3 years for children vanish overnight? Surely it’s due to the fact that I am now completely consumed in my daily endeavors with caring for a tiny human…but I also know it’s because a deep part of me has been fulfilled in motherhood. Being a mom is amazing. So amazing that I’ve literally forgotten the horrible, no good, very bad days on my way to this place.
2. No Pressure
I used to feel incredible amounts of pressure to make sure I was doing all I could possibly do to try to conceive a baby. It was truly exhausting.
Now, I don’t feel any pressure whatsoever. Our desires have been met with this precious gift named Josephine and we are content. Sure, I want her to have siblings someday but I am not worried about it for now.
I’ve been released of the pressure to ever have biological children. Adoption has changed that for me. I do not care at all about having a pregnancy or birthing a child. I am so happy with adoption and the way it’s blessed our family that I am totally fine with this being the avenue our family grows.
Someday when we actively try to conceive again, it will inevitably be different because it’s no longer the “only” way to expand our family. Thank goodness because it may never happen that way for us. Whew!
3. Jealous No More
Boy oh boy did I get jealous of other women who conceived babies easily…especially if they also couldn’t appreciate the struggle I was going through and made crazy insensitive remarks.
After becoming a mommy myself, jealousy sort of faded away. Motherhood is SO VERY HARD and I now appreciate other moms in a way I never had before. I used to sit back and envy the “perfect catholic family” with 6+ kids and now I can relate to that mother’s very real glorious struggle. She is no longer my enemy or the woman I look at with green eyes.
It’s as if something happened in my heart after Josie was born…like I suddenly understood that God grows each individual family differently and I need to be content with mine just like every other family needs to be with theirs. A grace from above for sure!!!
Now…I am very aware that I am in the early phases of motherhood. As Josie grows I will absolutely want siblings for her. I will undoubtedly watch the women who’ve had kiddos close to Josie’s age go on to conceive and have more children before we have more children. I can see how jealousy could creep back in over time but I just don’t think it will ever grip my heart the way it once did.
You know that old phase, “Hindsight is 20/20?”
I feel it’s so true with becoming a mom and looking back on our journey through infertility. Our circumstances changed literally overnight with becoming parent’s and it was as if in the same fell swoop, we all of a sudden could look back and make sense of infertility.
If we hadn’t gone through it…we wouldn’t have been where we needed to be when we were asked to be Josephine’s parents. For that, I wouldn’t trade anything, so infertility all of a sudden became the road that lead us to her! In some way I was glad we went down that path and allowed God to grow, stretch, and prepare us in our sufferings for those 3 years.
I also was able to look back and finally appreciate all the incredible things Jonathan and I were able to do and accomplish in our days before becoming parents. We traveled, dated regularly, slept-in, became debt free, got actively involved in our community, spent lots of time with friends and family, etc.
The freedom I never wanted due to infertility was now something I look back and appreciate. I only wished I could have seen it for the gift it was in the present moment while I was going through it…but of course I didn’t have that deep of trust in Our Lord’s providence to do that! 🙂
I would love to hear from others who’ve gone down this similar path of infertility and finally “crossing over” to motherhood. Let me know if anything I’ve said resonated with you or if you have other insights into how being a mom has changed how infertility affects you.
If that isn’t your experience, feel free to ask any questions you’ve got down in the comments or by contacting me!
So well written! Exactly how I have felt through our journey from infertility to parenthood through adoption!
Oh yes, the “no pressure” one has been so great. (We conceived our baby after 2+years) It has made such a difference especially on my relationship with my husband, and to some degree I actually dread the return of my cycle because then I will start wondering and worrying about secondary IF.
I also find that I understand the struggles of other mothers much more now and have much less jealousy (although, I admit, it’s still there–especially of those who have toddlers the same age as our miscarried baby, and especially since those families *also* have babies the same age as or younger than our Maria!)
I also really like what you said about “the freedom you never wanted”– I have noticed the same thing. We would have loved to have our first baby, but I can see ways we grew and changed and things we were able to do and experience in those years in between, and I do appreciate them.
It is crazy how parallel our lives are! A FOCUS missionary told me about your blog this fall. My husband and I also struggled with infertility for 3+ years and just welcomed our previous son by the miracle of adoption in November! Every blog post I read of yours, I think “yes, yes, and YES!” Thank you for sharing on this blog!
Precious not previous! I little sleep deprived! haha!
[…] Though I haven’t adopted (at least not yet) I can totally relate to this blog post about how becoming a mom changed her view on infertility. […]
Beautiful! Thank you for sharing.
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Amanda, I’ve read this post and others over and over again as my husband and I are struggling with infertility (4 years) and are prayerfully considering adoption. Thank you for sharing your story and making me feel less alone.
I am glad our story makes you feel less lonely. Infertility is a hard and arduous road and while parts of that will never leave us…the biggest desire of all (to be parents) has been met and it makes the hard stuff a little easier to bear. 🙂 Best wishes on your possible adoption journey.