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Browsing Tag

cross of infertility

Adoption, Infertility

How Motherhood Changed My Infertility

January 19, 2015

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.

4. Hindsight

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!

Infertility, Marriage

Keeping it Real

February 25, 2014

Recently I stumbled across a post from another gal in the infertility blog realm. The entire post, while seemingly sad and discouraging to some, was a breath of fresh air for me.

So often, I feel like I have to “keep it together” with this whole infertility thing. Or that I have to appear like I am handling things well. That I have to bear my cross perfectly and just like saints I’ve read about. Well, I’m not a saint (yet…God can work miracles) and I more or less suck at carrying this cross 99.9% of the time. In this post, I feel the need to just be real for my sake and others. I don’t want to give others the perception that I am a Rock star in carrying this cross or that I am weathering the storm with perfect grace. This is the real glimpse.

I stole a few lines from The Road Home blog because she so succinctly summed up certain emotions/thoughts. So here is me “keeping it real” on infertility:

Infertility sucks.

It attacks everything I am – as a woman, as a wife, in my femininity, in my ability to use my mothering gifts, as a daughter, as a sister. Every. single. thing. is tainted and attacked because my body is broken. It doesn’t work.

I am jealous and devastated over pregnancy announcements…most of which come from brides married seventeen seconds or longer.

I am mad that Sunday Mass is torture for me. Seeing all the happy families and hearing the noises of kids around me is like a constant reminder of what I can’t have.

I have anger, deep-rooted-want-to-yell anger, lots of times, but especially when there is an intention at Mass for “mothers”. When is the last time you heard a prayer for infertile couples?

I see pregnant teenagers and I wonder why God lets them get pregnant and not me.

I see Catholic families having their 7th, 8th, 12th kids…and feel anger that the “rich get richer and the poor get poorer” in some strange fertility economics game I make up.

I see couples who contracepted for years get pregnant easy-peasy and wonder why God grants them their desires so quickly when they abused (often unknowingly or unintentionally) the gift of their sexuality with contraception. We’ve always been open to life, trusting our sexuality to the Lord, and he chooses to stay at a distance and refrain from blessing us with life.

I spend hours crying myself to sleep – asking God “why”. I never ever asked God “why” any other time in my life and I am sad that I am now. I am also sad that I don’t get answers.

I wake up in the middle of the night and forget about infertility for a few moments in a groggy sleep-like state. Then reality smacks me. We don’t have kiddos in the next room. I am not pregnant. I likely will never be pregnant.  I try to go back to sleep as quick as possible so I can escape this depressing reality at least until the morning alarm goes off.

I have moments of insight, moments of reprieve, moments of clarity and understanding, but they don’t last – and they are always replaced with deeper questions, deeper fears. It is the largest onion to be peeled in the world.

I don’t want to be a spiritual mother – I want to be a physical mother. I thank God he allows me to be a spiritual mother but it’s just not the same.

I love adoption and want to pursue it. I am pissed off that it costs $25,000 and involves months of extremely tedious work and other women get pregnant for free without even meaning to sometimes.

I don’t want to have to explain why one does not, in fact, “just adopt.”

I don’t want people to feel sorry for me – or not know what to say to me – or feel like they have to walk on eggshells around me – or talk about me behind my back.

I don’t want to avoid pregnant women.

I don’t want to be the older, wiser, infertile sage.

I don’t want to feel awkward talking to moms.

I don’t want to resent moms who can’t seem to talk about anything but their children.

I don’t want to resent people that don’t “get” infertility and say extremely stupid, hurtful things.

I don’t want to have regular public panic attacks at work when I find out that another couple is expecting….a couple married yet again for seventeen seconds.

I don’t want to ponder how our marriage is fruitful in other ways.

I don’t want to think about working full-time next year. 3 years into marriage, I was NOT supposed to be working full-time. I don’t want to be SO available for work.

I don’t want to feel judged by people who know we are looking at buying a 4-5 bedroom home this Spring. No, I have no freaking clue how it will get filled. I don’t want to consider that it might not be full someday.

I don’t want to dig deep into Church teaching and documents to answer questions about a marriage that is childless being fruitful, and full sacramental.

I feel invisible. Alone. Left behind. Useless.

I feel in my heart that God hates us even though I know in my head he absolutely doesn’t.

I don’t want to have to take 15+ pills per day everyday.

I don’t want to have to pay $3-4,000 per year on medical expenses to treat infertility that never work.

I don’t want to ship my blood across the country every month. Or all the other rigmarole stuff infertility requires me to do.

I don’t want to have to wear a St. Gerard medal, pray a 54-day rosary novena, bless myself with Lourdes holy water, beg a litany of saints for miracles, etc. to even have a chance at pregnancy. I want to simply get pregnant the normal way without crazy amounts of loops spiritually, medically, and physically to jump through.

I don’t want to be such a Negative Nancy. I want to be my happy self.

I want to be holy and I feel like infertility is a way in which I could be made holy but I keep blowing it and destroying any spiritual growth that could be found.

I want God to take away my desires to be a mother so this cross doesn’t hurt so bad. Why would he give me desires he doesn’t want to fulfill?

OK – that is probably enough. I’ve probably scandalized 99% of you but oh well. Now you know I am not perfect. That I question things deeply. That this cross isn’t just some small trial I am casually passing through on my path towards holiness.

It is real.

With all this said – “We are an Easter people and hallelujah is our song.” Blessed JPII

This cross won’t win. I will taste the resurrection. I don’t know when or how but I know firmly I will. Hope refuses to be snuffed out in my heart and soul. By His grace I putter onward each day. At times, I teeter dangerously close to the edge of despair but have yet to fall over that cliff and don’t believe Jesus will let me. Through prayer and the Sacraments He will ward off despair from gripping me for good.

For those going through this gauntlet too – I am sorry. I am here for you and would love to hold one another up in the battle. For those not going through this but caring for people who are – pray and be grateful. Please pray (for REAL and not just one of those “I’ll pray for you” passerby comments you don’t really mean)  for couples going through this. And be crazy grateful for your health and kiddos. Yes, you have other crosses and I won’t deny that but hopefully the above glimpse will give you ideas of how to pray for an infertile couple.