08 December 2010

I to the N to the Fertility

I have never wanted to write about infertility.

In fact, I'm having quite a bit of trouble getting past that first sentence. I'm sitting here thinking, "I really don't want to be writing about this." And yet, here I am. Wrapped up in a comforter, laptop open, preparing to express the biggest frustration in my life right now to anyone who will read it. In simple terms: I really really want to have another baby.

Before now, writing about infertility seemed almost superfluous. There are forums, blogs, and entire communities dedicated to that one subject alone. What could I possibly have to add? Plus—and this is a big plus—I already have a baby. Doesn't already having a baby make my infertility less, um, legitimate? Shouldn't I be able to hug and kiss my Z-cakes and be happy that I have her without wishing for more?

But still, I wish. And so, I write. I write knowing that my experience will be similar yours while being completely different from yours. Hopefully these words will bring some comfort to someone, even if it is only me.

I was ready to be pregnant again almost two years ago. Z-cakes was turning one and I was intensely in love with being a mother. I wanted dozens of kids. Gobs and gobs of kids. Three or four kids. More than one at least. I hoped that now that I had been pregnant once my body would be able to figure out how things worked and that I would be able to get pregnant naturally this time around. After two years, no dice. No pink plus sign.

To get pregnant with Z-cakes, N8tr0n and I went to a reproductive endocrinologist. I had been diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome and after doing some research on the internet (which we all know is a really bad idea, right?) I was trying to manage my expectations. When I got pregnant after one round of Clomid I wanted to kiss that doctor right on the mouth. How could it have been that easy? I spent nine months being one of those annoying girls who really enjoys being pregnant, lived through one "major abdominal surgery," and became a mother. I refused to entertain the thought of infertility issues for subsequent pregnancies. I was living in the moment and would deal with that struggle when it came.

Unfortunately that struggle came, and it is here now. Of course not every day is a struggle. Sometimes months can pass where my heart doesn't ache for a baby and I have faith that our family will grow in time. During those months I knit baby booties for my giant list of pregnant friends. I laugh (without faking it) and joke about Z-cakes needing a sibling. I read birth stories on blogs. I embrace the ease of having one child who is slowly coming more and more self sufficient. On a good day, I am completely unfazed by questions about how many kids we want or when we plan on having another. I happily chat with people about infertility and answer questions about PCOS, and I don't even feel sorry for myself afterward.

And then, there are the other times. The times when I just want to hang my head and cry. The times when an innocent comment like, "is she your one and only?" can leave me cranky and teary for the rest of the day. It's during those times that I stop rolling out the baby gifts. I stop writing congratulatory emails for new arrivals. I cry watching Z-cakes play outside by herself. I unsubscribe to blogs because she is pregnant again and I just can't. I can't keep reading. I'll check back in nine months. Or two years. Or when I'm pregnant too. The jealousy that I feel during those times is more painful than anything else. I find that I am also full of fear. Fear that we might never have another baby. Fear that we will spend years and years trying, and that I'm not appreciating what I have because I'm so focused on what I want.

I rise up out of these slumps through the help of my family and my faith. And when I say family, I mean my immediate family. N8tr0n is the only person in the world who can say whatever he wants about babies, fertility, pregnancy and general procreation without having me lose it completely. How does he always make me laugh when he says, "hey, we should have another baby!" as if it has never occurred to either of us before? Z-cakes is my sunshine, and I find it impossible to worry about infertility when I'm snuggled up on the couch with her. My faith is what carries me from the depression of infertility to the lightness of hope. And when I kneel to pray I only rarely ask to have a baby. It feels a bit redundant, and I'm pretty sure God knows that's what I want. Instead I pray that the jealousy and fear that has a tight grip on my heart can be lifted. That I might be able to feel and express the love and excitement I have for my expecting friends. That I might find joy in our present instead of worrying about our future.

I said that I've never wanted to write about infertility and I meant it. It is not a fun subject to write about. I don't enjoy worrying my family, because I know many of them read this blog. I don't like to look like a jealous person or complain too much about my personal life. I hardly think that I can eloquently portray the heartache infertility can bring. But when a topic nags at me long enough, I have to give in and write about it. I have left out a lot of details. I don't plan to make a habit out of writing about our struggles. But I believe in the healing power of writing, and I believe in reaching out to others through my blog. If you need to talk to somebody about how infertility sucks, I'm happy to be that somebody.

I am abundantly blessed with a loving family and friends who care about me. I know that our family will grow in its own way whether we end up having dozens of kids or not. I am striving to bring myself out of each slump as a stronger woman, a more loving mother, and a more compassionate human. I will continue to trust in God and I will be truly happy, no matter what.




Jenn said...

God is good... All the time!

Don't feel bad about sharing your heart! Being jealous is an ok feeling if you recognize it and don't let it consume you (all the time). I enjoy reading your blog. You are truely a strong, encouraging woman even through your trials!

Rachel said...

You know I love ya. I am glad you wrote about it. It has been on my mind lately also. I have had a thought on this recently, I might have to write you an e-mail though. It would take too long. Just know I think your amazing, as a mother, and a wife, and a friend. Hang in there.

Korbi said...

I feel your pain..... and I understand it :( Best wishes!

dw said...

"Instead I pray that the jealousy and fear that has a tight grip on my heart can be lifted."

You and I have very different faiths, I think, but this sentence is so beautiful and true and RIGHT that it made me cry. You and I are also on very different ends of the scale re: babies and the desire for them, but I have both sets of fingers crossed for you and desperately want your dearest wish to be granted.

And I dearly hope that the weight of your anxiety and fear lifts soon. May I make a small (probably misplaced and inadequate) suggestion: have you looked into adoption? There are so many beautiful and worthy children in the World whose lives would be completely transformed by the love you have to offer. I know it's not the same (and expensive - phew!), but perhaps it might be a *different* way to see your dreams come true...?

Just an idea.

PS: My aunt and uncle had a boy in 1984. Their second son was born in 2000. They had never stopped trying. Don't lose hope, friend. I'm going to lend you my own prayers from now on, too.

Femme Facetious said...

Thank you. And of course you add more to the dialogue--I don't care how many forums and blogs and communities there are dedicated to infertility--your experience is just as valid as all of those put together, and a lot of the times you say it better anyway :)

Just wanted to say I hear ya.

(ps check your inbox.)

Hannah said...

I can't think of a more trying challenge than this one. I am so glad you shared it so that we can learn from you. We can be more sensitive to others.

I think the one thing that blogging has taught me is to be less judgmental. You never know what a person is really going through and the trials they are facing.

I am so sorry, friend. I know that God is aware of the hurt you feel. Thank goodness for a kind Heavenly Father! You are a wonderful mother and person. I can't think of anyone who deserves a baby more. I am positive it will happen, in one way or another. Hoping that it happens for you sooner than later.

Thinking of you, sweet friend.

Laynie said...

From one fertility challenged friend to another...I love you. Hang in there. Call if you ever need to talk or vent. I get it. XO. --Micalena

chitarita said...

Yeah, there's lots of posts out there. But this one's about YOU. And that makes it one I want to read and know about.

Keep writing, my friend!

Kendra said...

Thanks for sharing. Thinking of you. Thanks for writing a wonderful blog.

Chalet said...

Mandi...I cried for you tonight. I have PCOS also. We have one miracle baby and we LOVE her. My husband often mentions that we should start trying for another one. I give him some excuse of how we have our hands full (which we do) but truth be told...I am deathly afraid of going there again. But the one thing I have learned from our many trials...it is all in the Lord's hands and we have to put our trust in Him! Good Luck...you are in my prayers.

Greeneyes said...

Dear girl--
You are strong.
You are beautiful.
You are brave.
I hope your story continues to add chapters of loveliness to your life.

Greeneyes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tiffany said...

You are amazing, Miranda. Thanks for sharing this.

The Goldade's said...

I'm right there with you. I think it's the holiday's that brings it out for us fertility challenged. I've been struggling a lot the last month or so dealing with my jealousy of others who take for granted what they've been blessed with but most of all the WHY and the not understanding. I don't like to write about it either because flat out...its HARD and emotional. Praying is something that's also hard for me because I feel like a broken record. I too figure He already knows the desires of my heart. I wish I had encouraging words for you. It just plain sucks and you gotta take one day at a time. My offer for a lunch filled with food, emotions, feelins, dessert, conversations and chocolate still stands...anytime. :) Loves to you!

jt said...

I too am glad you wrote this, and I am also on the other end of the spectrum, making me feel guilty. (Although that's not too hard.) I am just going to email you, how bout that?

Sarah said...

I could not imagine a harder struggle for any woman to go through. Thank you for sharing.

marta said...

oh miranda. i'm thinking of you today. this post is so good and well written and wonderful. thank you for letting it out. i appreciate your words from someone who's 'been there too'. i am learning that being a grown up sometimes really sucks, however it is in the challenges that help us figure out who we really are. xo. even when your heart is happy, know that others are hoping for your dreams to come true.

Emmylou said...

I'm thankful for posts like this to humble myself and make me feel more grateful for the blessings that I do have instead of the hours of sleep that I didn't get last night, etc. That's one of the things I love about you most that you are free with your thoughts and emotions. It makes you real!

kami @ nobiggie.net said...

I'm so sorry Miranda. and I know it doesn't help to hear that.

Infertility sucks. I hate that it even exists. I hope through sharing your story that you can heal a bit.

As one who has experienced the joys of adoption, I have to say that through all the trials of infertility, it is a light at the end of a tunnel.

Destri said...

xoxox....so sorry, and thank you for sharing, you did a beautiful job with a tough subject.

In my prayers :)

Jocelyn said...

oh sweetie, you will be in my prayers! i'm sure this was a very hard post to write, but you did such an amazing job with it. God will bless you for being so faithful even through the difficult times. Hugs!

Anonymous said...

You know I love ya more than my luggage! XOXOXO to you, my dear friend. How grateful I am for your friendship, your posts, and your wisdome. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE you!

michelle said...

This is a beautiful post, Miranda. As a woman who has not experienced this particular struggle, I found it enlightening. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to see babies and pregnant women everywhere and feel happy for them instead of just envious.

I love that Nate can joke with you about it. I love the things you pray for, I think it shows great maturity.

I hope that you receive the desire of your heart!

cindy said...

Thank you for your story. My daughter also suffers from infertility. She spoke at RS tonight on 'Finding Joy in the Journey--to Motherhood.'
Four years ago they adopted sweet EJ. Their journey was an expensive roller coaster. It involved a Supreme Court decision. When EJ was three they were finally able to become a 'Forever Family'.
I wish I had a magic word that would make it all better. Just know you are not alone.

paws said...

Infertility has not been my lot in life (thank goodness), but I do know very well what it's like to really, really want something (e.g. a hubby) and not get it for a long time. It sucks.

I just had to remind myself of the moments of clarity and hope when I knew I'd get my righteous desire eventually. In the end, all the waiting was well worth it.

Anyway, like I said, it sucks to struggle - I'm not one of those people who calls trials a blessing ;) - but having faith never hurts.

Can you do Clomid again?

Wiggs (The Beholder) said...

I'm so sorry. I can't begin to imagine what that feels like because we haven't started trying yet, but I know how hard it can be. One thing my pastor said a couple of weeks ago really stuck with me, and it has helped me a LOT with feelings of jealousy, anxiety, etc: "What is this situation summoning you to do?" I always pause and ask myself that when I feel like I can't control whatever is beating me down. I don't always feel better, but at least it makes me think about the higher purpose in everything that happens to me.

Jaime said...

Lots of love to you Mandy. I like that after all this time, I still feel like I know you. Thanks for sharing.

Katie {My Paisley Apron} said...

This is a really beautiful post. Since having a miscarriage, I have become more aware of the struggles of the women around me with regard to having babies and not having babies. I so appreciate your honesty and openness. Although our struggles are different, I identify with so many of the feelings you express here, about the good days and bad, and more. Thank you for such a great and open post. I think it's so healing to read these things from others in addition to sharing my own experience!

Kimberlee said...

{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}} to you, Miranda.

A beautifully written post. Thank you so much for sharing. And always know that there are others who are hoping and praying with you, for you! Loads of love.

Meghan said...

Hi Miranda. I know this is an older post and you have a baby now, but I have a blog and love to share stories of hope after infertility. You can check it out here: http://thestacychronicles.wordpress.com/?s=happy+beginnings
I would love to feature your story if you are interested. Please let me know! I would link it back to your blog post. Thank you.

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