I could simply say that I love my son to death, and his existence has brought so much joy that I cannot remember the pain and suffering of infertility. This is only a half truth. He is amazing, he is joyful, I am a mommy, and I cannot remember all of the pain and suffering of infertility. But, I do remember a lot. As you can imagine my inability to experience pregnancy or family planning without shelling out thousands of dollars still keeps me up at night. I cannot help but think of a sibling for Luv Bug. I cannot help but wish and hope and pray for another child.
It is always easier to focus on what we don't not have as opposed to what we have. It is human nature. Infertility brought me to a point where I believed that I had nothing; my future and identity were on hold. My losses far outnumbered my wins; IF pointed out to me dreams I didn't even know existed in my psyche. I held many whimsical dreams and visions deep down about family and motherhood. I always wanted 3-4 children. I had beautiful and unique names picked out for each of them. There were no specific expectations of their abilities, but I presumed they would be thoughtful and smart and family minded. I saw their curly hair and green or bright blue eyes. Most likely they would be slight in stature due to both genetic sides.
These are visions I had that didn't rise to the surface because they were expected to happen. In one way or another our children would be born and carry the genetics and characteristics of mommy, daddy, or our grandparents. One way or another some of these traits would find their way into the being of our children.
When our third IVF failed, it was December 20th. Our Christmas was ruined and full of an exacerbated unholy grief. We had to be joyful around our beautiful niece when all we wanted to do was crawl in a hole and hide. There would be no presents for our awaiting little one. There would be no silent congratulations from our parents and brothers. There would only by sympathetic if not pitiful glances from family and friends who knew we had suffered yet another unbearable loss. I imagined our mothers sadly putting away a token gift in hopes of a positive pregnancy test. My heart was broken.
A family friend asked my mother (out of my vision) if I was pregnant, knowing that we had done IVF. I didn't hear what my mother said, but I knew it was sad. Something to the effect of it, "It didn't work. They have no hope of bearing children." It was an extremely painful time in our lives. We had met the crossroads. To be or not to be- parents that is.
When my Nana, my tough as nails 87 year old Nana, found out from my mother that our test was negative, she looked me straight in the eye, her green eyes watering and said," Something will work out for you." I was moved by her pain for us but had no idea was the resolution would be. I so wanted her to see me be a mother and I know she felt the same way. It was so hurtful.
The pain was all around for us. We were walking zombies that Christmas. We were lost souls and inconsolable. We would remain this way for many months as we grappled with the reality that biological children were not our fate. ART was not in our future. Pregnancy was not in my future.
Adoption would be our alternative. When, Where, How were questions that had no answers. And, we were not in a huge hurry to find out. We were simply absorbing our loss, feeling the pain daily, and trying to make sense of our lives together and as individuals-
without the dreams we once had of parenthood.
Fortunately, after all of this, we have seen the light. We have seen that parenting is more than just about a pregnancy or genetics. This came from months if not years of evolving thoughts on the subject. And, things can be still be unbearably hard. I still ask myself the questions, why can't I just have a baby? Why can't I easily have more children? After all we have been through, it is still hard to comprehend that having a baby is not an option for us. We must do so much more to give Luv Bug a sibling. We must sacrifice so much more. We must make very hard decisions. We must face our reality over and over again. We are infertiles. Our family building is different and pays a heavy price both financially and emotionally. Thankfully adoption has showered us with happiness and we experienced its ability to bring together those that desperately need each other- children and adoptive parents. Oh, how I love my son and everything about him from his pudgy toes and wavy hair to his brilliant smile. Oh, how I dream of my future daughter or son.
I have witnessed that a smile can cure all that is hurtful and unbearable.
I have endured long enough to learn that unrelenting joy
can come from the ashes of dread,
I have whispered somewhere to someone
my gratitude for aligning my heart with my soul once again.