Last week as I drove to work it hit me like a punch to the gut- I can't have a baby. I will never get pregnant. I will never create a child with my husband. I will never know what that is like.
How after six years of dealing with why this does my brain continually seem to blank out? How does this already-known fact pop into my head as if for the first time? Why do I have to keep reliving this very painful news over and over and over again?
Infertility for most people leaves an open wound because one is constantly having to revisit their pain. My husband and I have never been told that we cannot conceive. I have not lost my tubes, he has viable sperm- the bottom line is that it could happen. It's just that the odds are stacked heavily against us. We are not able to move on mentally and emotionally because the possibility is still there, even if it is small.
Because of our age we are surrounded by people who are having children. Even though my own grief has subsided substantially since becoming a mother, I still have extremely difficult moments. Every time I hear of a pregnancy my insides ache. My heart hurts. It may only last a few moments, but the pain always comes.
I realize that until my peer group is out of child-bearing years and onto raising adolescents and teen-agers I will have to continually fight my own grief. I feel separated from my peer group because I cannot have a family in the traditional way. I cannot relate to sonograms, finding out the sex of the baby, seeing the baby grow, birth stories, and holding your newborn baby. These conversations elude me, and I will never be able to fully particpate nor understand what all those things feel like.
"Having" children or reproducing is such a primal thing. It's in our flesh and bones. Carrying on our genes, creating children with a spouse is part of human existence. When you cannot fulfill that very expected and natural desire, there is a huge sense of loss. It is a loss that has taken a piece of me with it. It is a loss that has impacted my entire life- some ways are good and some are very challenging.
When that feeling of complete and utter solace and heartache comes over me, I focus on what I do have. Being a mother to Min is such an amazing experience. And those who are not adoptive parents could never understand what life is like for my husband and I. We love and adore him like any parent loves their child, but the way we became a family is different and unique.
And no matter how much my heart hurts over never experiencing pregnancy, I will never have regret because this difficult path has led me to a motherhood I never would have imagined.
But grief and loss are a part of life. Each day is a challenge for many different reasons. We all have difficult things to deal with in our lives. Focusing on the beautiful moments, the precious time with my growing boy, and appreciating that although life is hard, it is a gift help me to get by.
Infertility is one part of my life. It has closed some doors for me but created an infinite number of rare and wonderful opportunities. Knowing this does help me get through the difficult days. Although I feel sad at times, I am full of great joy because I have the opportunity to be the mother to my son.