Imagine something you’ve always wanted. Like, really wanted. Not a trip to Hawaii or a million dollars. Something you’ve yearned for, planned for, and dreamed about. Something you thought would come fairly easy once all of the plans were put into place. Something you’re sort of “expected” to be able to do.
Now imagine that’s taken away from you. Not only taken away. It will NEVER happen. The one thing you want more than anything else in the world you will never have, never experience, never know.
Now multiply that pain by the biggest number you can think of, and that scratches the surface of how much pain infertility causes.
Three months after I got married I was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure. Right when I was ready to start my family, I was told that it will probably not happen through biology. Basically, POF is early menopause, but while menopause is a natural event in a woman’s life, POF isn’t. It occurs in 1% of women under the age of 40. Lucky me, I’m in the 1%. The cause is unknown and it’s a non reversible diagnosis. Essentially, I don’t have many (or any) eggs left, and the eggs I do have aren’t good.
I remember the first phone call from my doctor. I was at work and she said, “looking at your bloodwork it appears you’re going through early menopause.” I politely finished the conversation, ended the phone call, closed my classroom door, and sobbed. I called my husband. I called my mom. I called my best friend.
Infertility is a loss, and it must be grieved and dealt with in a similar way as grieving someone’s death. In essence, your dream has died. The dream of “will my child have my eyes/nose/smile” or “will my child be tone deaf like my husband or get my musical ability” or “will my child have my anxiety or be able to let things slide like my husband” has died. Instead you wonder, “will I ever have a child who calls me ‘mommy’” or “will I ever have a child” or “will I ever be a mom”.
I felt like a failure as a woman and as a wife. The one thing women are supposed to do is bear children right? The thing that makes us so unbelievable is our ability to carry a child inside our bodies. God gave women that gift, so why didn’t He give it to me? Why was that gift given to the woman who left her child on the side of the road? Why was that gift given to the woman who put her baby in a dumpster? Why was that gift given to countless women who abuse/neglect their kids? I may never get these answers. I may never fully understand the reasons. I may grieve this in some form for the rest of my life.
But I do have a beautiful 8 year old step son and an amazingly perfect baby boy, so maybe that’s the reason. Maybe I was needed in a different capacity. Maybe I was meant to be Z’s step mom and Vincent’s mom from the start.
Maybe God does know what He’s doing.