When I see my friends with their children, I love seeing how much the children/babies have learned and how they have grown. I love their cuddles and cheeky grins. I love how much energy and determination they have. I love how innocent yet brutally honest they can be. I also love to see my friends grow as parents and overcome parenting hurdles etc.
I just really love kids… I am basically a big kid in an adult’s body. So, when I get to hang out with kiddies my inner-child’s imagination can come out and we just have fun. It’s almost like escaping the seriousness of this thing called being a ‘grown up’. Now, before you say/think the obvious… I know that as an adult/parent we still have a responsibility to set good examples for children and teach them how to grow into responsible humans (whether it’s your own or someone else’s child). However, that does not mean we shouldn’t have fun with them.
I enjoy hanging out with my friends and their little angels (AKA mini devils!).
But then I go home. To my quiet house. Where I have time to think, because I don’t have kids singing (AKA ‘screaming’ in parenting circle’s) in my ears all the time (Well OK, I do have a dog barking at me occasionally for attention, but you get the idea). Now I know that the notion of a ‘quiet house’ may seem appealing to many parents, who would probably give anything just to have a moment of peace and quiet, alone.
However, I am going to try and fill you in about what it’s like being me and some of the things that go through my head, in the moments when I’m sat at home in silence, with no kids, thinking about the latter.
This is an idea of the kind of conversations I have with myself in my own head occasionally, when I am thinking about children and my infertility:
Negative me: “I should be watching my own child play with their children by now.” …When I first started trying to conceive, some of my friends were either pregnant, had also started trying to get pregnant or had recently had a baby. Now many of them have toddlers who can walk/talk and here I am still childless and not pregnant. If I didn’t have infertility, I would probably also have an under-2-year-old little angel of my own and I would be watching them play with my friends’ babies/children by now.
Positive me: “Yes but I’m not and that’s OK, because my child will be here one day and when they are it will all be perfect. They will just have lots of older children friends to cuddle instead. My time will come.”
Negative me: “In the time I have been trying to get pregnant with my 1st, I have seen some people have not one, but TWO babies.”
Positive me: “That’s their story. It’s got nothing to do with me and I would be overjoyed to have just one baby. Besides, I personally wouldn’t choose to have my children so close in age, even if I did ever decide to have more than one. So, it is completely useless comparing myself to someone who is a baby making machine.”
Other me: “Yes well… I’m not a baby making machine am I, but I should be though. After all, I’m healthy, young, fit and have no family history of any infertility at all. No to mention I would be an awesome parent.
Negative me: “It’s just not fair though. Conceiving a baby should be romantic, not heartbreaking. It should just happen when we choose, like it seems to for most people.”
Other me: “Yes, but you know better than most, that you can’t ‘choose’ or ‘control’ anything when it comes to becoming a parent, even if you are very fertile. Some people might not truly have wanted or have chosen to get pregnant when they did, or it may not have been ‘perfect’ timing for them.”
Positive me: “At least I know how much my baby is wanted long before they are even conceived.”
Other me: “Some people only realize this when they get pregnant or when they meet their baby. Or in cases of postnatal depression, often they do want their baby, but sadly they may not realize it until a few months after the baby is born.”
Negative me: “Why me? What did I ever do to deserve this?”
Positive me: “Nothing! I did nothing to deserve this! I am a good person. This is not my fault.”
Negative me: “I am a failure as a woman. I can’t even do the one thing the female body is designed to do!”
Other me: “I shouldn’t think like that, it’s not healthy”
Negative me: “But I can’t help it though, it’s how I feel sometimes. It’s just not fair. What’s the point, I’m useless and I fail at being a woman because I can’t get pregnant!”
Positive me: “I would be such a great parent, in fact I was born to be a parent one day. Besides I haven’t failed yet because I haven’t given up yet!”
Other me: “Yes and this isn’t my fault anyway. Having a baby is not determined by how much skill someone has or how much effort they put into it. It’s basically just pure luck.”
Positive me: “This is my journey and it’s tough but it will make me a better parent and a stronger, tougher person”
Negative me: “But it sucks! Why does this have to happen to me?!”
Other me: “Most people just have sex and it costs them nothing. No time. No waiting. No needles. No tests. No surgeries. No drugs and no mind games each month wondering if they might be pregnant or not. They just have sex, get pregnant and have a baby.”
Positive me: “It will happen for us one day, we just need some extra help, that’s all.
Other me: “Anyway people who get pregnant quickly usually seem to be less prepared for it and it may even come as a bit of a shock to them. At least we are prepared and excited for it and will feel overwhelmed with joy when it’s our turn…”
Negative me: “Yes, but I would rather be less prepared, if it meant that I didn’t have to go through all this shit”
Other me: “Oh just shut up! You can’t control any of this! So, stop thinking about what you don’t have and what others do have.”
Negative me: “but, but, but.. WHY!” …
Positive me: “Yes, it is what it is. You didn’t chose this, it just happened to you. Just think about what you do have, what you have achieved in your life and how much you will love your baby, when you are finally blessed”.
So on and so on…
So, there you have it, my deepest darkest secrets hanging out in public for everyone to read! I know you probably think I am slightly crazy for having some of these thoughts. You may even be thinking I might have a few mental issues. However, I can assure you I am a normal, 29-year-old female who happens to have infertility (not that anyone can pinpoint what classifies someone as normal, mind you!). Also, I know I am a good person, who is happy most of the time but also sometimes sad.
It’s taken me a while to get to this point, but I have accepted that I am infertile and that it also doesn’t define me as a person. I am also very lucky to have options for treatment as I know not everyone is as lucky as I am. Most importantly I have not given up hope for a family of my own.
If you are reading this and going through the same thing or struggling to come to terms with your infertility. Please reach out to someone, whether it’s a friend, family member, support group, councilor or you can even message me via this blog.
You are NOT alone. It is NOT your fault (or anyone else’s fault for that matter). You will be OK and together we will get through it, whatever the outcome.
Love, luck and baby dust all round!!