When we first decided to try for a baby, I was NOT ready. Joe had convinced me we should start trying in the event we had trouble. What a smart guy he is! Is anyone ever truly ready? No. I don’t think so. I didn’t even want to start trying but I compromised.
I remember after several months of trying to conceive, it wasn’t happening. I was talking to my friend Nicole about how upsetting it was. She had asked me, “Why are you so upset? You weren’t even ready to try.”
Why are you so upset? That was a great question that I could not answer. I didn’t know why. I didn’t feel ready for a baby yet. Should I feel some relief? If this isn’t something I wanted, why is it so hurtful that it isn’t happening?
Then I read a blog post that mentioned being unable to make the choice. You no longer are in control of the outcome. That’s it! I no longer felt like I had a say in the matter. That made me frustrated, angry, and sad. My entire life, I’ve been able to work hard for what I want. This was the first time in my life that I can remember not being able to get what I want. I love being in control. I am not in control of this. It is so frustrating! Why should we have to work so much harder, spend more money, devote more energy, spend more time, and hurt so much more for something that most people have happen on accident?
But I still come back to the same question. Do I want a baby? When all this started, I didn’t. But as soon as you are told “No. You can’t have that!”, isn’t that the only thing you want? Like on a diet, do NOT eat anything fried. Then that is all I want is fried food. Now I’m being told I can’t have a baby without help. Does it make me want a baby that much more just because I’m being told no? Then on top of that, all these women around me are being blessed with children. It hurts. Am I not good enough to be a mother? Why them and not me? I feel as though people tend to put mothers on the very top of the “Best job ever” list. How does that make me feel? Do I have to have any less joy because I’m not a mom? No. Can I have more joy than a mom? Yes. I truly believe that. I’m learning not to box myself in to what society says is so important. One very true statement was told to me that shifted my focus.
“Being married and having Jesus has brought me equal joy as being a mom and giving birth.” -Liz
I had child birth on a pedestal. That would be the only thing that could make me the happiest I could ever be. I was wrong. I needed someone to remind me.
I don’t have the answers to these questions. I know God does. I know He has a plan for us. Parts of this journey have been beautiful. Many parts have been more painful than I ever thought I could endure. For me, it seems unfair to keep this pain hidden. If I can help one person feel less alone in their journey, it’s worth it. The people that have helped me along the way, that have gone before me, have done more for me than they will ever know. I can only hope to do the same for others.
Getting pregnant, having a baby, or adopting doesn’t fix infertility. This is something that stays with you long after your children are grown. We are constantly searching for contentment and peace through the pain. I still don’t know the answer to my question. Do I even want a baby? I think the answer is yes. But I’m not attached to that answer because I don’t know if that is what our future holds and that’s okay.
But here we are, still standing.
“I’m standing here in the in-between
I’m not where I was or where I’m going to be
But I’ll be standing
Yeah I’m standing”
I Can’t Help Myself
By Andrew Ripp