Replace Them

“You should do another round. Try again. Get a surrogate. Or you could adopt! There are lots of babies who need a home and love”.

What about MY babies? The 4 that were in my body for a short time. I don’t understand why people think a new baby will replace the ones I lost. I wanted and still would love to be a mom to some human babies. But I really wish I had those babies. I’m allowed to miss them and grieve them forever. The addition of a baby to our family will never replace the ones we lost. When people offer suggestions, I don’t think they mean to disrespect my babies. They think having a child in some capacity will make me happy. It may but it will never fill the void that those babies left. I always will wonder who they would be, what they would look like, and how they would have changed our lives.

Two years ago I had my egg retrieval. I cannot believe it’s been that long. It also reminds me that we have six embryos left and a timeline approaching. If we choose to keep the embryos for another year, we pay a $500 storage fee. We have to decide by the end of the year if we’d like to keep them frozen or not. I’ve had the destruction paperwork for a year. We have to fill it out and get it notarized. I’m ready. I feel ready to let these babies go. I’ve looked at having them placed in a piece of jewelry. I think it would be a beautiful way to remember them. It’s something I really want to do but I honestly don’t have any motivation to do it. I feel like I want to let go and forget even though I know I will never forget. I don’t want to regret not doing it but I’ve had the opportunity to get it set up for a year and haven’t. I think there’s too much finality with it and I’ve avoided it. At the same time, I feel ready to let go.

I’m happy. I still have days, sometimes many days in a row that life is so hard and unbearable for me. But I have people who are there for me still. Having a baby isn’t going to bring back everything I’ve lost up to this point. Infertility has stolen a lot away from me. I choose to embrace each day as it comes and I allow myself to feel however I need to. My friends continue to get pregnant and have babies. All I can hope for is that they let me come along for the ride with them and that they are gentle and understanding with me when I need them to be.

The friends I’ve lost from infertility cannot be replaced.
The babies I’ve lost due to infertility cannot be replaced.
The joy I choose to find each day cannot be stolen from me.

I’ve heard it said before that infertility is a life long grief. When we lose a person or a dream doesn’t come true, we are allowed to grieve that for the rest of our lives. Will I be in a wallowing pit everyday? No. Will I still be there sometimes? Yes. But I will learn to live around my grief and when times are hard, I’ll live in it. As each birthday, holiday, big life change, small life change, and simply the day-to-day pass by, I will wonder who my babies would have been. I will wonder what kind of mother I would have been to them. I’ll wonder what kind of father Joe would have been. I know he would have been the biggest softie to our babies; a gentle giant. He would protect them and love them unconditionally like he does me. He would be a safe place for them like he is for me. He would protect them like he does me. He would be a wonderful daddy to them like he is an amazing husband to me.

Nothing can fix or take away the want to have our babies back. I am learning how to navigate this loss and how to grieve the life I thought I’d have.


2 thoughts on “Replace Them

  1. These processes are so arduous, so gut wrenching, and your way of being with it is so healthy. This takes so much courage.

    I can fully relate to the sense that there was and is no “replacement” for the embryos transferred into me, never to be seen or heard from again.

    I’m sorry that anyone should have to go through this. Hope you are proud (although it can be hard to feel this way in the midst of the turmoil) of the attention you give to what should/would have been and of the way you honor yourself and your babies.


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