Let me premise this by saying I can only speak for myself. Everyone deals with things differently, and that is okay.
A couple of years ago, Ahmed and I decided to "just see what happens" (you know what I mean). Several months later, there were some indications that everything wasn't as it should be. And here we are today, two years later, deep in the world of infertility. Doctors, tests, medications, lots of tears, and lots of doctor bills... it's not pretty. However, we are so fortunate. We have very supportive and loving friends and family. I have never felt alone, as I know too many others who have/are going down this road too. I have been so comforted by those who have been vulnerable and open, so I have decided to share a little too.
Just a few years ago, we were in the season of life when everyone was getting married. We were invited to 15 weddings in one summer. So, logically, we are currently in the season of life when everyone is having babies. I am constantly bombarded with baby announcements on social media. Some days, that's really hard. Recently I was brought to tears by a friend's baby announcement, because I realized it was her second time announcing a baby since we have been trying to have one.
Infertility really sucks and it's not fair, but here I some things I want you to know:
- I am SO happy for you. Really, even through my tears. Please keep sharing your baby announcements and pictures of your baby bumps and babies. I would never want anyone to feel guilty about one of the greatest joys in life just because not everyone is able to experience it.
- Yes, I want to come to your baby showers and talk about your babies and hold your babies. This might not be true for everyone dealing with infertility, but as a nanny I have spent so much time with kids and babies that I don't feel left out when you talk about all things baby.
- While I want to do these things, it's still hard sometimes. It's okay to ask me how I'm doing. More than anything, it means so much when I know you're thinking about me. Hugs are nice too :)
- Please don't feel guilty when you don't enjoy every moment of being a parent. Infertility is hard, but so is having a baby and raising kids. I know how hard it is to deal with a colicky baby or a terrible two year old, and I get to clock out every day.
- This is a tricky road to navigate, and I know you mean well. A friend (not aware of our situation) told us how lucky we are that we don't have to deal with kids yet. Another friend said (not directly to or about me) that if God wants you to get pregnant, you'll get pregnant. Those words hurt, but I know they weren't meant to. I don't think we should go through life trying to tip-toe around everyone's feelings, but we can at least try to be aware.
- Infertility is more common than most people think (1 in 8 couples have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining preganancy). Also, not everyone wants kids. I can't count the number of times I have been asked when we're going to have kids, or even worse, being told it's about time I have a baby. Unless someone offers this information, it is no one's business when or if any couple is going to have a baby. Just don't ask.
As consuming as infertility is, it doesn't define me. First, and most importantly, my identity is in Christ. I also have the most wonderful husband, an amazing family, and the sweetest dog. We have a nice house, good jobs, and the means to deal with this all. In January, we had the opportunity to go to Hawaii, just for fun. I will always cherish this time as just me and Ahmed, because God willing, when we have a baby, everything will change.
I am so grateful for all of the love and support we have received, and I appreciate your continued prayers as we continue this journey.
*If you are going through infertility yourself and would like someone to talk to, PLEASE reach out to me! I have found so much comfort in talking to others who have been here. You are not alone!