It might seem weird to have an infertility post on a “mom’s blog” but I want to change that, because it shouldn’t be weird. While I’m a mom to a two and a half year old little girl, I’ve never been pregnant.
We adopted Reagan, our little Ray Ray of light, in February of 2013. But before that amazing day happened, we suffered with infertility for years, and it hasn’t stopped. I remember seeing families everywhere thinking, “look how easy it is for them to have a family, why isn’t it easy for us?” Thoughts of jealousy would consume me as I kept posing my one unanswerable question to myself, “why can those families have babies when they want, but not us?” I know I’m not the only one.
I’ve never suffered through a miscarriage or an infant loss, and I can’t imagine having to go through that. As my husband and I go on our sixth year of infertility, there were times I felt that I was suffering a loss every month there wasn’t a positive pregnancy. Even though I am a mom, those thoughts of “what’s wrong with me?” still creep in. Before we had Reagan, we tried diligently to get pregnant with fertility treatments for over a year and a half. But at some point, the emotional and physical toll your body takes comes to a breaking point. It did for us and we did a 180 toward adoption and never looked back.
Although my husband and I aren’t seeking fertility treatments anymore, infertility continues to be an invisible badge that we wear, just like so many other people. Couples who are infertile may have kids, and they may not. Fertility treatment might have worked, or maybe it didn’t. People who go through infertility (which is one in eight) wear that badge without pride and often silently, feeling a sense of shame that our bodies have failed us in an area that is supposed to come so naturally.
Please know, these feelings of shame are normal, but we don’t have to set up camp there. We can talk about our infertility and we can talk about how we feel a sense of loss as well. There’s no shame in communicating our feelings because when we do that, we can help another family going through the same thing, and we can also see that we’re not alone…doing this allows us to overcome the shame we feel through the badge of infertility; the badge we didn’t ask for.
What I’ve realized, now that I am a mom, is that other moms and dads could have gone through war to become a family. What I see in public is not the full story. Even though I see a family, doesn’t mean they’re not suffering loss, or still struggling with infertility. My understanding and grace for how families are grown has deepened through how my own family was formed, and I hope yours can deepen too. Don’t stop talking about infertility, even when you feel you are passed that phase. Just because we’re moms doesn’t mean we forget our story of infertility, we need to tell it to give hope to women who are desperately trying to become moms.