Two months ago I was told by my doctor that I would never be able to have children.
But let me back up a little. Nine years ago I married the love of my life. When we first got married I thought that in a few short years we would have a house full of kids… rambunctious, adorable, smart-ass little kids just like their parents. I was wrong. After 4 years of fertility drugs, acupuncture, surgery, herbal medicine, praying, begging, and pleading, my doctor called me in June and told me that I had to give up and go on with the rest of my life. It was not going to happen.
I lost seven babies in four years. I don’t have the words to describe what that feels like. The most recent (the last straw and the reason for my doctor’s decision) was a pair of twins that I lost on May 30th. The day before my 9th wedding anniversary, just 2 months ago. I was deeply attached to my twins. I spoke to them, had my sonogram pic hanging up on my bedroom wall, wrote to them, made up silly nicknames for them, and prayed for them incessantly. When I lost them I understood a new level of pain and heartache and I sank into a month long depression. I felt worthless and broken. I fought with my faith and a Creator who I couldn’t understand. I felt like a burden on my husband and a disappointment to my family.
But I got through it. I have hard days, but I feel like myself again. A new self. A self that has accepted that I will never be like most women. I will never experience the joy (and pain) of childbirth. I will never get the pleasure of looking at a tiny reflection of my husband and myself and marveling at how alike we are.
I am a different person than I was 4 years ago when this long road began. Many of you who knew me before have remarked that I have changed, and you’re right I have. How could I not? I am a stronger person now. A person less focused on my personal experience in the world and more interested in our communal experience. I recognize the pain in other people in a way I didn’t before. I am more aware of how blessed I am in every other aspect of my life. To have a husband, family, and friends who rallied around me and pulled me through my darkest days. I can never say thank you enough.
I emerged with a deeper understanding of who I am. In the last 4 years I have spent more time crumpled in a chair sobbing than I care to remember and all that led to an invaluable journey of self-discovery. I care less what other people think of me (although I probably still care too much), and more about what I do with the life I have been given while I’m on this earth. I plan for the future less because I have learned the hard way that to think you are in control is an illusion. Call it fate, destiny, random luck.. whatever it is, it is. And I can’t change it.
So why am I telling you all this? Three reasons. One; I do not like keeping secrets- they weigh on me- and this has started to feel like a secret. I just need to get it out so I can put it behind me. Two; I’d like to make a request to the general public… Please, stop asking people when they are going to have a baby! If a woman in her 30’s is married or in a committed relationship and does not have children, there is a reason! It is not something she simply forgot to do. People literally began asking my husband and I on our wedding day and still have not stopped. It puts me in an awkward position because I don’t want to be evasive, but I also don’t want to get into a deeply personal conversation at an inappropriate time. Unless a woman is your daughter or sister or very best friend, it is Never appropriate to ask that question! And three; I wasn’t one of those strong women who was able to share her experience while she was going through it. I relied on many of those strong women though- their blogs and articles and books helped me immensely. I guess I feel like I need to try and pay that forward a little bit. Let some woman who is in the middle of her darkest days know that I have been there and I survived. And she will too.