Secondary Infertility: A Memoir of our Journey
I had always dreamed of having four children.I knew I wanted a big family ever since I was a little girl. I had my first unplanned pregnancy at 16 years old. It happened quickly and unexpectedly. I got married when I was 25 years old to a Godly man, and knew I wanted to start a family soon. We started trying to conceive after 3 years of marriage. After not getting pregnant the first year, I knew it was time to see the doctor. My doctor referred me to a fertility specialist, where I underwent surgeries, took hormone shots, and had several artificial inseminations. To my avail, nothing worked. I completely wore myself out physically and emotionally going back and forth to the weekly one-hour drives to the fertility clinic, and the weekly hormone shots that my husband gave me. We took a rest for a while, and afar resting decided to plunge into foster-adoption. That was such an emotional roller coaster ride. The paperwork, home visits, home inspections, and court dates. That was not what I had planned for having a baby, and so I soon realized I was in over my head. It also appeared at the last court date we had with our foster child’s parents, that the court was going to allow the parent’s another chance to regain custody of their baby. I was devastated, worn-out, and felt I could not go another step. That day I relinquished the baby back into the state’s hands. By this time, well-meaning family and friends were encouraging us to adopt, but I had not the emotional nor physical strength to do so. Some well-meaning people said things like, “Just relax and take a vacation and you will probably get pregnant.”
Fast forward 12, soon to be 13 years later, and the pain of not having more children can come and visit me like an old friend that I have seen in years. I am fine most of the time now, but every now and then my “old friend” of infertility comes knocking, either through a baby shower invitation, pregnancy announcement, being around married couples with children, or even my monthly cycle. Usually the visit from this old friend is unexpected. I normally am pretty content with what God has given me, but every now and then, I wonder,” What it would be like to have more children.” Sometimes the void I feel can be unbearable and at other times I don’t even notice it. At times, I don’t want to even go out when the pain is unbearable, for I wonder, “What children or pregnant women will remind me of what I am missing.”
I have reached the milestone last year of turning 40. I am not saying the door is closed to having children, but I am not the same “spring chicken” that I was 13 years ago. I now try and invest in my nieces and nephews, and when I get tired, I send them home and feel blessed I can do that. So now, I have entered into a new season, of being blessed and content that the children that are in my life, I can say I have had enough, it’s time to go home to momma and daddy. My son that I had at 16, is all grown and lives on his own. I have an empty nest at 40. Which now, I am seeing is a blessing because I can enjoy quiet time, dates with my husband, and I can pursue the things that I feel God calling me to. So basically, I have come full circle in my infertile journey. Though, I may not get to experience a pregnancy with my husband or even raising children with him, I can look at what I do have and be thankful for that. I really don’t know what God is up to, and I can’t say for certain I even know how things will turn out. I am just being content in the life that I have now, and not wanting nothing more than what God has for me.
Yes, this journey has been tough, and it is not at all what I expected, but I am learning to embrace what God has for me. I am learning the art of surrendering my wants, my desires, and my dreams to God. Easy? No, but the only other choice I have is to take matters into my own hands, and force things to happen. So I wait, but for what? I am not sure anymore. I am not going to try and figure-out God’s plans, like I have so many times before. I am not going to try and force having children either through fertility treatments or adoption. I have come to some peace in finally resting, and not trying to strive to have or get children, that will wear you out. After 13 years of striving and trying to make something happen, I need rest. I don’t want anything that God does not want me to have.