I’m sad. And on days I’m sad my blog won’t be very funny. So move along if you wish. Or go ahead and read if you want to relate to someone’s sadness over infertility.
It’s over. My child-bearing days are officially over and it feels so final. Last week I had an endometrial ablation and a tubal…something or other. They removed my tubes. My baby factory has been demolished. It also coincides with the year anniversary of when I “lost a baby” in an unconventional way and I’m still not 100% over it.
Not many people know, not even some of my closest friends, we tried to adopt a baby last year. We almost adopted a baby last year. The birth parents chose us and after a lot of ups and downs decided they would place the baby. We met the parents, one of which was a close family friend and introduced them to our kids. We were so thrilled to have our family complete.
The interesting thing about this, is that after I had Piper via IVF (my 3rd) I had the distinct impression that we would adopt a baby. I had always been open to the idea but when deciding if we should put it out there and create a profile with an adoption agency it was very clear to me that someone we knew would place their baby with us. So I waited… When this family told us it was a possibility shortly after she found out she was pregnant I just KNEW it was going to happen. I had no doubt in my mind. It felt so right.
Fast-forward to last January, about six weeks before she was due, and the birth mom changed her mind and decided to keep the baby. I know it was an incredibly hard decision for her and she had to do what she felt was right. I sobbed in my bed for 24 hours like someone had died. That’s what it felt like to me. Then had to get up and take care of the three precious babies I did have. I’d been picturing our future one way for the last four months and I had to deal with this loss. And for the first time ever had to cry with my kids over a sadness we shared. That was the hardest part.
This week I cried again with my most sensitive, middle child when I told him to be careful with my stomach. He excitedly asked if I was pregnant and I told him no, I just had surgery. I told him I would never be pregnant again and his sweet face sank as big alligator tears spilled out of his brown eyes. “You mean there will be no more babies?”
“Nope, buddy. I won’t have any more babies.” Tears. More tears.
The hard thing about secondary infertility is that it’s kind of not talked about. The support and sympathy isn’t there for moms who have one or more children, but long for more. We hear “Just be grateful for the ones you have.” I AM grateful. I’m incredibly grateful. I cherish every moment with them but I have more love in my heart for more children. And the fact is, I didn’t get to choose when to be done. I didn’t get to say, “I feel like we should have a 4th. And then have a 4th.” It didn’t happen for us and now it seems so final.
In the last year I’ve been able to look at my family with a sense of completion. I know what our future looks like and I relish the opportunities I’ve been given. It’s only with this surgery and the finality of it all that I’m brought back to that longing for more. So to those moms who never quite felt like their family was complete, but for whatever reason had to be done having babies I say “I’m sorry.” I’m sorry you have to feel that bittersweet sadness when you hear a pregnancy announcement. I’m sorry about that twinge of envy you feel when you see a family with five kids together at the park. I’m sorry you didn’t get to make the final decision on your family size. It’s not an easy thing to go through and I’m sorry for your loss.