Since my blog post about my struggle with depression and circumstantial infertility, I’ve had many people reach out to me. Several are either in similar circumstances or have struggled with infertility in the past (either circumstantial or biological). Some were in the opposite position – became parents before they were ready. Others resonated with my struggle with depression.
I think people are responding so strongly because I’m talking about things so many people are thinking but are afraid to discuss openly. I’ve realized recently that I really love talking about those things which most people are thinking about but afraid to discuss openly and when I do, they love to talk about it. If we feel alone, we don’t want to say anything to prevent further isolation, but if we know we can’t be alone in what we’re experiencing, why not let people know, “Hey! Me too!”
As this was the most feedback I’ve ever gotten from my blog, I decided to compile some of my thoughts based on those who responded in this three part blog series.
Part 2 – Friends Who Became Moms Before Me
Part 3 – Friends Struggling with Depression
Oops! I’m a Mom
I have heard from plenty of women who are already moms. A few of these moms did not plan it. They were not even thinking about having children yet and, oops, there’s a surprise!
I love that women are reaching out to me with support…even if you’ve never been in my shoes because you became pregnant unexpectedly. I like that I can peek into your life and see a picture of motherhood. I love that you want to tell me about the hard times – the puke in the hair, the dirty diapers, the trips to the doctor, etc, etc, etc. I know motherhood is hard. No, I don’t know how hard because I’ve never experienced it for myself, but I get that it’s hard and I’m ready for hard.
I have a difficult time relating to moms who became moms under the age of 30. I have a difficult time relating to moms who became moms without planning to do so. I especially have a difficult time relating to moms who aren’t that excited about being pregnant or being moms. I would never look down on women who became moms in these circumstances. I would caution moms to be cautious about giving advice to women like me. Instead, just being my friend, praying for me, and offering a listening ear is what women like me need…not more advice.
Moms Who Had to Wait
The moms I relate to most are the ones who had to wait. Those are the moms who I can most often talk to and make eye contact with and communicate things that can only be said through the eyes. They know what to avoid saying and I appreciate that…because many people – moms or not – have said plenty of things to me that are the opposite of helpful.
The moms who end up being the most encouraging are those who struggled with infertility – biological infertility. Why would I relate to a woman who struggled with biological infertility? As far as I know, I’m not infertile. However, I’ve been wanting to become pregnant for about 2 1/2 years. It just hasn’t been the “right time,” so we wait. Now I’m 32 and I fear the “right time” isn’t going to come along “in time” and I’ll be singing the same song as my friends who struggled for years to get pregnant.
This fear of infertility got to be so strong that I started doing some searching online and found a couple articles about women who are dealing with what they call circumstantial infertility. Yes, I experience that…and that leaves the same emotional and biological longing as what my biologically infertile friends described before they finally conceived through IVF or adopted. It’s a form of grieving, in much the same way you grieve when losing a loved one, this is a sense of loss of a person not yet in your life. This inborn child, in your heart and soul, is as real as any warm bodied loved one. Therefore, any woman going through any form of infertility should be cared for in the same way as one grieving the loss of a dear relative or friend.
If you are a mom, I’m glad you don’t have to be where I am right now no matter how planned or unplanned your children were. Please take a moment to pray for those of us who are still waiting, whether biologically or circumstantially, for our moment in the pukey hair, dirty diapers, and snotty noses.