Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Second Infertility

I hear the words not spoken, assumed, lingering in the air all around me. Are people really saying these things? Are they only imagined assumptions? In my inward state I can't remember...

Six are so many. Why more?

Depression. Is she crazy?

Almost 35. She's not young, anymore.

There's no reason to mourn or be sad. She should be grateful for what she has. Why is she so upset?

I attempt to answer those questions:

Six are so many, yes, they are many, and they are six. More? Because we love our children and feel that more are meant to come to our family. Why? Because we believe in personal revelation and we have asked Heavenly Father, in prayer, whether or not we are to have more children. He has pricked our hearts over the last two years (I remember the first time... 5 weeks after #6 was born... I was overcome with the Spirit telling me to have more children...) and reminded us that we are to have more. We want more. We are capable of loving more and providing for more.

I do have Depression. I have had it for a long time and I'm very aware that my brain is messed up. But because of it, I have learned how to take better care of myself. I've learned how to say, "No," and I've learned how to have faith in Christ. All of the hard things with motherhood and depression have given me more charity, have taught me more about the love of God. It has created a lack of selfishness that I otherwise would have clung to with a fierce independence. I have learned that I cannot do it all, and that I was not meant to do it all. Having more children won't make my depression worse any more than not having children will make it better. This is something I can say with confidence, although I do recognize not everyone will be the same.

Almost 35. Yes, I am. I am not young, and that is why I want to have my babies now! I won't be able to have them in 10-15 years. That time will be over. I want to have babies while I can, and since it's been proven that women can and do have babies into their 40's, I'm not worried about my age. If anything, it has made me more resolved not to wait so long anymore. I will not regret having babies, but I will regret not having babies when I could.

There is definitely a reason to mourn and be sad, but it doesn't mean I'm not grateful for what I have! I have six beautiful and wonderful children! I have a supportive husband who loves them and wants more, too. But I am sad and I am mourning because for one long year I have not been able to conceive. In fact, this is the longest space of time in between children that we've ever had --Since the age of 21, I have been consistently pregnant within 9-21 months after each birth, and this is strange. I'm sad because I want a baby, but I'm also sad because I am very aware that it might not happen.

Just because God has asked us to have more, and just because we desire more, does not mean that we will have more.

See, I have experienced miscarriage, (although not this year). I do understand grief. I do know that things do not always work --they rarely work --the way we want them to.

I know so many willing, righteous, desiring women who have asked God for children and have not been able to have even one. I do not pretend to imagine that grief. But I do have a small understanding of the pain they must feel.

The truth is, I've spent a lot of time being faithful and grateful this year. I've seen how the timing is proving to be a blessing because of our cross-country move. I know I'm overweight and have a lot to do to get my health to where it needs to be (and could be the cause of my infertility), so it's good that I'm focusing on that right now. I haven't spent a lot of time mourning or being sad because I have had a lot of faith that it would happen in God's time.

I still have that faith.

But I'm still truly sad. And today I am feeling it keenly.

I long to feel the movement of a baby inside of me, to smell the sweet newborn head, to nurse a hungry baby... I miss it desperately. I long for it. And with that longing comes a deep sense of peace knowing that I finally understand something that has taken me six children and nearly 13 years to understand... but I'll write about that another time... (sorry if that's too vague or leaves you wanting more...)

Have any of you experienced second infertility? Infertility in general? How do you handle the grief? What has helped you? If you could, will you share your stories?  


Kim Keele said...

I have not dealt with infertility, but was told after Hadlee that I could not have anymore (I nearly ruptured at 36.5 weeks, they could clearly see her through my very, very thin uterus during c-section, and she spent a bit of time in the NICU so I chose to tie my tubes). I was planning on a couple more babies after her. The first year of her life I spent grieving that loss instead of enjoying her and my others. Now that she is almost 2 the sting has lessened, probably because I have some finality in my situation. I think I have just realized in this last year that I am not in control. Heavenly Father knows me, has a specific plan for me, and has given me much comfort about my situation. Through much prayer about it I have grown to have faith that my family is complete for now and hopefully I get the chance to raise more in the next life. The answer to my grief has been to focus on fully enjoying what I do have now and by doing that the grief over what I have lost has turned into happiness of what I do have. I know our situations are different, but time does heal. I'm praying for you! And I do hope you get to hold a sweet little one in your arms again.

Handsfullmom said...

Love you. I know it's been a long year. :(

Michelle said...

My heart aches for you. But you are still young! Have hope!

I still have a deep and abiding fantasy someone will leave a baby on my doorstep one day. :)

cheryl cardall said...

After my 2nd I was told I needed a hysterectomy due to some female health problems. I found another doctor who understood my desire for more children who performed surgery that may or may not have helped me be able to have more. There was no guarantee, except multiple personal revelations to me and my husband that we would have more children. It took a long time to get pregnant, I have a 4 year gap between my 2nd and 3rd. It is so hard and I doubted those revelations multiple times. My 3 youngest are my miracle babies because I was told with each one this should be my last. Finally with #5 I agreed as my health was seriously compromised (and is to this day)and I want to be around for those I have.

Hang in there, I know how painful it is but peace can come even in the midst of it.

Dawn said...

I've had four miscarriages, and couldn't get pregnant for over a year after one of them. I was afraid that i wouldn't be able to have any more kids, but I really wanted more. I understand the grief you're feeling now. It's a lot of sadness and frustration. I cut off all my hair when i got to my due date of my miscarriage and i still wasn't preganant. (I had cut my hair right before each of my other children were born, and it was theraputic for me to do it again, regardless of whether or not I had another child.) That was between #2&#3. To fill my time, I actually went back to work part time, which ended up not being a very good choice for me or my children, but that's another story.

When I did get pregnant, I miscarried again, after just a few days. It was a Sunday morning, and that day our Stake President happened to be visiting our ward and spoke (not as a regular part of the talks) about his testimony that Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. His 42 year old sister just had her first baby after 20 years of trying. I felt that his testimony was such a tender mercy that day. I was such a wreck, and that story brought me a lot of comfort. I had two more kids in the following couple if years.

After #4, everyone asked me if we were "done." I prayed and felt that there were 3 more. I've had one miscarriage (in which I hemorraged and scared me about my fertility again) and one more baby. I've wanted to have another one while we've been in Germany, but I feel like we should wait because Heavenly Father has other things that I need to do while I'm here. That has kind of been hard not to be focused on babies, but I know that the Lord will help me with whatever He needs me to do--whether it's missionary work or having babies. Honestly, it's really hard to "forget yourself and get to work."

evitafjord said...

I had about 18 months between #3 and 4 (and a solid year before the first). It was just as devastating between 3 and 4 as it was waiting for the first one. It never feels fair that the signs of pregnancy are so similar to PMS (for me anyway) either. How many tests did I waste? We gave up at 17 months.

This year does seem to be a year of unexpected awesomeness. My SIL, who has been trying for 9 years and will have 12+ years between her #1 and #2, is due in August. This, and other nonpregnancy related things for me and many I know, has me extremely optimistic about the greatness 2014 promises to be.

Anonymous said...

I say if you want to have more children, God bless you. If big-hearted people like you won't have them, who will? I'm sorry for your sadness.