Wednesday, July 25, 2012

When the Doctor Says "You'll Never Be a Mom"--My Response

I stumbled upon this post today, and seeing as how it's been two years since my polycystic ovarian syndrome diagnosis, and four years since we began our TTC journey, I thought I'd take today to respond to that post.  While I haven't specifically been told,"You'll never be a mom", with the factors we're aware of, it's going to be more difficult than the "norm" for us to get to that point.

The points in bold are from the original post, but my thoughts follow them.

1. Let yourself grieve. More than once.

I totally agree with this. Ask any woman on the CFPN who has taken more than a few months to conceive, and they'll tell you what I've told them. The trying to conceive journey is much like the grieving process. I've been through the whole cycle more than once, and I think it's safe to say that I tend to waffle between anger, and acceptance a lot.  You might say I'm in a bargaining phase, with all the dietary changes we've been making ("They say women with PCOS shouldn't eat gluten or soy, so if I drop those... maybe I'll get pregnant, right?").  But, I'm also dealing with some anger.  Two weeks from today, I'm leaving for the CFPN's 5th Anniversary reunion, and I'm the only one going (out of 12 women) who isn't either currently pregnant, or already a parent. Ouch. Even one of my IF besties is going to be there with her seven and a half month old.  Actually... come to think of it... no... on second thought, I don't want to do that math.

All that to say, yep, definitely have done the grieving thing more than once. It's hard.

2. Tell friends that you’re battling infertility.

I think I've got this one covered.  Both sides of our family know, and I've posted a few infertility-related things here and there on Facebook, but we've still gotten some insensitive comments or questions about "When?". We usually try to figure out how to tell people about our struggles, and for the most part, the comments and questions have stopped.

I definitely agree that having the support of family and friends, once you work up the courage to tell them, is invaluable. I know it must be hard to be in their shoes though. I'm sure I've had friends and family ask themselves,"How do I tell Stephanie & Daniel that..." (insert pregnancy announcement, gender announcement, etc), and that does pain me a little bit.  Maybe some day I'll write a blog entry about the best way to announce that sort of thing to us.

3. Don’t avoid babies.

I'm not sure I agree with this one to be honest. I know many women LOVE the infant stage, but I'm not really a big fan of newborns. They seem so fragile, they cry, and they poop.  :P  But... they also represent a huge void in our lives, and that's hard for me to deal with. It's also hard to see the joy that they bring their parents, because we long for that, but have yet to feel it.

In the blog post that inspired this post, Natasha says that it's okay to cry over newborns, but I just don't see the wisdom in doing that. I don't understand, and I don't see the point in heaping MORE pain on myself.

I think this post could also be expanded to include children. Daniel and I are in our late 20's now, and while there's still plenty of people who are single in their late 20's, there's also many that have children. But... we can't relate to them. Get two moms together, and what will they talk about? Nine times out of ten, they talk about their children. So, I end up sitting there like a bump on a log, with nothing of value to contribute to the conversation.

So... I tend to avoid most babies and children in group settings. With family, and close friends, I'm mostly okay now.  But I purposefully go to the evening Women's Bible Study because they don't offer childcare, and we don't volunteer in the nursery.

4. Repent.

Natasha explains:
I guarantee that if you’re struggling with infertility there will be a day when you see a mom that isn’t fit to be one and you will think, “God! Why does THAT girl get a baby and not me? I would be a better mom than THAT.”
Ummm... yep, definitely been there, done that. Volunteering at our local crisis pregnancy center the first year we were trying to conceive was HARD. I ended up quitting after only a year and a half because it was so difficult for me.

Something that has helped me NOT have these thoughts is to remember that their kids aren't MY kids given to her. God saw fit to give those kids to her, but that doesn't mean that there's less chances for us to have a child now.

5. Remember: every person carries pain.

I think this is probably the one that women who deal with IF tend to forget the most. Because IF and pregnancy loss are taboo topics, often we have no way of knowing the journey other women have taken to get the one, two, or ten kids they have now. Maybe that mom of three had multiple miscarriages, or maybe that mom with the cute little baby isn't actually genetically related to her child.

We don't know other people's hidden pain, and just like we want them to be sensitive to us, we need to be sensitive to them.


  1. Thanks so much for sharing your heart, Steph. (((hugs)))

    1. You're welcome Ruth! :) Thanks for stopping by and leaving me a comment!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing with us! I think your thoughts behind #4 were especially present with me TTC #2 (before my 2nd m/c) I just had to remind myself that there aren't a set number of babies for the world and that any time someone else got pregnant it wasn't reducing my chances.

    1. You're welcome Kate!

      I should add... just because (general) you're able to remember that someone else's pregnancy doesn't mean one less chance for you, it doesn't necessarily make it easier on you either. I'm sure you understand that too.

  3. I for one, had no idea about your TTC journey! I too had a hard struggle with getting pregnant, and consider both of my boys miracles...especially as our journey is being effected again! I know all too well the hurt and pain that it causes seeing people have children when that's all that you long for!

    My heart and prayers go out to you guys as you continue your journey to parenthood! Maybe the Lord has something else in store for you aside from biological children! He works in mysterious ways, and I'm sure He's got something fantastic on the horizon for you and Daniel!

    1. Thanks Kori! I know a bit about your journey, just the early stages. I'm glad you've been able to bring home two babies! :)

  4. I'm not really sure if I am in the same group because I'm not *sure* that we struggle with IF. However, our waiting process has become increasingly painful to my heart. I don't go out of my way to surround myself with infants and babies, because like you said, I feel invisible and almost unwanted in circles of mom's all discussing babies' latest. (I will admit freely that this is probably my imagination, but at the same time it is hard not being included so often. :-\) However, how I interpret that particular thing for *me*, is that I need to be willing and able to embrace the babies and children who are a part of my life and be sure I'm not isolating myself into a "sorry for myself" bubble that makes people feel like I don't want to be included. It doesn't mean it doesn't hurt sometimes when my closest friends have two beautiful children and are trying for three when... I don't even know if I'll ever have one. But for me at least, I don't feel that it is right or good for me to cut myself off because they have kids and I don't. And I do love the momentary joys of feeling loved by a child. :)

    Anyways. Think of you and pray for you on this journey so often. <3

  5. Thanks for sharing your heart, Steph. We love you and Daniel.

  6. Stephanie-
    I don't know how I missed your link back to my post last year, but I'm so glad I stumbled upon it!

    I absolutely loved reading your thoughts on the different points-- thank you so much for sharing.


    1. Thanks Natasha! :) I'm glad you enjoyed my thoughts.


Thank you so much for stopping by my little corner of the World Wide Web. Please let me know you were here by leaving me a comment! :)