99% of the time I am at peace with my infertility.
I am okay that my one little boy, my miracle, will be my only child.
Then, that sneaky little 1% slithers in and my heart breaks into a thousand pieces. Many moms (especially 1st time moms) already have their canned answer for the question, “When will you have another?” I always thought I would have 2 kids. I never imagined raising an only child and always wanted a perfect little happy family. If I was lucky, a boy and a girl.
Those who have struggled with infertility get it. The frustration. The desperation. The hurt. The feeling that something critical is missing in your life. Make no mistake, I take nothing for granted when it comes to my son. I remember being pregnant like it was yesterday. I think I sometimes still feel the ghost kicks in my tummy. But, finally being able to get pregnant once, I got a little cocky. I figured it would be easy the 2nd time around. I did this once, I can do it again, right?
I had no idea how wrong I would be.
Even before my surgery this year to remove what I thought was just going to be a little endo scarring and an ovarian cyst, my husband and I made the decision that we would be done. This would be our choice and not the choice of a doctor or my body. We didn’t want to have to endure two years of not seeing 2 lines on those damn tests. We didn’t want to go through another miscarriage. We didn’t want to spend the money on extreme fertility treatments. We were done.
I had no idea how final those words would be.
Waking up from surgery, my doctor came up to me with the sympathy face and in my haze, even I understood when she said they had to take the ovary that our decision was now set in stone. Being down an ovary, the damage caused by the endometriosis and the risk of its return if I am untreated determined my sentence.
Those who do not know what happened to my poor battered insides still ask the question, “When are you going to give Jack a sibling?” Or make comments such as, “Wow, that boy needs a brother or sister to play with.” Then there are those who know what happened and still have the audacity to ask, “Well you still have one good ovary, right?” Um. It’s not just an ovary issue, it’s an endo issue. So, as “at peace” as I like to think I am with our fate, the questions still sting. They are constant reminders of how I can’t have any more children and there are no other alternatives (at least ones that normal people like us can afford).
I try to recall and hang onto every moment with Jackson, all the way back to my pregnancy. I’ll never get to experience any of it again and I never want to let go of how magical it all is. Being a mom is amazing and I feel so lucky to get the chance to be one at all.
So before you open your mouth to ask a mom any of the above-mentioned questions, try to remember that not every woman is a child making machine like Michelle Duggar and think about how deeply personal that question actually is.