Unbearable: Slowly & Unsurely Inching Towards Infertility Acceptance

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infertility acceptanceHaving a child is usually a happy time in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, as we wait longer to have children, infertility and trouble conceiving can become a part of the family making process. Unbearable addresses these difficulties.

The weirdest thing happened to me a couple days ago. It’s something that I never actually expected. Definitely not so soon. My husband and I were talking about taking our daughter to Disneyland. Don’t tell her, it’s a surprise. And for a brief moment, we both acknowledged and accepted that she might be the only little girl we escort to the home of Mickey Mouse and Cinderella.

Normally when we discuss vacations, we add in the caveat that I might be pregnant when we make the trip. It’s possible I won’t be able to ride all the roller coasters I want. Maybe we’ll be lugging around a brand new baby by this time next year. Especially when it comes to Disneyland, it seems like something we should wait for, so that future children won’t miss out on the Magic Kingdom because we went before they were born. My parents took my brother and sister to Disneyland before I came along and I’ve always been a little resentful.

This time, we didn’t say that we should probably wait for the next munchkin to get here. My husband said, “Well, we want to go while Brenna is young enough to enjoy the magic of it. And it’s possible that we’ll be waiting forever.” Instead of getting upset and frustrated by the comment, I acquiesced. Really, I agreed. We shouldn’t put things off for a baby that might not come.

What followed was a little shocking, but also a big step forward for me. My husband and I talked about how nice it will be to travel with just one child. We mentioned the money we’ll save and how we can put it to use touring the world, giving her amazing experiences that we might miss out on if there’s another baby on the way soon. If I got pregnant now, we would wait at least another four years before paying for an expensive family trip that the little one would never remember. We might not be able to afford as much traveling with four instead of three.

For that brief shining moment, there was an upside to not getting pregnant. We saw something positive about an issue that I’ve only ever thought of in negatives.

It’s funny, because one of the first things people try to do when you tell them that you’re struggling with secondary infertility is give you the bright side. People talk about timing and money and all the things that are supposed to make you feel better about your situation. It never works.

But suddenly, on a random morning over two years after we started this journey, my husband and I had a moment where we weren’t just complacent or resigned, we seemed at peace with the idea of never having more than one child. The idea didn’t make me weepy. It didn’t reduce me to a tiny puddle of sadness. I was okay with it.

We’re not done trying to have kids. We’re going to keep testing and timing and crossing our fingers at the end of the month. But I feel more confident going forward now that I’ve imagined a future without another child, and it wasn’t a sad and depressed one. I’ve seen something to look forward to, no matter what the next test tells us. It’s a good feeling, and it might just be the first step in a long journey towards infertility acceptance.

(Photo: Dirk Ercken/Shutterstock)