What does being an infertile mommy mean to me?
1. I'm eating my words. I spent the last ten years knowing that it would be difficult for me to have children. I spent the last two years knowing that trying to get pregnant for me meant a lot of work, a lot of heart ache, and a lot of lack of romance. I spent this time on complete defense from any mommy out there who had it "easy". Any mommy who got knocked up the good ol' fashioned way, two months after deciding to try. I listened intently for any smidgen of ungratefulness, any tone of dissatisfaction with their role as a mother, their amazing gift. I figuratively pounced on each of these oblivious, selft-centered mommies, they didn't know how good they had it! I knew I would never, not for one second, forget how grateful and lucky I was if I ever became a mommy, however that happened.
I'm eating my words. I'm an infertile mommy.
I do NOT forget how lucky I am. I do, however, know exactly what any mom out there felt who complained about their kid, was irritated by their lack of sleep, was tired of the non-stop morning sickness or ridiculous back aches. I know how lucky I am, but I also know how incredibly hard this is. I know that you can never fully know how much your life will change when you become a mommy. I know how blessed I am for being able to write that statement. And I know how tired I am for being able to write that statement. I'm an infertile mommy.
2. I know mommy guilt on so many levels. I feel guilt for having to let one baby cry while I tend to the other. I feel guilt for forgetting to put diaper rash cream on the baby prone to diaper rashes. I feel guilt for my inevitable return to work in three weeks, leaving my babies with someone other than mommy. But I also feel guilt for complaining about my hyperemesis. I feel guilt for wanting to be done with my pregnancy at 34 weeks because I just couldn't handle the itching, the incessant itching, anymore. I feel guilt for looking back at those days when I could sit and watch tv on full volume for hours at a time without a care in the world...and missing them. But mostly, I feel guilt for bringing my babies home. I feel guilty that I got the prize, and that I know others who haven't, who might not. I feel guilt for only having one loss, for not spending four years trying to conceive, but rather bringing home our babies after only two rounds of IVF. I feel guilt. I'm an infertile mommy.
3. I am so incredibly lucky that we had twins, not because "twins are cute", or because "twins are so much fun" (which a lot of the time, they are). I'm lucky we had twins because I always hoped to have two children, and I don't have to wonder if we will be able to have a sibling for our only child. I don't have to plan for our next FET, wonder if our blasts will thaw properly, wonder if they'll stick. I don't have to continue budgeting for fertility treatments and start trying earlier than I would really like to. I'm so incredibly lucky. I'm an infertile mommy.
4. I am five months post-partum, still pumping for my babies, but I'm trying to find the right birth control pills to suppress my endometriosis while not completely depleting my supply. I am working with doctors to figure out what the best plan is to treat my thyroid problems while still feeding my babies. I'm having to find babysitters so I can go get one more blood test done to figure out why my liver enzymes are still off. I don't know if I'll ever truly be "healthy". And I fear every.single.day that I will pass these problems onto my beautiful children. I worry every day that my sweet baby girl will face the same demons I've been battling for fifteen years. Will she be able to have her own beautiful children one day? I worry. I am an infertile mommy.
5. I wonder whether my children will ask why I have pictures of them before they were even inside of my tummy. I wonder whether they will feel "different" or confused about their beginnings. I wonder if my children will ask if they will have to do the same thing to have babies of their own. I hope that they have the courage to ask, the spirit to feel special, and the wisdom to know how loved they are. I hope. I am an infertile mommy.
I am an infertile mommy. I'm like every other mommy out there; every mommy who looks at their children with absolute wonder, absolute admiration and mystifying gratefulness. I'm like every other mommy out there who longs for their care free days, their late mornings, their spontaneous date nights. I'm like every other mommy who wonders what the hell I've done to my life, and then wonders how the hell I could have lived so long without them, all in one moment. I'm like every other mommy, except I know infertility. I know that kind of pain, in my own way, and in my own heart. I know my kind of loss. I know my story. And I know my happy ending, thank God.
And because I blog, I have seen true strength. I know some of the most powerful women and men on the face of the planet. Some of the most enduring, able, and grateful people I have ever met are writing about their journeys through infertility right along with me. I know support, I know defeat, I know unimaginable heartache, and indescribable joy, all because I am a part of this ALI community. I am an infertile. And I am a mommy. And I am so proud to be here with all of you, in the trenches, out of the trenches, and everywhere in between. Thank you for letting me write, for letting me vent, for letting me scream and cry and gnash my teeth. And for letting me smile through my words to you. You have inspired me all along my path. I hope I have inspired you and continue to do so. We are a family built on hope, courage, and support. Don't ever stop writing, wherever you are in your journey.