Don't Ignore Your Desire to Become a Parent

Don’t Ignore Your Desire to Become a Parent

April 22-28 is National Infertility Awareness Week.I hope you’ll join myself and many others this week as we blog (and vlog) to help raise awareness for infertility.
I will also be talking about different ways that you can get involved. And I hope you do.

The first thing you can do is to join RESOLVE’S Bloggers Unite Campaign. The theme is”Don’t Ignore…” Here’s what I want to share:

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Don’t ignore your desire to become a parent.

Most of us begin our journey of trying to conceive with a blissful naivete. We plan, we take precautions, we have everything in place to welcome our bouncing bundle of joy in 9 months.
Most of us enter this fight without even knowing we’re in a battle.
So it’s not surprising that infertility can shake us to our core.
It blindsides us with a left hook and there’s no doubt about it-
infertility does not play a fair fight.
Infertility doesn’t care how much money we make, what our religion is or where we were born.
It doesn’t care that we have plans for our lives and dreams for our unborn babies.

It has the ability to make us question every preconceived expectation that we have for becoming a parent. It rattles our relationships with spouses and friends. It can even make us question how much we want a child. After all, if we’re this damaged and undeserving, maybe we shouldn’t have a baby at all. And for that matter, why is our spouse even sticking around?

Certainly, these are conversations that go on in infertile households, or-at the very least-in the minds of infertiles, all the time. I’ve been there, too. There were many days during our 3 1/2 year struggle to our daughter, Wren, when I wasn’t sure I could stand in the ring for another moment, let alone keep swinging.

The days of questioning every decision we made.
The frustration of the mounting medical bills swiftly dwindling our savings account.
The anger at feeling like “just another” patient.
The devastation of losing our longed-for first miracle baby, Mya.
The loneliness of not having any “real life” friends who got it.

And even now, as we move forward with trying for baby #2, those old familiar second-guesses that infertility brings are lingering in the corners of the ring.

The heartache that accompanied yet another miscarriage.
The guilt of whether I am, in some way, sending a message to Wren that she’s not enough.
The realization that just because you have one baby, it doesn’t mean that you are free from infertility.

Don’t ignore those feelings. They’re valid. They’re normal. They’re yours.

But I also want to remind you not to ignore your desire to become a parent.
That is also valid.
The one message I try to share when I talk about my infertility journey is one of gratitude. Surprising to some, but yes-I am thankful for the battle we fought. I’m proud to wear the badge of honor. I’m proud that we made it out of the ring with our hands held high in victory. While I don’t wish it on anyone, my goal is always to share a message of hope.

If I had bought into my second-guessing and the questions that infertility brought, I wouldn’t have Wren. And having Wren is a reward far greater than I could ever have imagined. If your heart desires a child, you will become a parent. You might be surprised by the path life leads you, but there are many ways to build a family and the important thing to remember is that your family WILL be worth the difficult journey you’re on.

YOUR battle will be won, and when it is, I promise you will look back with an amazing perspective-one filled with gratitude, a deeper respect for the privilege of becoming a parent and you might even be surprised to find the smallest hint of a smile, just like I did.