” Are you having any more?” . . . “Are you a one-and-done Family?” . . . “You just need to relax—then it will happen!”
Raise your hand if you had more than two people in the room at point of conception for your child(ren). Okay, now raise your hand if you DID NOT CARE how many people were there, as long as it WORKED? Just for the record, I am raising both hands, and I am going to kick up a leg just for good measure. See, I am a fertility treatment mama of One who wants a number Two, and I am proud to talk about it. Also for the record, I DO feel blessed to have our one. I also have to add that (insert whisper voice) just because I am blessed with one doesn’t mean my right to want more gets taken away! But lets back this infertility train up before we get too far . . .
In 2008, our initial struggle with fertility ended. After eight full years of trying, crying, praying, making deals with God, and doing anything people told me would work (I even purchased an ancient American Indian Ritual of fertility off eBay!), my husband and I finally conceived using Intrauterine Insemination ( IUI). Chemical after chemical went into my body. Doctors and nurses of all sorts were face to face with my nether regions. I didn’t care in the least. “Whatever it takes” was my motto. ” Bring it on,” I said. I was in fertility success heaven.
Fast forward to today. We want baby number two. We are no longer the “whatever it takes” couple. Enter infertility anxiety. There are so many questions and things to consider this time around. We have another human to consider. I DO care what goes into my body, we DO worry about finances and schedules and how crazy I got while on hormones. How will this effect our son? How will this effect us? Sometimes it can feel very isolating because its such a personal journey. Because it’s so personal, can I ask a huge favor to those of you who may not be dealing with infertility, are done having babies, or who are just curious? Please try super-hard to remain mindful when you ask couples about babies. PLEASE.
Let me be very clear. I know—for sure—that most questions come from a place of love. Truly, I do. But what I am going to ask is that, if you ask someone about their “child” status, please also make some space to listen—really listen—to what they have to say. Not everyone wants to talk about their struggle (or their success for that matter), but a lot of us do. Be prepared that if you ask someone a question like “Why are you waiting so long between kids?” that you may get the long answer. Also, please know—from the bottom of my heart— that we feel EXTREMELY blessed and thankful that we already have our one. No—we do not think its extreme to want another.
For those of us in the midst of the crazy infertility game, let’s talk about it! Let’s share our stories. Is it hard? Yes, it can be. Is it a vulnerable place be to be? For sure! But, as Glennon Doyle Melton says, “We can do hard things.” Let’s continue to have the hard conversations.
So, let’s review—how can we join together to help each other?
- Make space to listen if you ask someone about their “child” status.
- Try super-hard to refrain from comments that make it seem like there is an easy solution: “Just stop stressing,” for example. If it were that easy in all cases, we would all have lots of babies when we wanted them.
- If you are the couple/person moving through infertility, practice talking about it. Let others know that it can be a painful place. Give hope to those who are moving through it now. Share your knowledge.
- Come from a place of love. Whether you are the one asking—or the one answering. There is always opportunity for grace. Take that opportunity.
- If you know of friends that are going through infertility, ask how you can be the most supportive. Every situation is different, but its always a great thing to offer support.