LIFE AFTER INFERTILITY

About the time it takes to grow a baby ago, I published a book about infertility. It’s called “Bearing Hope: Navigating the Desert of Waiting for a Child.” I have been blown away by your reviews and support; thank you!

The ironic thing is that you would never in a million years tag me as someone who probably went through hell trying to carry a child into this world. I’m 30. Healthy. Athletic. And when you see me out and about, I have three beautiful miracle babes (ages five and under) who I call my own.

I don’t really look infertile, do I? 

The truth is, infertility is no respecter of persons. It affects one in eight couples, and it’s everywhere. Someone you know and love has been through it or is going through it right now. It sucks and it’s hard. And thankfully, the stigma is being broken thanks to brave people who speak out (YOU FLIPPINGGG AWESOME PEOPLE, YOU!)

But something I haven’t ever really talked about is life after infertility. And whoa doggie.

Life after infertility looks SO different than I pictured it would.

For all the years I longed to become a mom, this was the picture I had in my head:

{Me: Looking cute in my mom-outfit and perfect messy bun. Baby-wearing. Reading. Singing.}

{The kids: clothed adorably, and coordinated. Cloth diapered, of course. Coo-ing. Being gifted.}

{All of us: laughing, tickling, learning, dancing in the kitchen. Playing and enjoying the smell of our crock pot dinner that I started before the kids woke up. Pure bliss.}

This is ALL I could ever want out of life on earth.^^^ I even researched HOMESCHOOLING, you guys.

After all, they are my miracle babies. 

But if you peeked in my window like a creeper, guess how many times you would see us living out that vision? Yep. ZERO.

Here’s the thing, though. No one on God’s beautiful earth knows what it’s like to be a parent until they are one, and 99.999999999999999999999999% of the time (if I had to guess) it’s harder than people imagine it will be.

For me, parenting has been the hardest thing I’ve ever ever ever ever experienced. Sure, sure, it’s equally rewarding. And we can and should talk about that and dote on those beautiful parts.

But I want to be honest with you. On the daily, my days are exhausting and long and hard.

There were times when I had three kids in diapers, all under the age of 3.5, on which I believed I might actually lose my ever loving mind.

I wondered why I had even gone into debt to go to an amazing Christian college.

I wondered how many moms would do a better job parenting my kids.

I wondered why I had agonized over becoming a parent when it was about 100% less glamorous or rewarding than I envisioned. I dreaded bedtime. I dreaded bath time, and honestly I usually still do. (If you have a SPD child, you know how hard baths can be!)

For a survivor of the infertility desert, these feelings bring about a massive ton of guilt. A crushing guilt-burden if I allow it to be.

But I refuse to be a victim of those feelings. I won’t believe that I need to be supermom just because it was hard to get to this point. I also refuse to sit back and dwell on how “ideal” my life would be if my kids hadn’t come so close together, because that’s ridiculous and leads me to an unhealthy place.

Kids … jobs … crises … rarely come on our perfectly constructed timelines.

The pregnancy fog and the sleepless nights have cleared and I feel like I can look back and see things a little better now. I can see how that season of waiting for a child grew in me the endurance and patience it would require to rear children.

I can also see how I’m going to need mounds of grace to get through this marathon called parenting. Don’t we all?

I can appreciate that not every mom is cut out for being home 100% of the time. <<<< I would be one of those. And I’m not going to carry a burden about working part time, even though I waited a long time to become a mom.

There is no perfect situation. If we let discontentment get its way, the grass will always be greener. This broken world is far from perfect (hence the infertility, loss, anger, overwhelm, impatience, whining, crying, pain, suffering, mental illness, etc.)

But here we are, now. With our little miraculous, sanctifying love bugs and we’re going to make it. You hear me? We survived the infertility desert. We have survived loss. We are warriors. 

And we’re going to survive the little years. And the junior high years. And the teen years. And then we’re going to weep our eyes out when they move away because they are precious. And we will probably want to protect them forever.

Let’s relish these messy years and memories together. Let’s link tired arms and talk about the good, bad, and ugly.

And let’s remind each other that just because we had to fight like mad to become a parent, we don’t have to be Mrs. Doubtfire. “Ooh, hellooooo.”

Let’s remind each other that it’s okay to struggle and hurt and feel lonely and overwhelmed sometimes/all the time.

Can you just take a big fat deep breath with me?

Life can be hard and amazing and ridiculously messy and beautiful all at the same time.

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