November 27, 2008

For the want of a baby

This post is out of the blue, but it's on my heart tonight and perhaps it will strike a chord with some of you.

My husband and I are experiencing secondary infertility. Our daughter was born 3 1/2 years ago and we always hoped to have our kids 2 or maybe 3 years apart. I thought, in my naive way, that having kids farther apart was too difficult on siblings (I am 7 and 8 years older than my brothers. My husband is 5 years younger than his sister.) Now, due to nature and probably God's will, the closest our kids can possibly be is 4 years and 2 month apart. That's IF we conceive in December.

It's funny, I was just reading an article on secondary infertility. In it, the author states that often parents feel guilty for their failure to provide a sibling for their child. A little lightbulb went on in my head. Yes, indeed, I feel like a bad mother for depriving my daughter of a sibling. I tell people "She's in preschool so she'll get some interaction with other kids." What I really mean is, "I've completely failed in my motherly duty to provide her interaction at home, so I have to pay someone to play with my child."

There are 5 stages of grieving, they say. In no particular order, anger, depression, denial, bargaining, and acceptance. In the 21 months of our infertility journey, I've been through all 5. As I tell my husband, I've BTDT to all five, but now I'm revisiting my favorites.

By far, most of the time, I am truly at peace with our journey. It's not always easy, but I lean on the Lord and I trust in His path for my life. Most of the time I'm fine seeing pregnant moms, new babies, and itsy bitsy diapers. I am so incredibly thankful for my little girl...if she's all I ever have, I'm still fulfilled as a mother.

5 comments:

I can only imagine how hard it must be!

We mothers are always looking for something to feel guilty about -- I have recently found myself feeling guilty that my youngest two are close enough together that I feel like I can't focus on either of them as much as I should.

God has a plan for your family; I'm sure of it.

I was in your shoes two years ago. I wanted my children to be three years apart- like me and my brother and my husband and his sister. Timing didn't work in our favor and several rounds of clomid later our boys are 5 years 2 months apart. I am actually very thankful. My older son is so helpful with the new baby, it is so amazing! I wish you speedy conception!

LOL Kansas Mom...the grass is always green on the other side! Yes, Mothers Guilt is a marvelously devious thing. My husband loves to use it to his advantage ("You should put Camille to bed. Someday she won't want you to tuck her in at night.")

I thought about sending you a personal email, but decided just to post a comment on your blog in hope that it may also help someone else going through infertility. I dealt with infertility and doctors, testing, etc. when trying to get pregnant with our first child. We are now trying for our second child and know that secondary infertility may very well become a reality for us in the near future.

I read many books related to infertility and my favorite book that helped me the most understand my emotions and the greiving process you go through, gave a brief overview of how to find a doctor and procedures you may go through, how to respond to people's comments and questions, and other information is "When the Cradle is Empty" by John and Sylvia Van Regenmorter. Receiving the "Stepping Stones" newletter each month was also encouraging and can be signed up for at http://www.bethany.org/step/. There are also many other helpful resources at this site. The Stepping Stones bookstore hosted by Bethany Christian Services also has other helpful books and resources, some of which I also read.

Thank you Shelly!

I haven't read "When the Cradle is Empty" recently, but I did read it before ever becoming a mother. We used to manage a Christian bookstore and I read many of our counseling books. Ironic, eh?

I give this back to God every day. In return, he gives me peace and comfort. I'm glad I'm not in this journey alone.