When you meet the guy you are going to marry when you are just 17, you have your whole life ahead of you. You are carrying your childhood dreams into this relationship and as the relationship grows, your dreams reshape around you. When you will get married, where you will live, how many kids you will have, which "real" job are you going to take... You are wide-eyed and excited even knowing that there will be bumps in the road and that things won't always go as planned.
Anticipating those bumps did not prepare me for the infertility card.
Thirteen years as a couple later and approaching the four year mark of trying, I still can't fully wrap my head around it. The "no kids" discussion is had more often than the "let's try again" discussion. It is a discussion that breaks my heart. And yet, I know that it is probably my reality.
Recently I said it out loud for the first time... One of those annoying people who just really doesn't know when to end a conversation was pestering me about when we were going to have kids (you know, because it's totally any of their business). After skirting around the issue for a bit I finally just said it... "We aren't having kids." And of course this person just couldn't let it go and continued with the ole, "You wait and see." I replied, "No... we can't have kids."
There is something to be said about saying things out loud. You can think it, you can write it, you can dream about it... but it just doesn't feel real until you say it out loud.
It is real now and I'm trying to figure out where to go from here. Maybe we'll change our minds and give it another go. Maybe we'll be that couple who it randomly just happens to out of no where (I'm not holding my breath). Maybe... there's just so many maybe's and what if's and possibilities out there.
It's hard to explain to people who haven't been down this road. To explain infertility as so much more than just not being able to have children. Infertility changes who you are whether you want it to or not. It can (and will) break you into a million pieces. But when you finally piece yourself back together, you find parts of yourself that you forgot existed. You shape a new life for yourself and pray that this time you will find the peace you have been searching for.
One day at a time. That's all anyone can really do right?...
"We must be willing to get rid of the life we've had planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us..." Joseph Campbell
p.s. To those who asked if they could share my previous post, please share away.