This column is going to be a little bit different for me. It’s going to be letting most of you in more than I usually do, getting a little more personal. As I am writing this, it is based off of a little frustration out of things in life that we just cannot control. Even with the frustration, comes with a lot more of understanding.
After moving down to Florida last March, our lives have just been falling into place. All adoptions are finalized, after the stress from buying the house then getting down here, that extra stress is all gone. Now we were able to focus solely on just being parents. Which is all new for us, we always were pulled in so many different directions before. Craziness was something we had become very accustomed to.
All three school-age kids are in new schools and excelling academically, better than we had expected. We have new doctors and new health plans that we are definitely benefiting from. We also have some new diagnoses that we knew existed in a few of the kids and found game plans that are working with their behaviors. All sounds perfect, right? But it’s just not that easy when it’s all said and done.
Ok, here is when I let you in a little deeper than my usual rant. Ever since Kristin was pregnant with Gavin, I have felt an emptiness. It seemed to stem from our marriage being 50/50 always, especially being we had adopted children that were equally ours, together. Now, in our marriage, I no longer feel the same level with Gavin being genetically connected to Kristin. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not towards Gavin at all; him and I have a stronger bond than I could have ever imagined. It’s all within me and my heart that I am missing something else.
So, I went to my new family physician and she brought up the fact if I’m not going to get pregnant, then just get a small procedure done. This would be in and out, then I would no longer have to deal with menstrual cramps ever again. I left her office and thought, wouldn’t that be nice? I even called Kristin with that idea. Then it dawned on me, what if that is what I am missing?!?!? It was at that point, I realized I needed to try and have a child as well. I know, we have six kids already, but this is about something deeper than just adding another member to the house.
I confessed that night to Kristin and asked if she would consider doing IVF but with my egg this time. I just couldn’t see myself physically being pregnant. I am not the norm of what a pregnant woman looks like by any means in society. So, Kristin turned to me and said, “It would be a lot cheaper and easier for you to just carry for yourself.” After a little bit of the wheels turning, I agreed, this would definitely help with us being in each other’s places when we were pregnant prior.
The next day we made an appointment and started the process. I admit, I was a little more excited than I expected to be. We told a very few close individuals but weren’t going to say anything until further into my pregnancy. But 2 weeks into getting the standard tests, we learned that I am physically unable to get pregnant. Even after years of adopting, I never had a clue this probably would have been my path anyway. We had even asked the kids before we began the process of how they felt; they’re in this family, too. They were excited, they wanted a girl this time since the boys are taking over more and more of this house. But now, how do I explain this one: that we know before we start it is not going to happen?
When the doctor called and told me, I asked Kristin to come into a separate room, so I could tell her in private. At first, I think she thought I was joking in a way by the expression on her face. Not long she realized this was reality and began to cry. She then wiped her tears and said “OK, what is plan B?” Plan B you ask? Well, for the first time in our lives, there is no plan B. We are taking it on the chin and just living with the letdown. Sometimes there are no other options that will help, it just depends on how we adjust to find the positive out of the negative.
I’m opening up my heart a little bit with sharing this because I could never understand why women were so upset when they could not conceive. You always hear, “Just adopt then if you want a child.” That was just easy to say; I have always wanted to adopt so that does not apply to me. Not until now, I mentally took for granted a woman’s right to birth a child. Now that I learn I physically am unable, the reality for many others is finally setting in.
Having the ability to birth a child, is a woman’s right. Not being able to do that is not being able to fill a void within some of us. Even I, who may not look like the typical female, am still a female and love that I am. Being told that I am infertile is a feeling of being robbed. Regardless of how many children we have already adopted, it hurts when I can’t do both – to just experience what life is supposed to be about.