Do You Have Children?

InfertilityDo you have children?  I find that it is one of the most common questions people ask when you first meet.  It’s a quick way to find common ground with new friends or acquaintances.  I can watch as other people answer and quickly can discuss ages, teaches, toys, and similar experiences.

Do you have children?

No.

It depends on the day and on my mood.  Sometimes I will breezily add that we have unexplained infertility.  Sometimes I won’t.  Dealing with infertility is painful in ways that I can’t fully explain.  I find that through this journey I go back and forth between being at peace with where we are or incredibly frustrated and pained.

Most days I can look at our journey objectively.  I am at peace with our journey and feel comforted by God’s plan.  I know that he has heard our prayers for a family and that he has a purpose for us.  I’m prayerful.  I have fun doing things that people with children don’t have the luxury to do.  I enjoy date nights on a whim with my husband.  We dance in the kitchen and laugh.  I take long, hot, bubble baths.  I poop in quiet.  I open a nice bottle of Cabernet and enjoy a glass.  I do happy hour with a girlfriend.  I spend time with my husband in our camper.  I can work late or early if need be and don’t have to worry about childcare.  I count my blessings.  I have a lot to be thankful for.  I try and seek out other women who may be struggling with infertility, miscarriage, or difficulty in getting pregnant.  I start a support group at my church.  I want other women to know they aren’t alone in their journey.  I try and make the most out of the place that God put me.  This is my good place.

Other times, it is not so good.  It is what most people don’t see because I hide it.  I hide it, because people close to me already know.  What is the point in talking about something again and again?  There is grieving that happens when month after month, year after year you are unable to have children.  It is a burden I carry.  It is tears in bed at night or in the shower that no one else has to see.  It is leaving group settings when emotion overcomes me and I can’t stop the tears.   I’m not sure I completely understand the emotions that being infertile invokes.  I know that it is normal from the books I’ve read and talking to other women with infertility.  I can’t fully explain why it hurts my heart, it just does.  In this place, the voice in my head wonders if I will ever have children.  What is wrong with me as a woman?  Why can’t I do what comes naturally to millions of women?  What am I doing wrong?  I feel that I have failed my husband.  His tests came back great and his counts “spectacular”.  I was happy to hear that from the doctor, but within a few minutes came the realization that it was probably my issues.  I have a lot of questions if I really allow myself to think about it all.  Why me?  Am I a failure?  Will I ever know what it feels to love and kiss on my own child?

It is during these dark times that I find other people’s comment especially painful. Like “what is wrong with you?” or “just relax”.  When someone tells a woman with infertility to “just relax” we hear, “you are doing it wrong.  If you would just act the right way, you would be pregnant”.  Don’t say those words to a woman with difficulties in having children.  Don’t say, “You can watch my children whenever you want!  I don’t even want them half the time!”  I don’t want to babysit a stranger’s child.  I want my own.  Don’t make light of someone else’s loss.  No one would tell a widow, “you can borrow my husband, he is annoying me today!”  That is just being an insensitive ass.

It seems easy, on the outside looking in.  Before we started trying, I had everything figured out in my head.  What I would do and not do should we find ourselves in this situation because I’m a planner by nature.  Those plans have all gone by the way side.  Everyone has a recommendation.  Just do IVF!  Just adopt!  Millions of children need adoption!  Just accept a life with no children!  As if any of these options are an easy choice.   They all seem so simple when it is not affecting you.  When you really get down to it, none of the paths are simple.  They all involve emotions, time, and struggle.  Some options are very expensive or time consuming.  It is a decision that my husband and I will decide together.  It is a decision that may need to be tweaked or changed depending on the circumstances.  I’m torn because I know God has put us down this path for a purpose.  I know good will come from it.  It is just that sometimes I don’t want to have to endure the struggle.

It is just a simple, innocuous question, “do you have children?”

For me, it is a question I dread and the answer is no.

About LC

Howdy! LC and her Oilman live in the ‘burbs north of Austin, TX. She is a real estate broker, but you won’t find her face on a bus bench and she doesn't drive a Cadillac. Oilman works in Texas as a Completions Consultant. Don’t worry, most people don’t know what that title means either. LC calls him frac guru, for short. She may be the only woman in America that hated both "Twilight" AND "50 Shades of Grey". Oilman and LC like wine, good music, their two dogs, and cervezas in Central America. Follow the adventures of LC and Oilman at: www.LivingOilfieldLife.com or on Instagram at: living_oilfield_life

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