I struggled to get pregnant three times, and I lost my second pregnancy. However, I have two beautiful and amazing living children. After going through infertility, I have been very vocal (or at least as much as I can) about this even though I have overcome it and years have gone by. Why? Because it was hard going through it and because sometimes, not very often, I still struggle with it.
Some people might think that once you finally become a mom, all is forgotten. That there won’t be any more triggers, and you won’t even remember going through this. That might be true for some, but I have decided I will never forget it because if I can use my experience to help others, I will.
One of my primary triggers is moms of multiple children complaining about how hard motherhood is and how they wish and long for the days when they will have more time for themselves. Especially if these complaints come from moms who also have all the privileges and help around them, but maybe that’s a different story.
When I was going through my journey to become a mom, I would read blog posts or hear my mom friends at the time complaining about motherhood. I thought, “I wish to have those complaints. I wish to be woken up at midnight by a hungry baby. I wish I had those changes and aches in my body. I wish to have dirty hands all over me.”
When my turn to be a mom came, I was over the moon happy. I enjoyed and documented every mischief, every afternoon nap cuddled with my baby, every messy face, and such because I swore I would always be mindful of my struggle and be happy about the blessing and privilege I was given of becoming a mom.
Before being a mom and going through an infertility journey and loss, I wished for and imagined a big family. I never expected to live abroad, and I never considered having trouble conceiving. I visualized a big family. I dreamt of a minimum of three and a maximum of five or even maybe six children. I thought I’d start younger than I did and have them all two years apart. When life happened and reality hit us with infertility and life abroad, I was happy and grateful to have the two wonderful and crazy kids I ended up with.
I still struggle with seeing pregnancy announcements and family and friends growing their families. Why? Because even though I am beyond grateful for what I have and my situation and life, it wasn’t my choice. I didn’t choose to have two kids. I wanted more.
I have the children I could have, not those I wanted to have (number-wise speaking). Seeing people get pregnant with their third or fourth by surprise or not even planning it and complaining about the sleepless nights, missing a party or event because they have the baby, or just about how hard it is to manage their kids even though they have all the help and family around makes me feel all sorts of feelings. It makes me think of how wonderfully blessed they are and how many other women and I might wish to have those complaints again.
Sometimes people still ask us if we will have more or when we are having the third. A couple’s fertility and family decisions are not yours to give an opinion about. It is also not your concern, so please mind your business and don’t ask, not if they don’t have kids yet or if they have them. These questions can be triggers and hard to deal with for some people.
The thing is, we are done, not because we wanted to but because that’s it. That’s what we could have both physically. Also, we don’t have the family support we would have by living in our home country, making it harder for us to add more to our team. Also, if I have to be extremely honest, I didn’t want to put my body, heart, and mind through the process of fertility treatments again. It is exhausting!
Welcoming babies into our extended families and with our friends makes us joyful. I am not bitter, and I am grateful for my children. I have the boy that stole my heart and the little doll I always dreamt of having. I wouldn’t change those two for the five I wanted as a young, clueless woman.