June 26, 2023

I was Born to be Motherly, but Maybe not to be a Mom.

I have been putting off writing about this subject as I don’t think any words can truly describe what I, or any woman for that matter, goes through when it comes to this type of journey.

I have often wondered how one goes about accepting a fate that shatters your heart and soul, and I have come to the conclusion that it is a question without an answer. How unfair?

I hear the echo of many women saying “if I only knew then what I know now,” and dearest reader, it is a crushing sentence to utter out loud because the “what ifs” are never ending. The “adventure” of a fertility journey is a road no one can prepare you for. It is a road where a tiny bump can lead to a head-on collision without any warning or preparation.

Until about the age of 23, I have dreamt of having children and making a family. It was what I wanted so badly and it was a want that I was sure was going to happen because, of course. How could it not happen? Women get pregnant and I was going to be one of them—no hassle, no fuss, no problem. To be young and naïve, so blind…

There was never any doubt in my mind that I would ever struggle with falling pregnant. So, I got married and thought, I can wait a while. I still have a lot of time. I am young, in my prime, and when the time comes, boom! I got married at 23 years old, and by the time I was 27 I felt ready to start a family. So, dearest reader, I got myself and my husband on a medical aid, I went to a gynaecologist to check if the oven is working and everything is as it should be and the doctor said I was ready to go. Let’s do this, hubby; let’s have fun. First cycle came and went and then suddenly I didn’t get my period. I thought, “Wow, I must be pregnant, this is how it starts,” but no, no bambino.

I went to my GP and she gave me some meds to take to force my cycle to start, no problem. Round two, let’s go! And then, nothing. No period, no pregnancy, nothing. I went to a different gynaecologist who on the first visit picked up something. PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), the dreaded four letters I have been hearing about more and more in the last couple of years. So, after they explained everything to me, we started on a fertility journey that I was not prepared for, but still had faith in. Let’s do this, doc; let’s get these eggs in a row, so to speak.

This journey took me on a ride for two years. Two years of monthly visits to the gynaecologist. Two years of taking different hormone medications. Two years of having my heart ripped out of my chest. Two years of crying with my husband. Two years of asking why. Two. Years.

As I said at the beginning, no words can truly explain the feeling. Ladies, if you went through the same thing or are currently going through it, you will understand. Having to deal with the thoughts, with the demons, with the constant questions we ask ourselves is exhausting and torturous.

Why is this happening to me? Why is it so difficult? Why is my body not working? Why am I being punished? Because hear me when I say, it feels like the harshest punishment one can receive. But still, you find the strength to wake up every morning and go on, because life goes on. It doesn’t wait for you while you pick yourself up from the ground after crying your eyes out because you cannot give your husband the one thing he was born to do—knowing that he will be the best father and that I am the reason he will never have that. The pain I had to carry is unbearable. It brought me to my knees, made me curl into a ball, and cry every other night until the pillow was wet. It crushes you in ways you can never imagine.

COVID-19 came, so my husband and I decided to take a break, as the stress and mental toll was too much at that point. Not only for me, but for him as well. It might be happening to my body, but we are experiencing the same pain. Mid-2021 we decided to start the journey again, but this time we went into it with a different mindset. We had a long, heartfelt discussion and concluded that even though we long to have a child, we will be content if it doesn’t happen. It was a hard discussion to have, but we know in our hearts that we have so much love to give and that ultimately there are other ways to give love if a child is not meant for us.

Now, we know there are different options to have a child. Surrogacy, adoptions, certain medical procedures, and so on. We know this, but this, too, is a gamble and takes an enormous mental toll on the both of us. We both agreed that we will give it a go until the end of 2023 and then decide where we go from there. It might very well be the end of the road for us, but we will be okay at the end. There are so many ways to share our love and we will do so.

I know I am born to be motherly, but I might just not be born to be a mother myself.

I know it may sound strange, but I think a lot of women will agree with me. Fertility struggles are hard—that word being an understatement. It really brings you to a point where we are forced to reevaluate everything we thought we would have. No one expects this to happen, so there is no preparing for it. We carry around a heavy heart, one filled with a deep desire that we come to realize might never happen.

But what I have come to realize after going through what I went through, which includes a miscarriage, never knowing I was pregnant, and seeing other women going through it, is that we will be okay. We learn to live with the harsh reality that it really might not happen. I hate to use the saying, but what doesn’t kill us really does make us stronger. And ladies, we are strong. I hope you have a partner like I do who is supportive in every way you need. We need that strength and we need the love of our partners; this is their journey too.

If this helps you in any way, I am thankful. We are in this together. You are not alone. And beautiful reader, we will get through this no matter the outcome.


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