Like so many others, my husband and I felt the sting of trying and seemingly failing to conceive a child.
After 3 years of being married, we decided we wanted and were ready to start a family. We thought getting pregnant would be easy. That the simple act of NOT preventing it would be enough.
So, that very month when it did not happen, we were terribly disappointed.
Am I a Failure?
I took it a lot harder than my husband did. Let me rephrase that… I took failing to conceive a child as my own personal failure.
Month after month this feeling reared its ugly head as my period proclaimed the message that I was not pregnant. I was certain I was infertile. I began to believe that somehow, rational or not, I was less of a woman for not “accomplishing the task” of pregnancy. It seemed like everyone around me was getting pregnant and having babies, while I was left feeling incomplete.
People would tell us, “Once you stop trying, you’ll get pregnant.” To this day, I still don’t know how to mentally or emotional stop trying. I think God instilled an innate desire within me to have children.
Needless to say, I was not good at following the advice of my family and friends. Being pregnant was all I wanted. It was all I could think about.
“Let Go and Let God”
After three years of trying, our marriage was bending and on the verge of breaking. My husband and I were angry at each other. I had built up so much resentment towards him for this and other things.
I had to remember that my husband was enough… even if we never have children, we are still a family. Our family started the day we were married. We were a complete family then (and still be once we are empty-nesters – a looooong time from now). Even without children, my husband was enough. I had been blessed with a wonderful husband and I had been taking him for granted!
After praying about it for a month, we talked and figured we were probably never going to have a baby. We thought, “maybe a child just isn’t a part of God’s plan for us.”
So we decided to buy a couch set instead.
I’m a firm believer that God’s will and timing are absolutely perfect. I was pregnant that same month.
Is getting pregnant hard?
I know we are blessed in that we were able to conceive naturally. Many other couples struggle for years more than we did. They go through costly treatments and procedures trying to conceive and the disappointment is all the more heart crushing after each failed attempt.
Some of the options people turn to include:
- Ovulation Induction: Some couples turn to medications to stimulate egg production, increasing the chances of conception.
- Intrauterine Insemination (IUI): This procedure involves placing sperm directly into the uterus during the woman’s fertile window, increasing the likelihood of fertilization.
- In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): IVF is a well-known procedure where an egg is fertilized by sperm outside the body and then implanted in the uterus.
- Egg or Sperm Donation: In cases of specific fertility challenges, couples may opt for egg or sperm donation to increase their chances of successful conception.
- Surrogacy: Surrogacy is another option that some couples turn to.
Take Nothing For Granted
What I have realized looking back and talking with others – especially those who seem to be able to plan each child to their exact specifications – is that I seemed to appreciate my pregnancy journey so much more than I would have, had we conceived earlier.
Instead of it being something we had just expected would happen when we were ready, it became a gift. My pregnancy will forever be a time in our lives that we cherish.
Cherishing My Life
I honestly have never felt more beautiful than when I was pregnant. I felt like a woman. All the months of feeling infertile had left me wanting, and with an overwhelming sense of inadequacy. Now my body was being used in this amazing way – to nurture a little life. The intricacies of a baby’s development leave me in awe. So despite the morning sickness; the aches and pains as my body changed and stretched; the hormonal, seemingly out-of-body experiences (seriously, there’s nothing like those hormones); and the difficult task of natural labor; I truly enjoyed pregnancy.
I highly recommend the keeping of a pregnancy journal. It is so rewarding to look back at it later in your pregnancy or even after your baby is born. I was surprised at everything I forgot!
As for my husband, he was thrilled. Our marriage, which was on the mend even before I became pregnant, really blossomed as we shared the experience of preparing for our child: listening to our baby’s heartbeat, seeing and feeling him move.
My husband and I cherished each other too. During labor I appreciated the support and coaching from my husband rather than cursing him for his contribution. There was no yelling, “YOU did this to me!” in the delivery room. Haha!
I thanked God for this wonderful gift of life growing inside me. It was a beautiful journey that was the segue into the wonderful (and scary!) current adventure that is being a mother.
Support and Understanding
Fertility challenges can be such a struggle. I recognize the strength it takes to endure and persist. Whether you’re exploring treatments, in the midst of a cycle, or on a break to regroup, know that you are not alone.
To any couples who may be struggling to conceive, I sympathize with you. My best advice is to meditate and pray about it. Please know that your family is already complete with or without a child. Cherish and love each other.
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