20It's the number of months I've been trying to have a baby. I hate the number 20, and next month I'll hate the number 21. It's the number of months I've felt alone. The number of months I've endured the question that anyone struggling with infertility dreads;
"When are you guys going to have kids?"
It's the number of months that I've thought of lies and witty retorts designed to discourage that question.
"I don't know, how's your sex life?"
"We don't want children."
"I have a dog, that's all I need."
"I don't want anything I can't lock in a dog crate."
"9 months after I get pregnant."
"Kids are gross."
And the answer I contemplate using:
"I don't know if I can even have children."
But I know that if I tell the truth, I'll be met with awkwardness, silence, pity, and the stories about your mothers, sister's, nieces, cousin's former roommate who tried for 6 years and finally got pregnant because she 'just relaxed and rolled in the wet spot' (no, I'm not being dramatic. This has been said).
Oh how I hate those two words. I don't know that there are two more hurtful words than those. No, that's not true, there are. But not many make me as angry. I've never before felt the level of anger as I did when a woman with 6 [unplanned] children in 8 years told me that I needed to relax.
"Just relax. You're too stressed out, that's why you can't get pregnant."
Well guess what? I did relax. For the first year I was relaxed, having fun, and enjoying the thought of starting a family within the next few months. I told myself that it's ok, it can take up to a year. This is normal. Well we aren't normal.
And it's not our fault. We're not infertile because we're tense. We're not infertile because we drank a soda yesterday. We're not infertile because our chicken isn't free range and our veggies aren't organic. We're infertile because we have a disease. A disease that can't be cured by a spa day and massage.
Maybe we'll conceive naturally with enough time. I hope so. The thought of more medicine, invasive procedures, shots, and expensive doctors visits sound like more than I can handle right now. Last night I felt ok. Peaceful. Today I've lost hope. It's a lonely journey, but I know that God grieves with me. He didn't kill my baby and he doesn't keep my children from me. It's the product of an imperfect, fallen world and He grieves right along with me, just like He will rejoice when I finally hold my baby in my arms.