Waiting is so hard, no matter what you are waiting for - especially when your heart is involved. The longing for a child is painful whether it is your 1st, or your 17th. But after experiencing the pain of infertility treatments, I think that the wait for the first is different. Not easier or harder or any less painful. Just different.
When you are waiting for you first there is always that thought in the back of your mind that it may never happen. You may never get to be a Mom. Your baby names will go forever unused. Your nursery will remain empty. That part of the hurt is missing while waiting to add another child - or two - to your family.
I went through infertility treatments for many years to conceive my boys. I now accept that it is the route I had to travel. It has not always been easy to stay on the path, but however painful, it is mine. The emotions are mine. The hurt is mine. The pain is mine.
I don't believe that I am a better person or mom or friend than anyone else. But going through what I did has made me better than I was before. I have more empathy and compassion for others. I see more joy in the little things. I definitely take more time to slow down and enjoy life. I don't take anything for granted. I am less quick to judge and jump to conclusions.
Even though there are some good things to be said about my experiences, the pain of infertility and loss didn't just disappear because I had children. Sometimes something someone says, or something I see triggers painful emotions. Many times I am completely taken by surprise. I think that I had all the cracks in the damn filled and then the dam suddenly bursts. The flood crashes in and opens my old wounds.
As if the struggle to get pregnant was not enough, I also had many miscarriages. The hardest was the loss of my youngest son's twin at 18 weeks. Even almost three years later I get choked up. It is a longing and pain for what might have been....
Anger and jealousy and frustration are emotions that definitely come to mind. I admit that I am really jealous of those with their referrals and babies home already. Just as I was jealous of those with big bellies and baby showers before. But I am still happy for them and have to realize that my time will come. Patience is a virtue, but so hard to acquire!
It is not that I cannot be happy for someone else's joy, because I can. It just hurts. Plain and simple. My heart aches for the baby we will get matched with, and for the ones that I lost. And I know that if the treatments had not been successful, that my heart would always ache for that loss. That will never change no matter how many children we have, whether biological or adopted.
Yes, the pain would be different if I never had a child. Really different. Maybe in some ways having children has lessened the pain of infertility and loss, but there is no way it has taken it away. Sometimes adoption seems easier and in some ways the treatments were easier.
With infertility, there is always the chance that things will not end with a baby. But the hands on part of it, made it seem easier at times. I was always doing something - meds, and shots, and ultra sounds, and doctor appts, and surgeries etc. With adoption I know there is a baby at the end, but all I can do is just sit back and wait. I have no control over when my call will come. I think that is what is so hard for me.
If someone had said during treatments that I would be pregnant in a certain month, I could have endured so much longer. Or maybe tried again. I thought adoption would bring that secure time line, and now we are 2+ months longer into the wait than the longest time we were quoted and that is the hardest part for me. Especially since my phone could ring tomorrow, or the call could be months and months from now.
I get upset when people believe that there is a distinction between those that choose to adopt and to not have or try for biological children and those that come to the decision after trying for or having biological children. All have the same desire to create, or add to their families. All are willing to reach out across thousands of miles to bring a child into their homes. All have a place in their heart that needs to be filled.
Our decision to adopt is not a second choice, nor was it an easy one. But it is one that we feel strongly about. I truly feel that the losses and treatments that I had to endure were a way of leading me to where I am now. And for that I am grateful. I cannot wait to get our referral call and see our daughter's face for the first time. I know everything I have experienced will make more sense to me then.
This post made me think of this quote - not sure who said it though."If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing well. If it is worth having, it is worth waiting for. If it is worth attaining, it is worth fighting for. If it is worth experiencing, it is worth putting aside time for."