So, I’ve been waiting for a baby for a while. Not as long as some. Some women wait 10 years or more. I have been married for almost seven years, six of which have been spent trying and waiting and hoping.
And, I turn 35 this month. What?!
I know. I get it. I’m still young. Well depends on whom you’re comparing me to. In the Utah culture, where I am from, 35 is just a tiny bit old to be starting to have kids. I have friends who have been playing the parenting game for some time. Some have teenagers. How did that happen?
Most days I handle my wait for kids just fine. I have things to do. I carry on. I keep busy. I know I’m headed in a good direction right now that I hope will lead to some additions in our family in the not-so-distant future.
But there are days that are hard. They’re the days I am surrounded by little ones, especially at church where the littles are so cute and smile and giggle and coo and cry and give me that fun, curious look. They’re the days I read a children’s book and think about the day I when I will read that book to my child. They are the days when I surf through social media and see pics and videos of littles making a mess with their food or saying the silliest things or just looking so darn cute!
Now, I’m going to take a step back for a second and make sure you know that I am so happy for these parents who get to experience these things. Jealous? Yes. Of course! I want what they have. But I’m happy that they have it. I can feel both.
Sometimes those on the outside of the infertility struggles don’t see all that is happening to those on the inside. And those on the inside experience the struggles and emotions associated with the struggles a little differently. I know some who can’t watch the videos or look at the pics because it stirs up too many emotions of loss and empty arms. And there are others who can watch. And sometimes the deluge of feelings can be so hard to navigate that a person can be fine looking at the pics and videos one day and not the next.
The onslaught of infertility feelings can be overwhelming, yes.
Recently, I started thinking about emotional balance within myself. I’m really good at thinking things are just fine within my psyche only to find out that I’m ready to explode. This happens a lot with my infertility feelings. Why? I don’t know all these reasons, but here’s what I discovered as I psychoanalyzed myself:
- I tend to think my feelings are not important in the moment so I put those feelings off until later. When later comes, it’s too late. Because I didn’t deal with my feelings and emotions in the beginning, the feelings have piled up and now I’ve got an exploding emotional volcano to deal with.
- I have a higher pain tolerance than some and I think this applies to my emotions as well. I could be at a five and think I’m at a two, because until I’m at an eight, I don’t think I really have a problem. Denial. And then I’m dealing with so much more.
- I tend to think my problems are less important than other people’s problems. Maybe it’s because I deal with things differently. I don’t know. It’s a confidence thing. And really, some people are going through some really hard things and I truly feel for them.
Side note and rant: When someone is telling you about their issues, it is not the time to start talking about yours. It’s time to shut up and listen. Be a friend. Don’t try to sound like those fancy talking friends on TV and movies who seem to know exactly what to say and somehow everything is all better. Real life does not work that way. Shut up. Listen. Empathize. Sympathize. Sometimes, “I’m really sorry you’re going through that. That really sucks. Let me be your shoulder to cry on,” is what is truly needed.
Yes, I’m still working on this too. No one is perfect. But let’s try to be better friends instead of making ourselves the hero. No one needs that.
- Back to that last point about my problems being less important than others. Again, when I do this–think that my problems aren’t as important–I hurt inside. I don’t talk about what I’m going through. And then the explosion. Luckily, I am very blessed to have an amazing husband whom I can talk to about anything.
As I psychoanalyzed myself, I realized I need to work to become more emotionally balanced and think about the feelings and emotions I have right now in relation to growing my family, instead of waiting and pushing those feelings off until I explode. So, I thought. And then I talked to Chef Comte, because he is my best friend. He’s going through similar feelings and struggles. He is my partner in this family thing.
I talked to Chef Comte about how I am afraid that our hopes for growing our family will not happen as fast as I would like them to because there seem to be so many things we need to do to lead up to that next step with adoption. (If you missed it, because of all the crazy changes we recently made in our lives, we put adoption on hold. We hope to start things up again soon after Chef Comte gets back from his long trip in so many months.)
Chef Comte is amazing. He assuaged my fears with reassurance that we are doing good things now to help us prepare for that future we want. It may or may not take longer than we want but at least we will be in the right place in terms of our family needs when the time comes. He’s amazing!
I’ll still look at families at church and pics on my social media feeds with a little jealousy and heartache, but I have hope. One day–I know it–I’ll hold my child in my arms.