Written by Guest Blogger, Ashley Peck
Ever since I was little, I wanted to be a mother. My husband and I struggled with infertility and could not seem to get pregnant. We pursued adoption and after three long years of waiting, we were chosen by our son’s birth mom to become parents to the sweetest baby boy.
Over the past year our infertility has been pushed to the side. Adjusting to parenthood and caring for a baby will do that. But in April, a month before our son turned one, it began to creep back in.
I have always wanted a big family, and seeing Milo interact with other children makes me long for him to have a brother or sister. It took over 5 years of struggling and waiting before we were brought to Milo. I do not want to wait that long again.
In May, my husband and I decided to figure out what was causing our infertility and committed to trying to conceive once again. After a month of tests and lots of money spent, we were told we have “unexplained infertility”. Everything looked and seemed to be working better then good. They could not find the root cause as to why we could not conceive, but they also informed us that we only had a 2% chance of conceiving naturally.
A year ago, I also received a preliminary diagnosis for endometriosis. It can only be officially diagnosed with a laparoscopic surgery. Our fertility doctor disagreed with the diagnosis causing infertility, and highly advised that we immediately start IUI treatments (artificial insemination).
Will and I agreed that we would wait on treatments and try to conceive naturally. At the end of the day, all life is a miracle and, statistic or not, we felt that we needed to wait and at least try again.
So here we are, three months into trying to conceive. No missed periods, no positive pregnancy tests. Each month passes and Milo gets older and the pressure to conceive begins to build.
We have talked about our options; another adoption (which we cannot afford again so soon), surgery for my endometriosis (which has a long recovery and no guarantee it will help infertility) IUI treatments (uncomfortable for both of us and time-consuming), embryo donation (costly and not guaranteed) and fostering (our plan when Milo is older).
Infertility does not define me, but it is woven into the fabric of every aspect of my life.
It is in my son’s blue eyes that he got from his birth mom.
It is in the cramping and fatigue each month when I get my period.
It’s in ovulation tests, and temperature charts and scheduled intercourse.
It’s in the pregnancy announcements, the gender reveals, and the baby showers.
I am grateful for our infertility. It has brought us our beautiful son and an amazing relationship with his birth family. It has taught me to trust in God’s provision and plan, and to have patience in the waiting. But the path of infertility is hard. It is isolating and so terribly devastating. And the sting of infertility does not go away with motherhood.
We endured most of our friends who got pregnant successfully and have grown their families without any problems. And now the next generation of women, the girls I grew up babysitting and knew as children, are getting pregnant as well.
Most of the time I am ok. I would never wish infertility on anyone, and am so excited for those who get to experience the joy of motherhood the way it was intended. But sometimes I see a pregnancy announcement and I get hit with a wall of grief. It washes over me like a tidal wave I did not see coming.
The grief rarely lasts long. It’s often interrupted by an active toddler who reminds me that I am loved and so incredibly blessed. It’s in looking at my son, that I am given hope.
I have come to terms with the reality that I may never have a biological child. I know that the man Milo grows up to be will resemble Will and I because we are raising him. He will have our quirks and mannerisms, our phrases and lifestyle. But his genetic markers come from two different people that are not us.
I know deep down that Milo does not have to share our DNA to be our son. He doesn’t have to have my ginger hair or Will’s broad shoulders for us to love him. There is a tension that exists in not needing biology to love a child as your own but also acknowledging that the reality of our infertility makes me sad.
Milo is our miracle, the boy who made us parents. In wanting the fullest life for him, we know our family is not complete. And we are trusting that it will grow in the way its meant to for us.