Love and Loss:
My Road to Motherhood
by: Becca W.
I was meant to be a mother. Some little girls grow up dreaming of being a ballerina or veterinarian, but not me. I was meant to be a mother. Other people are destined to take certain career paths based on events in their lives—her third grade teacher was the first person to ever believe in her, so she chooses education; his abusive father drove him to spend the rest of his life as a counselor. I had no epiphany. I was simply meant to be a mother.
Sometimes the things we want the most are the most elusive. That pursuit can define us if we let it. I did. I was the girl who couldn’t get pregnant, maybe not to the world, but to myself—a much more venomous prospect. My desire was so strong, my pain so raw, that I became consumed by the process. Every morning was another opportunity to let a little stick decide what my view of my body would be—am I ovulating this time, or is this yet another day of failure? Every evening was a chance to let the morning’s findings determine my relationship with my husband. Every baby shower was a test of my character. Every probing question from an acquaintance was an occasion to have to explain that despite the length of my marriage, I did not have any children.
It all started for me in November of 2001. After months of prayer, I approached my husband with my heart’s desire. From the moment he said yes, a baby could not have come soon enough for me. Wouldn’t it have been funny if I had gotten pregnant the very first month? That would’ve been perfect, I thought. Every month carried a potentially perfect story and an eventual disappointment. When November didn’t work, I thought a December pregnancy would be a perfect gift. In January, a baby would have been a great start to a new year. February would have meant the ultimate Valentine’s Day gift of love for each other. This lasted for two years.
During that time, my self-esteem plunged to a level I had never experienced before. My body, which seemed to have no connection with my mind, was failing miserably. Despite my understanding that it was not my fault exactly, I couldn’t help but feel responsible as we watched all of our friends have children. Who is a woman who stays home but does not have children? She’s a stay-at-home… wife? Sure, I had reasons for working from home and even took part-time jobs outside the home during that time. For the most part, though, I was a stay-at-home wife. In the world’s eyes, I was simply a housewife. It’s such a degrading term. Was I merely his maid, chef, and personal assistant? No. And I knew my desire was to take care of my husband, our children, and our home. That was not the question. For me, the problem was what to do without the children. So I prayed, but I did not get pregnant. I prayed, but I felt no change in my heart’s desire. I prayed, and there was nothing but an ache in my chest that wouldn’t go away.
Infertility seems to bring out the ignorance in other people like few other situations I’ve experienced. Time after time, I heard flippant, hurtful comments. “If you’ll just relax, you’ll get pregnant,” or, “Well, one day it will be your turn.” Honestly, if women took turns, and their babies were just dealt out like cards, I would have already had a toddler. We don’t take turns in getting pregnant, and no number of vacations would have made my body magically start producing eggs. My friends and family were dealt their baby cards, and I was stuck watching.