Dwell in Me

Seeking God in the Every Day


Going Home

I’m leaving tomorrow to go home–to St. Louis–for Thanksgiving.

I was home in May. That was before we found out our infertility diagnosis, but after we’d been TTC for 9 months. When we first started trying, DH was back in school and I was our sole breadwinner. (Let’s just say that as a freelancer, I don’t win very much bread!) DH’s mom had been pretty clear a few months before that she didn’t think we had any business procreating until he was out of school because “parenting is more than a 40-hour a week job” and we wouldn’t have much money. (Yes, that really upset me. IF has, surprisingly, really mended that relationship somehow.) So, anyway, I called my mom before we started trying to find out if my parents would also be ticked if we got pregnant. She laughed and told me they’d be delighted. I also expressly told her not to tell a soul, not even my dad. Of course, I thought we’d be pregnant within the next month or two and I wanted it to be a surprise when I told everyone.

So, in May, I was surprised to find out that most of my family (I mean, from siblings to aunts and grandparents) knew we were trying. When I confronted my mom about it, she said she had to tell people because it was taking so long and we needed their prayers.

DH and I were furious. And when we found out we were infertile, we were even more upset. I think partly because it’s possible we’ll end up adopting, and I don’ t really like the idea that my family will see our adopted children and whisper to each other, “You know, they didn’t plan on adopting,” or “they tried to have their own kids, but it didn’t work.” I know those things are true, but it doesn’t mean I want everyone (especially any future adopted children) to know that our family represents some kind of plan B  in action.

But, there’s a short-term upside to this. I am heading home tomorrow with the expectation that no one will pester me with the dreaded “when are you going to have kids?” And, as an added bonus, there aren’t any babies in my family yet. Until this summer, DH and I were the only ones married out of all the cousins. One of my cousins married this summer, but I think (hope?) they’ll wait a little while before they try for kiddos.

I know I’m super lucky in this and that many of you may be dreading those holiday gatherings. I wish you all the best and will be thinking of you over the next week and through December that you would be able to take joy in your family time (or lack thereof!) regardless of your situation.

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The Secret Life of Infertiles

We moved into our house in June, and we’re just now starting to get to know people in our community. We joined a great church and found a small group of young married couples. Since we’re in Texas, it seems like everyone has kids pretty early. Most of the couples in our group have been married right around a year and the next closest couple has been married three years. One couple got married in February and is already expecting their first child. Needless to say, DH and I feel a bit old to be young and married with no kids, and we’ll have been married five years this December. Of course, we’re not old; I’m 28 and he’s 27, but I guess we’re behind schedule by Texas standards.

I feel I get asked all the time why we don’t have kids yet or when we’ll have children. I find such questions infuriating. It’s so personal anyway, and, frankly, you never know if the person you’re asking has been trying–as we have–for some time. DH jokes that next time someone asks we should point out how personal the question is by responding with something like, “I don’t know when we’ll have children, but do you want to be in the room when we conceive?” I’m not at all sure I could pull that one off, but it at least makes me smile when I think of it.

Of course, when it comes down to it, we do want to have children. We’re over a year into TTC and I thought I’d be a mom by now. The hard part is knowing when to share that and when to keep it in. When we first started TTC, we told my mom and three of my good friends. Now that we know we won’t be able to conceive without medical assistance or a miracle, I kind of wish no one knew we had been trying in the first place.

Today I had my first friend-date since we moved; I met up with a woman from our small group and we had coffee together at Starbucks. We sat outside and chatted for a couple of hours, and it was lovely to have someone to talk to. She didn’t ask the dreaded question, but we’re at that stage in life where having children seems the next logical step. I know in the past, many of the things I said today would have been peppered with “when we have kids.” Now they’re “if we have kids.” And I guess I kind of made it sound like I was indifferent either way, like, maybe we’ll decide to, maybe we won’t. I didn’t mean to do that, but I have trouble knowing how to have a normal, honest conversation about life and plans without throwing our infertility out there. And I’m not ready to let just anyone know about our infertility. Maybe someday, but not yet.

I hope my new friend didn’t find my comments too out of place or odd. She probably didn’t.  I’m probably just overly conscious of this giant part of my life that is undisclosed. I’m not good at having secrets, but I’m also not ready to share.