Friday, December 23, 2016

Trying to get Preggers (and not succeeding)

This morning I opened my Facebook account and began to scroll through the list of popular, 'chosen just for me' notifications on my feed. The first was a picture of my friend and her less-than-a-week-old baby, all wrinkly and gleaming. The second was a pregnancy announcement from another friend who I don't know too well. The third was a picture of my best friend's beautiful little girl. And the fourth, thank god, was a funny video of a squirrel. I stopped scrolling after that, just in case.

I guess I should explain why it is that I didn't want to go any further. VOMD and I haven't shared this with many people, but for two years now we have been trying to conceive. In that time my best friend has gotten pregnant and had a baby - without 'trying'- and about 12 other people I count as friends or close acquaintances have gotten pregnant or had babies as well. I feel as though every day I wake up to find out someone else is expecting. I know that's not actually the case... but that is how it feels.

I work part time as a baker and cook at an awesome little coffee shop here in Hamilton. I love the job, and my coworkers a lot, but the one thing that bums me out is the number of pregnant women, and young families with smiling, rosy cheeked, shrieking, and giggling babies frequent the place. That sounds kind of selfish; I know. Looking at their tiny beaming facing, and their parents' loving, doting smiles, should fill me with joy. I should be happy for these families. But every time I see them I get a little bit sad, and a little bit bitter.

The same can be said for when I speak to my friends and family who have young children. I have these amazing mom friends who define themselves by their parenthood. They LOVE it. Its all they talk about. And I totally get it - because if I had a kid I would never shut up about them - but at the same time, every time one of my friends says something about how they are kind to others because they are a mom, or they work hard because they have a family to support, or that they don't know how they would ever live without their kids... I fall apart a little.

We haven't told many people that we are trying to conceive, mostly because when I speak to my family and close friends about it they say things like: "when you stop trying, that's when it's going to happen;" or "when it's the right time, it will happen." I know they are trying to be sweet, and encouraging, but hearing these things makes me want to rip my hair out! What does that even mean, 'when it's the right time"? Does that mean that it's been the right time for every person whose ever gotten pregnant? And if so, what makes this time so wrong for me? As for the myth that trying to conceive makes it less likely that you will - who made up this lie? And how is it, exactly, that I can decide to not try? Does that mean if I stop having regular intercourse, and stop paying attention to ovulation, I will immaculately conceive? Wouldn't that be a fun trick of science?

When you are trying to conceive - and not succeeding - it seems like a huge joke. You ask yourself "why me?" You try to figure out if there is something you should be doing differently - you take more vitamins, drink less coffee, exercise. But then you see your friends who eat crap and drink coffee, and smoke, and never exercise getting pregnant, and you give up. Because what's the point, right? But then, a few months later you realize that's silly and you start over again. It's a pretty shitty cycle. But you keep going, because you want to be like your friends who define themselves by their parenthood.

Disney Baby - Christmas Clip Art Images:
VOMD and I have started the process to become foster parents. We have so much love to give, and more than enough to provide a loving, safe, and comfortable home for children who need us. We are not doing this because we have given up on having biological children, nor are we doing it to be superheros or saints. We are doing it because we know we will be good parents. This is the way we are planning to be a family right now. Unfortunately, this is not a legitimate way to start a family for many people - mostly people who were/are able to start a family the legitimate way. Of the few people we have told so far, most have been supportive - I have the best mom and sisters ever! - but a couple have asked, "do you think it's the right time?" Again, that time thing again - as though there is ever a time that is perfect to welcome a new member into your family... And even more brutally, a couple have asked, "are you still going to have your own kids?" And that hurts so bad. And it hurts in a way that they will likely never understand, because they have their own kids.

I just wanted to share this, because as the holidays get underway, I am overwhelmed by my desire to share my traditions with a child, and create new ones. I don't want to sounds like a whiner, nor do I want anyone's pity. But I see my friends hanging tiny stockings, and reading How the Grinch Stole Christmas to their kids, and I am jealous, and I kind of want others to know how hard it is when you want nothing more than to be a parent, and it seems like everyone around you is becoming one.

Happy (?) Holidays,


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