A few years ago, I posted a Facebook status that said "Really struggling with not having a sibling on the way (or here) for Matthew today... Time to stop reading Facebook for the day. Ugh." Most of the comments were sweet, and all were meant with the right heart behind them. One, though, was like a knife to the gut. It said something like "Be thankful you have one. Some people aren't lucky enough to even have that." I wrote the following post as a way to process that comment and, to some extent, my secondary infertility. I thought it was good enough that it needed to be shared on my old blog and again on this one.
I know I am unbelievably blessed to have our sweet little boy, and thank God every second of every day for him. Truly. I don’t go an hour without thinking how blessed and wonderful our life is with him in it. However, that does not mean that there isn’t a piece of my heart that’s missing something to fill it. Every mom will tell you that you know when your family is complete. Ours is not. That may mean we get more babies from me, maybe through adoption, maybe fostering. I don’t know. What I do know is, there is still a baby missing from our family, and I know God will find a way to fill that hole, even if it’s not on my timeline or in the way I desire.
Beyond that, how am I to be purely thankful, and not grieve in the least, that I have one living child when I have 5 waiting for me in Heaven? As much as I know that I’ll see them one day, I grieve for the lives that I didn’t get to share with them. I want to know if they had blonde hair like me (we all know they didn’t) or if they would have had my hands like Matthew does. I wish I could see Matthew bringing them toys and snacks the way he does his puppies. I want to be planning their birthdays and coordinating toys with Matthew’s for Christmas. Instead, I have 5 birthdays that bring tears and heartache every year. It’s a strange mix of joy and sorrow every day of my life, and to expect me to choose joy over sorrow every second is not only unfair, but unreasonable. Secondary infertility means I feel torn all the time.
Am I thankful for Matthew? Yes. Would it be possible to NOT be thankful for him when I’ve gone through the loss and guesswork that is infertility and secondary infertility? I don’t think so. If anything, it’s made me MORE thankful for every second I have with him, every smile he gives me, every “Mama” he says. But I’m also allowed to grieve for what we don’t have, and I won’t apologize for wishing for the best friends for Matthew that Ryan and I both have in our siblings.
If you struggle with dealing with the world being filled with pregnant women and newborns or friends who don’t say the “right” thing, I hope this post– “Miscarriage– Struggling with Joy” will help you, too. Making my way through the emotions and not wanting to talk to anyone about them was tough, so I found my solace in a few books. Check out this post for my favorites.