Granted, evening belly is always bigger than morning belly, but I think I've officially popped out. This is me at 17 weeks pregnant, awaiting the big gender reveal in less than two weeks!
So am I still infertile?
Yes and no. I think once you've been through a world-altering experience like infertility, it never totally goes away. I spent 4 years of my life feeling like I was unable to do what a woman is "supposed to" do - have babies. It's now been 5 years since those longing-filled, childless days, and the deep feelings have faded to heartfelt memories - present but not acute; scar but not an open wound.
I was not vocal at all about my pregnancy with LB on this blog five years ago. It felt to me like I was giving a slap in the face to my IF sisters still waiting. I think a lot of us IF gals feel that way when our dreams of pregnancy or parenting are being fulfilled - like it's something we shouldn't talk about too much because we remember how much hurt it brought to us when we were hearing about others' fulfilled dreams.
But then I began to wonder if that silence somehow diminishes the miracles that are children. There are many kinds of miracles, not just children, that's not what I mean. But somehow I felt like I could celebrate LB less because he was our biological child and BB more because he was adopted. That's funny, because people always seem to think that parents favor biological children over adopted children, and here I was making a much bigger deal over BB's adoption than LB's birth. I felt way more comfortable rejoicing publicly over BB.
So now it's five years later and I'm obviously not keeping silent about this pregnancy. I guess maybe because I've been parenting now for five years and have come to learn wholeheartedly that all children are a blessing no matter how they come into this world or into one's family. I am very excited to welcome a new baby into my family. It's a great family. Welcome, Babykins!
Please don't think that I am through being sensitive toward women experiencing infertility. It's an extremely difficult, life-changing experience and the last thing I want to do is add to someone's pain! I know it's hard to hear about sometimes, and I also know that I can only be responsible for my feelings and responses, not those of others. I bore the burden of infertility for years, and it was hard. It's not my personal burden any more, but infertility ministry is still a passion of mine. I still want to cushion others' feelings as best I can. But I can't always. I probably will be a thorn in someone's flesh at some point. That's where God's love and comfort come in - where humans' fail.
So what do you think? If you experienced infertility and are now parenting, do you still feel infertile? What do you do about those feelings? How do you honor your children while still being sensitive to your waiting friends or friends who are families of two and whose lives don't revolve around feeding, clothing, and teaching young children in their home? Talk amongst yourselves.