I recently started a new job and as I get to know my new coworkers, the conversation of kids and families often arise. During one of these conversations, I told some colleagues that I have a baby (yes, she’s still a baby to me). “Oh, you should wait a few years before having another” one coworker responded and then someone else chimed in trying to convince me to have them closer in age. I nodded and went on my way but all I kept thinking (besides for the fact that it’s none of their business) is what if it’s not in my control?
The questions and underlying fear is always looming. If and when I decide to try again, can I somehow be “normal” this time around? Will I be able to conceive naturally? Will I need the help of modern medicine? Will I even get pregnant at all? Will I miscarry? These thoughts may not be at the forefront of my mind but somewhere, way in the back (for now), they are always there. What if I need treatment again? How do I know it won’t all happen again? I remember the early doctor appointments and injections, the waiting, disappointment, and the fear so vividly. Will I ever be ready to sign up for that again? In an article I read recently, the author (Michelle Sukhdeo) shares similar feelings. She says, “At this moment, I cannot say with my whole heart that I will ever do it again. Might it be easier? Harder? …For sure it would be costly -- mentally, physically and financially. And I'm just not ready. I'm scared. I'm tired. I feel beat up. I went through hell and got my baby. Do I really need to push my luck?... Will I eventually change my mind? I can't predict that.”
I guess I initially thought the struggles of miscarriage and infertility would end with the birth of a baby. But they don’t. It’s hard to pretend like my past experiences don’t live within me, each and every day. It’s so hard to let go of that worry and “what if”. Try and try as we might, it’s impossible to shake. Yes, life goes on and we get back to our normal routine but that uncertainty of the future is always there. Maybe in varying degrees of length or intensity but it’s forever a part of me. It has seeped into my soul and there’s no way to turn it off.