Oct 18, 2010

The Day My Paper Shredder Made Me Cry

Tears are tasteless

Today I was shredding some documents when the shredder got jammed. As I fought with the papers, I burst into tears. I crumpled to the ground and bawled my eyes out. It's not about the stupid shredder... I can no longer carry this burden. I am having fertility issues.

I am the mother of one wonderful little girl. She is everything a mother could hope and wish for. I feel so fortunate to have her in my life... which compounds the guilt I have over not being able to conceive a second child.

We have been trying to conceive for the past eight months. My cycle is like clockwork, which helped in our first pregnancy. Less than three months of trying and I was pregnant. Even though I've heard it can take a year to a year and a half to get pregnant, I can't help but worry and think that maybe that my little family will remain a family of three. The process of trying to conceive has been a struggle. The Excel spreadsheets I've made highlighting all the elements surrounding my cycle are mind-numbing. My linen closet conceals the ovulation and pregnancy kits that I've purchased in bulk. I have planned exactly how we would announce our news of a second child. All of this and nothing but frustration, guilt, stress and fatigue.

I realize that many people struggle with conception and infertility. I feel very fortunate that I have my daughter but I had never planned for her to be an only child. I have so many regrets. I regret waiting for as long as we did to start trying again. I regret sharing my previous pregnancy story and boasting at how easy it was to conceive my daughter, I regret every moment in which I dwell on my "missed conceptions" and I regret being unable to verbally express these feelings with those who are close to me.

The conception and fertility road is a lonely one. To balance sharing what's happening in your life with what people actually want to hear is complicated. There are few people who can bear hearing the woes of someone trying to conceive a child (particularly if it's your second one). I have a wonderful, loving and attentive husband but I purposely try to balance what I'm feeling with what he can or is willing to hear. He's sure we'll conceive again. I on the other hand, have my doubts. I am five years older than him and a couple months shy of being thirty-six. I am not in my baby-making prime. I feel like my body is failing me. I am failing my daughter. I am failing my husband. I am failing as a woman.

Every month I sink to the depths of despair when I realize we have still not conceived. I avoid allergy medications and refuse glasses of wine with hopes that I may soon be pregnant. I am surrounded by people who have beautiful babies or are soon-to-be parents and I wonder if I will ever get the chance to carry a child again.

Perhaps my experience with motherhood stops at one child. The thought crushes me. I want the joy of hearing my baby's heartbeat for the first time. I want to see my baby in an ultrasound. I want to feel my child's burps and hiccups inside of me. I want that moment of instant love-at-first-sight - when I first hold my newborn child. I want the wonderful bond of nursing my baby. I want to hold a warm little body dressed in terry towel pajamas and swaddled in a fuzzy blanket. I want to watch the first steps and cry at the first words. I even want the evening wakings and messy diapers. I want one more baby. That's all that I ask for.

So now what? We won't give up. We'll keep on trying. We'll keep on hoping. That's all that we can do for now.

Photo Credit
Photo by Megyarsh found in the Creative Commons on Flickr


  1. I have been wanting to comment on this posting for a couple of days now... and just haven't been able to figure out what it is, exactly, that I want to say. But here I am again with the comment box open so I think I'll just dive in. And at this very moment, there is a little somebody twisting around in my womb and sticking little feet(?) under my ribs encouraging me. So... what? Well, maybe I just want you to know you've been heard. And understood. It took almost 5 years and 2 miscarriages before we received our little miracle - this 33 week old person kicking around in my belly. It's been quite a journey. Thank you for sharing part of your journey with us. You guys keep trying and we'll join in the hoping :)

  2. Oh Natalie... I can't tell you how much it means to me that you've shared this. If anything, I've discovered that I am not alone. I am humbled and ever thankful for your well wishes.

  3. Jennifer, BIG HUGS! You are not at all alone and please don't feel you have to walk this path by yourself. Those that know you, love you, and want to help you on this journey. 8 months can feel like a lifetime when you're waiting so anxiously for something to happen that happened so quickly the first time. It took us almost a year to have our first and I'm always very vocal with people that it did take us time and it's not always easy. I remember my stages of disbelief, fear we wouldn't be able to conceive naturally (or at all), jealousy of those around me with kids, immense sadness and despair - basically a whole lot of feelings that turn your world upside down. Waiting to get pregnant can be all consuming. No matter what we all say it won't go away, but we can all give you some support, help distract you, and offer you stories of hope. Here is a quote I offer to mom's going through what you're going through.
    "We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope."
    King Jr. Martin Luther
    Big Hugs,
    P.S. I'm the MASTER of distraction so whenever you need to be distracted from your thinking, give me a call :)

  4. Jennifer,your post was so touching and so honest. It was full of raw emotions and in fact it touched me so much that I'm actually going to disclose something that I haven't even shared with my family or close friends.

    I'm having fertility issues too. I have a beautiful 5 year old daughter and conceiving her was a cinch as well, but we have been unsuccessful in conceiving another. We have been trying for over a year now and it's gotten to the point where I've come to accept that I might not have another, which I've come to realize--I'm ok with. I accept it. God blessed us with a beautiful daughter and that's more than I could have ever asked for.

    My husband however still holds on to the hope that we will have another baby. It breaks his heart to think that our daughter will be an only child. We've talked about seeing a fertility specialist, but part of us both feel like we had no problem with the first one, why would we need a doctor to help us with the second?

    I feel like we're at a turning point right now, either we accept the possibility of not having another child or we reach out for help.

    I know exactly the disappointment and frustration that you're going through and wish nothing but the best for you.

  5. Beautiful blog, I love this post It is so awesome you are sharing , only go to your Heart and talk to God He will let you know.

  6. Jody: Thank you so much for your support and comments. You are such a wonderful friend. You're a master of distraction hey... I like that and might have to take you up on your offer to distract me.

  7. Jenny: Thank you for sharing your journey with me. I am full of emotion over this situation but I feel I am not as "alone" as I originally thought I was. Thanks again for the words of encouragement.

    GroovyBabyBlog: Thank you for visiting my site and showing your support. I truly appreciate it.

  8. I don't know you, but wanted to tell you that you should NEVER beat yourself up about feeling lonely and angry with your infertility while having one child already. No mother should ever be made to feel like crap about that... your sadness is justified.

    You are an amazing writer.

  9. Sugar Mama: I think you're right... my sadness is justified but there are moments when the emotions are so overwhelming, so much so that I sometimes don't know what to think.

    What I want and what happens is something I will have to accept. My journey is still in progress. Thank you for taking the time to show your support. I appreciate your kind words.

  10. Jennifer, I wanted to comment and commend you on sharing your feelings on your blog. I think it takes a great deal of courage and strength. Doug and I have experienced a long battle with conception and pregnancy losses (we lost 2 pregnancies last year, then did not conceive for almost a year). It's been almost 2 years and I understand the comment "a lonely road". I took time this year on October 15th to announce to the world about pregnancy and infant loss awareness day - because I think whether you've had a child or not, the struggle to conceive and have a healthy baby safely in your arms is one of the hardest battles a couple can face. So I commend you for talking about it, and getting others to talk about it. And I think you are handling it as best you can, one day at a time, one step at a time. So cry when you need to, we're here holding your hand too.

  11. Kari: Thank you for sharing your journey with myself and others. Up until I wrote this posting I was frozen in grief and lonliness. Hearing about others' fertility stories has helped me see that I am not alone. Thank you for your support and encouragement. It means so much to me.


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