Some call it unexplained infertility, others call it difficulty conceiving, and I’ve even referred to it as reproductively challenged.
No matter what you call it, the experience of trying and failing to get pregnant can be stressful, lonely, and downright discouraging.
There are many obvious and overwhelming negatives of infertility – the monthly emotional rollercoaster, the cost of treatments, the potential strain on your marriage, the disappointment of looking on as your friends and family fulfill their motherhood dreams right before your eyes – the list goes on and on.
Nonetheless, if you are looking for another article to help you feel worse about your situation, then you’ve come to the wrong place!
While it is easy to dwell on the negatives, life is too short to spend wallowing in self-pity.
We are each absolutely allowed to experience those feelings of depression, anxiety, and disappointment – especially on the day Aunt Flo shows up for yet another month.
However, if we get too stuck in those feelings and allow our minds to reside in an imagined future with a hypothetical baby, then we lose sight of reality and precious blessings around us RIGHT NOW.
For almost the last two years, I’ve lived in this infertility limbo, and I know it’s hard! It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been trying for one month, one year, or ten years, these feelings are normal and don’t really get easier. While that ache for a baby has deeply embedded itself into my DNA, almost every day I must make a conscious decision to focus on the positives of the situation. Every cloud has a silver lining, and infertility is no exception. So, next time you’re feeling the no-baby blues, try and focus on one of these and hopefully it will lift your mood!
Note to the Mom: While some of these items might seem like I am celebrating or trivializing the challenges of being a mom, I am in no way hating on your life. Remember – these are things that I tell myself to make myself feel happier with my current life, rather than longing for your life. Would I trade some of these things for a couple stretch marks and sleepless nights? Heck ya! But in the meantime, I’m going to focus on those childfree benefits that help me be thankful for my current state.
1. More time to save money for the baby!
Ever walk through Babies R Us? Who knew babies were so expensive! Having a couple more years in your career before birthing your adorable little money-gobbler can put you in a sounder financial situation when the baby arrives.
2. Enjoy more time with your husband (and furbaby)
While you should look forward to growing your family, you are lucky that you’ve gotten some additional years to enjoy life just the two of you. (Well, three of you, counting the furbaby.) We know that raising a child is no easy feat, and in retrospect, I’m glad we’ve had a few extra years to strengthen our foundation.
3. Sleep late
Oh, do I LOVE to sleep late. The mixed look of horror and envy on my mommy-friends’ faces when I tell them I slept until noon on Saturday is a clear indicator that life post-baby is filled with early mornings. When the baby yearning starts to kick in, I remember how many times I hit snooze this morning and I feel a bit better!
4. Make plans on the fly and travel more!
Right now, if someone were to ask you to go to dinner in an hour, you’d probably be down! However, my friendships have shown me that flexibility changes once there’s a baby on board. You’re not just thinking about yourself, but also must consider babysitters, nap time, dinner time, sleep time, and much more! For the time being, I am going to live it up and make plans on the fly.
Similarly, without a baby, it is easier and more affordable to take great trips! My husband and I traveled to some great places around the world this year that wouldn’t have been feasible if there was a Baby Comer in the mix. Thus, until we have a baby, I plan on continuing to rack up the frequent flyer miles and crossing locations off the travel bucket list!
5. Eat and drink whatever you want!
Dining with pregnant and breastfeeding women has made it clear that while expecting, I will have to part with some of my absolute favorites for over nine months! In the meantime, I am going to eat and drink it up!
Rose? Yes, please!
Raw sushi? Don’t mind if I do!
Unpasteurized cheese? Of course!
6. Remind you that you can’t control everything!
The reality of life – especially in the military – is that you can’t control everything. Just like every other detail of my life, I thought I could control timing for having a baby perfectly.
My husband and I chose for him to attend grad school in Florida since we were going to have a baby during the 18 months of grad school. Well news flash – he graduates grad school in 2 months, and no baby bump in sight! While my plans didn’t work out, I have gotten to experience and enjoy wonderful aspects of South Florida that I may not have otherwise. So now, while I am tempted to think about pregnancy timing – would I be super pregnant during a PCS, etc.? – I know that it’s not worth it because it’s all out of my control!
7. Your child could be younger when you retire
Military life is both wonderful and challenging for children, just like it is for adults. While every family is different, I’ve often thought that I’d love for my child to spend all four years of high school in the same place, but unfortunately that often only happens if one parent stays behind with the student, OR the military parent is already retired. But God took care of that for me. If we were to have a baby right now, my child would only be in middle school when my husband hits 20 years. See – silver lining?
8. Get to be the favorite Aunt!
For years Aunt Lala (that’s me) has gotten to dote on and spoil my goddaughter and friends’ babies. I get to buy them all the cute stuff, snuggle on them, ogle all their pictures, but then I get to return them when they start getting fussy and poopy. While spending time with them doesn’t curb my baby fever, they do provide a nice dose of reality when we spend time together!