My Lap is Empty

Funny how things can kind of blind side you. We've been going along pretty well here at our house. I have not had PMS the last two cycles, so the HCG remains on the shelf. I have avoided returning to charting, blood draws, and cycle reviews for now. I am enjoying, for the most part, this new season of life. I am blessed by my two children beyond words. And yet, there is still the hole of course. Of children that were conceived, yet not held, and all the "what could have been."

My 5 1/2 yr old is starting Kindergarten in the fall. We are blessed to have him in a good Catholic school. I am excited for him to go to K. Some say it comes fast, but for us he is almost six (barely missed the cut off) so I just feel grateful we got a little extra time together. And I know he is ready. My 3 1/2 yr old has recently turned a corner. He is pretending to read books by retelling them, he is trying to count to 30, he counts and labels letters wherever he goes, he is rhyming, and he has started to play Hi Ho Cheerio with us. It feels a bit like the end of an era.

I continued to look on the bright side, ahead to travels with the boys, etc.  And I was able to do something I have wanted to do for years. I switched my part time work schedule so I could participate in the diocese's women's bible study on Thursday mornings. My 3 1/2 yr old will go to Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) with all the children 3 and older, while I attend the study. I can't wait to be surrounded by practicing Catholics. I didn't have as many like-minded friends as I thought I would through the Catholic preK. I am hoping, through moving to the big school (K-8) community and the bible study, this will change. I know some women in the study, and they are awesome. Women of all ages join.

Yesterday, as I was registering, I had a realization that slapped me across the face. My baby is almost four. He will be in the atrium doing CGS. The study is large, so the woman are in smaller groups. The mom's group of the bible study are the ones with children under three that stay with them. I have no children under three. I won't be with the mom's my age. I won't be with the friends I know with their beautiful large families. None of them have a four year gap in their children. They will all have children on their laps. My lap is empty. [Cue the waterworks.]

I shared this with my husband yesterday. The women I am looking forward to being with are different than me. There will always be this divide. I won't have finally found my home, as I often thought. This is a really hard realization.

I don't fear being judged. honestly, likely only because its mostly a non-issue. I am quite open about our circumstances. I have thought about this a lot, and I don't think it is just because of pride and not wanting to look like we contracept. It's for education purposes, enlightenment, for them to appreciate what they have, and for me to spread the word about help and hope through the Creighton Model of Family Planning and Naprotechnology. It's also to break the silence. I never know who else might be suffering.

Perhaps these realizations were harder to swallow because I don't think we will ever adopt. My husband is too comfortable where we are at with the boys' ages, things being easier every day. He doesn't want to restart the roller coaster. It's also a money thing. Or maybe that just his excuse to avoid it. Either way, I don't want to talk him into something he may just resent me for later; or worse, our future adopted child. I had wondered before if fostering to adopt was just too outside his comfort zone. I am giving it over to God and saying a novena to St. Joseph for him.

So that is where we are right now. Eternally grateful and doing fine most days. Totally at peace with our decision to not actively pursue biological children, and that doesn't ever change. But still, there are moments that come out of nowhere and slap you in the face.

It's like, in some ways, I feel more infertile now that we have given up ttc. I guess that is because, on Clomid and HCG, and antibiotics, and B6, and mucinex, and amoxicillian, with endo treated and tubes clear, I could always conceive. I was always pregnant within 3 cycles of ttc. Six out of six. I know many of you would kill for that. But our love mostly brought forth death and not life; suffering not joy. And that is my reality. I last conceived Dec. 2012. Our Nicholas. This is by far the longest we have gone without a pregnancy; even when I nursed Charlie and didn't cycle for 13 months, we still conceived Anthony on the first cycle trying. This is just new territory for me. And it just takes some getting used to.