We at Three Ladies thought you might like to hear from a fresh voice, so we’ve invited someone very near to our hearts to be our guest blogger this week. Randa is Ashley’s sister and Steph and Lisa’s cousin. She has struggled with infertility for years and has so graciously agreed to share her story with us. These are her words…..
“Growing up, I wanted two things for my life, and they were intertwined in my mind. I needed one to have the other. First I wanted a husband, and second and most important, I wanted a baby. I wasn’t particular; I didn’t need to have 2 or 3 or more. Just one and I would be happy. More would be fine, but wasn’t necessary in my mind. But I did need one baby in order to make my life complete. I’m talking from the time I can remember, that’s what I wanted in life. At age 3 or 4 years old, I knew I wanted to be a Mommy more than anything in this world. I had friends who wanted to be teachers, nurses, doctors. Not me, I just wanted to be a Mommy who stayed home and took care of her baby.
In high school this became a less popular desire as everyone decided what to pursue in college. I remember having a discussion with a couple of friends at that time where I was the odd one out, because they couldn’t imagine having to stay home with kids all of the time. I get that not everyone wants what I have always wanted. I understand that some women also need a career to feel fulfilled, and I see absolutely nothing wrong with that, in fact I cheer them on for having the ability to juggle everything. I however, never felt like I needed that. Just give me my husband and baby and I’ll be happy.
Alas, that has not happened for me. The thing I’ve always wanted more than anything for my life is not to be. Like many other people out there, I am dealing with Infertility. Simple word, but entails so much hurt and disappointment. Infertility has put an end to my life-long dream. I feel…unfulfilled, like I am not a real woman because I can’t do this most basic of things that women do every day — carry life and give birth. I am not saying that is true, I am simply saying that’s how I, personally, feel about myself.
I have a beautiful family for which I am extremely grateful; a loving husband and two of the best stepdaughters anyone could ask for. I love them as if they are my own, and their mother and father have both allowed me to be a parent to the girls. I love them with all of my heart and I don’t imagine loving a baby more than them, but certainly just as much. Even with all of this in my life though, there’s an empty gaping hole left in my heart. I have lost the child I believed I would have, and with that I am daily grieving over the loss of that dream.
My personal problem is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Among other health issues it causes, is infertility problems. Without going into a technical description, just know that it makes it incredibly hard for me to become pregnant. Along with that, my husband has reproductive issues also. We have been actively trying to get pregnant, praying to get pregnant, for over ten years. After many negative pregnancy tests and countless tears, I am still trying to accept that this will not happen for us.
We have been to several fertility doctors. The largest problem we face in this respect is the cost. Fertility treatments are extremely expensive, and the one we would need is called In Vitro Fertilization. This comes with a price tag varying from $10,000 up to $20,000 and is not covered by our insurance at all. In fact there are very few insurances that do cover In Vitro. We live paycheck to paycheck; no way could we afford this. And even if we could go for it once there is absolutely no guarantee of success.
Of course adoption is always an option also…however, that’s not what I want. I want the experience of pregnancy and childbirth, even if it were to be terribly uncomfortable as it is for some women. At least I would have the experience and know for myself. I want to feel my child move inside of me, I want to know that God allowed a child to be born of mine and my husband’s love for each other. Why is that too much to ask? One of the worst parts of not being able to have a baby and wanting one so badly is thinking about or even seeing a couple on TV/movies who are in the process of childbirth or just after their perfect little baby has been born. The tears of joy, the love that surrounds this new little family…it breaks my heart that my husband and I will never have that experience together.
It makes me so angry sometimes! Other times, I am just a sad mass of tears. I think it’s important for anyone going through this to know that whatever you’re feeling – it is okay. It is normal to be upset about something you want so passionately. To pass on some words of wisdom that were once given to me: you should grieve this loss, for it is a loss! The loss of a baby you always envisioned in your future life, the loss of that child’s first breath, first steps, first word, first day of school, graduation, wedding day, and so on and so on and so on…the loss of a million firsts, the loss of a life you always thought you would have in your life. Just know that whatever you are feeling; number one, it is okay, and number two, you are not alone. I guarantee any negative feeling you have about Infertility, I and countless others have felt it before.”
As Randa’s loving family, we’ve watched her struggle with this issue for years. Ashley added this about the issue, “If I could have a baby for her I would do it in a heartbeat but unfortunately I can’t. If you don’t know someone who struggles with infertility or you don’t struggle with it yourself, I think it’s easy to not think about it. I’m urging you to think about it. Think about what you’re saying before you say, ‘When are you going to start having kids? What’s taking you so long?’ ‘Only a mother can know true love.’ Or something of a similar nature. You may not know that someone is having infertility issues, a lot of people remain silent about it because it is too personal to discuss. A comment that seems completely innocent to you might be the very thing that sends someone who struggles with infertility into a deep depression all over again. I’ve seen Randa hurt time and again by these innocent comments and it’s heartbreaking to witness.’ We felt like this was a story that needs to be told. People need to be aware of the issue. We at Three Ladies, send our love and prayers to any and all who are wishing for a baby but who are yet to be granted that wish.