I’ve written a post or two about what no one tells you about parenthood… motherhood, to be more specific.
However, what about what it takes to achieve motherhood… you know, the nitty gritty part.
I realize for some people this is the FUN part… the “let’s do the nasty and get ourselves knocked up” part, where they partake in a few minutes of sexual activity and then get back to their everyday lives without a care in the world.
Then there are those of us, me included, who can’t seem to get pregnant… to save our lives, no matter what we try.
Here’s what no one tells you about the process of BECOMING a mother:
- All those myths about sexual positions and the like may not (and probably will not) result in a pregnancy. You can lay on your back with your hips propped up and your legs in the air for a whole 15 minutes after sex… that ain’t gonna make you a baby.In fact, all it will bring you is a horribly painful UTI, as well as an uncomfortable wet spot that you’ll be stuck sleeping in… again.
- Your sexy, hunk of a man will no sooner become nothing more than a piece of meat to you. When he starts accusing you of just using him for his body, that’s when you know you’ve hit an all-time low… that, and he finally catches on that the reason he can’t sleep at night is because you’ve been secretly switching his caffeine-free coke with regular coke so his sperm would swim faster.Oh, and for what it’s worth, referring to his sperm as “baby batter” will, more than likely, not go over well with him.
- You don’t even go the extra mile anymore to spice things up. Instead of dressing in sexy lingerie and cooking him his favorite meal as a way of buttering him up, you meet him at the door after work wearing absolutely nothing, and yelling, “Hurry up and get naked… my ovaries just shot out an egg like 38 minutes ago! Let’s go, let’s go, let’s GO!”
- There is no such thing as “not in the mood” when you’re trying to make a baby. Tim once pulled that excuse on me, to which I responded, “I don’t need you to be in the mood, I don’t need romance… hell, I don’t even need foreplay… I just need your half of the DNA, for crying out loud!”
- You’ll have major fights over the silliest things. God forbid he turn up the heater at night and now you have no idea if your temperature is really based on the fact that you’ve already ovulated or if it’s a false reading because you were sweating in your sleep.You can’t believe that he won’t reschedule his business trip for the week AFTER you ovulate. I mean, the world can certainly wait for him to make a deal with Kawasaki for a new voice-over IP but I only get ONE chance each month to hit the baby jackpot.
- Infertility is an equal opportunity employer. It will target you, hunt you down and make you suffer. It doesn’t matter if you’re the next Mother Theresa, sharing all your wealth with the homeless people downtown under the freeway… and it doesn’t matter if you’re the most selfish, disrespectful person on earth.Infertility doesn’t care who you are or what you’ve done.Even though it’s not the elite group people want to be a part of, there is a sisterhood among those of us women who have been forced to join the ranks. You could have nothing else in common with another woman except for your mutual diagnosis of infertility… and suddenly she becomes your closest friend and confidante.
- It’s okay to be angry with God. He totally gets it.When a pregnancy doesn’t occur within those first few months of trying, you’ll chalk it up to bad timing. Any longer than that and you start to wonder if maybe God has it in for you.You’ll try to strike up a bargain with Him… you’ll go to church/temple more often, you’ll stop swearing, you’ll give half of your paycheck to the poor… all that and more if He’ll finally bless you with a baby.Don’t be surprised if He doesn’t answer your prayers right away. That’s not how He rolls.But don’t ever lose hope or faith. That really pisses Him off.If with each failed cycle, your determination to become a mother only grows stronger and more persistent, that’s the work of God right there.
- Never say never.Traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, femoral massage, drinking Robitussin by the gallon, gorging on baby carrots and pretzels, peeing on ovulation sticks, taking pictures of ovulation sticks and posting them online seeking your friends’ opinions, buying stock in Preseed, avoiding oral sex like the plague because you read somewhere that saliva can kill sperm, forcing your husband to stand in front of the mirror and stare at your boobs with you in search of any tell-tale signs of early pregnancy, comparing your cervical mucus to pictures on the internet because you need to be 100% sure that this is what egg-white cervical mucus looks like, bitterly shopping at Target at midnight because chances are you won’t run into any pregnant women, leaving a voicemail for your ob/gyn, asking “Can you please tell me EXACTLY how low and open my cervical opening needs to be during ovulation?”, nonchalantly jamming 22-gauge needles into your own ass cheeks even though you’re normally scared shitless of even the smallest of needles, understanding what the acronyms 2WW, IUI, FET, AH, ICSI, DPO, DPT, BFP and BFN stand for…I’ll repeat it again…never say never.
- It’s all worth it in the end. Everyone will tell you that a million times and then some during your entire struggle of trying to conceive. You won’t wholeheartedly believe it, though, until you finally experience parenthood yourself.Trust me when I tell you that even though you’ll be severely sleep deprived and not know which end is up half the time… and you’ll still bear the battle wounds and scars of infertility… you’ll appreciate parenthood that much more, specifically because of what you had to endure to get there.
- With that said, don’t be surprised if, at least once a day, you find yourself wondering why you wanted to be a mother so badly… especially when you’ve gone days without a relaxing shower, hours without a meal to satisfy your grumbling belly, or a meaningful conversation with someone who doesn’t need their ass wiped or a bottle held in their mouth.Even though you desperately wanted to be a mother, you’re also entitled to have your bad “why me” moments, as well.It doesn’t mean you’re not in love with parenthood or that you don’t appreciate this blessing which God has bestowed upon you… it just means you’re human.
This post is part of Infertility Tales 2014, How Do You Do It?‘s series to raise awareness about infertility and its impact on families. Please take a moment to read through some of the personal stories of loss, pain, fertility treatments, and success.