I can pop out blog posts about Carter all day long. You know. You've seen them. I love showing him off. Bragging about him. But changing the vibe of some of my blog posts to something super personal and less than admirable? It feels a little funny.
About four years ago, my husband and I, blissfully in denial, decided to casually ask a fertility doctor why we weren't getting pregnant. We were suddenly barraged by the truths of infertility. Starting that week, my life was filled with surgeries, blood tests, ultra sounds and repeats of surgeries. For every test conducted, there was more bad news. I didn't know how badly I wanted a baby until I saw the aching look on my doctor's face. He was looking for the words to tell me I wouldn't have one.
I was an emotional wreck. I couldn't sleep, and I couldn't turn off the incessant, worried chatter in my brain. My mind was always panicky and racing. I'd lived my life in the mindset that I'd get married, have a home and make babies. It was my right. It was my plan. What do I do if I don't have a family? Travel? But I hate traveling.
In public, I'd see a pregnant woman or a mommy with a baby casually strolling around the store. The look on her face and the aloof to her stride didn't seem to fully appreciate what she had in front of her. I went home and cried all the time. My emotions morphed into a hate for any given female because she could probably have a baby, and I couldn't. I was exhausting my husband. I was always enraged, jealous or sad, and he was running out of reassurance. Eventually I opted to just not leave the house; it felt a lot easier on my heart.
To shorten the story, we did in vitro fertilization a year after our first doctor's appointment. I was on the maximum amount of fertility drugs permitted for a human with a pulse, and we were only able to retrieve two eggs. One egg fell apart immediately. The other one stayed strong, painted its eyes bright blue and became Carter.
Today my life with Carter is happy. He is more than I imagined a person could ever capably be, and he's only been alive twenty months.
Sometimes, in the back of my mind, I struggle a little bit with what's meant to be in life. As in, things that happen naturally versus forcing the issue. (If you'd asked me prior to discovering my own infertility what I thought of modern medicine, I would have told you I was against conceiving children in medical ways) But when I look at my son's face, I know someone who's this beautifully sweet has major plans laid out for his future. I think that just by claiming his spot in this world and existing, he's stronger than me. I feel like he saved me from my sorrow. I owe him the world.
I'm in a stronger position than I was four years ago. I was in such a dark place, and now I have more than I statistically should. I don't think I deserve anything more.
But I do want more for Carter.
And so that's why I'm writing. We want Carter to grow up with a sibling. I want him to have someone to play with. To hide with if his parents fight. To build giant birds' nests out of pine straw in the woods and split little snack bags of Doritos. We're giving IVF a go again.
Going backwards and doing it all again feels frustrating. Once I laid eyes on that positive pregnancy test, I knew the emotions I went through during that battle were gone forever, simple as that.
I'd love to see this turn out positive, but if it doesn't, I know that I'm not left wondering what it feels like to love a baby. I want Carter to smile into a face similar to his own and never feel alone.
my brother & me
matt & his brothers