27 Apr I am Enough from Amy Bader
My mother was one of eight. I am one of six. I thought I would surely be the mother of four or five.
I always gravitated toward babies. Every family occasion would find me with whoever had the youngest child. I looked forward to pregnancy, and the wonder of birth. Yet, as I became a young woman, and then found an amazing man, I secretly had fears of infertility. There were no indications of any problems, no family history. Just a closeted anxiety.
When we were ready to start a family, there was initially excitement, but that worry lie just under the surface. Then a chemical pregnancy … then nothing. And the worry mounted. We finally conceived our son before that fateful “one-year of trying” expired. So I pushed that evil fear away — I’d triumphed, I was fertile.
Time passed, and I yearned for another child. And then the clock kept going round. We sought help. We underwent testing and treatment. No diagnosis, no answers, no success. That fear had returned to haunt me, daily, hourly.
As we neared the end of medical treatments that might give us another biological child, we began to discuss alternative ways to grow our family. I knew that my need for more children was driving this journey, so I asked my husband – would one child be enough for him? With a soft, sad smile he told me that, of course, our son and I were enough family. He loved us so very much and we made him happy.
I was genuinely surprised. We were enough. I was enough. I had given enough.
For a woman who wishes to have children, infertility robs her of her fundamental self. The ability to bear children is elemental to her identity. And the loss of that ability can sap a woman of all that she values in herself. The feelings of failure are constant and omnipresent.
So that moment gave me peace, when he said we are enough. We were a family. Our future could be a happy one.
Those fears still simmer beneath the surface and threaten to erode my strengths as a woman, as a mother. Even being in a place and time where our family is complete, I am haunted when learning of a friend’s pregnancy or upon seeing a newborn. I still have moments where I feel I have failed. But I remember his face at that moment, when I asked the question. And if I remember to believe it, I know that I am enough.
About Amy Bader
Amy Bader left her former life as a veterinarian to stay home with her son and beautiful twins, a blessing from her last-chance IVF cycle. She is so grateful to the infertility and loss community for introducing her to blogging and the amazing women she has come to know online. She now works to reinvent herself as photographer and writer at Life in Eden.
A note from Amy:
If you are facing infertility and need support, please visit RESOLVE and find your local chapter. You will also find the stories of many others on the ALI (adoption, loss and infertility) community blogroll. If you know someone dealing with infertility, you can read ways to offer support here.
mindyPosted at 18:19h, 27 April
beautiful post amy. i have been reading lots of blogs by women who have dealt with infertility. i am amazed at the deep inner feelings that they willingly share.
everyday i am amazed by someone’s honesty in the blogging world. this honesty has allowed me to open up and be honest as well. with others and also with myself. which has then opened the door to me finding myself. finding the me that i want to be and that i am. and this blog in particular has helped me, leaps and bounds, to figure out that i am enough. little old me 😉
thanks for this wonderful post!
marPosted at 19:30h, 28 April
thank you for this post, Amy.
I have been struggling with the feelings you describe as related to infertility myself. in the last year I have been working at rebuilding the confidence in myself. this post helps me in keeping walking along my path.
thank you Amy, and thank you Tracey for hosting her and for this beautiful collaborative
MelPosted at 11:06h, 02 May
Bawling as I read this: that feeling of wondering if you’re enough (as a woman) if you’re experiencing infertility, and that enough spills over into every aspect of life. I love how you turned the words around and made them into a fullness.
ErikaPosted at 03:29h, 03 May
Thank you thank you Amy! This is beautifully written and so very true. Love this post and the online ALI community!
wifeyPosted at 16:43h, 03 May
This is so beautiful! Thank you for posting this – I struggle every day to feel that I am enough. My husband says he married me for me, not my uterus, but it is so hard to believe him.
KathyPosted at 20:50h, 03 May
perfect day to read this. very serindipitous! (not sure if I spelled or even used that word right!) we have a beautiful 4 year old and started trying about a year after she was born to have another. last spring I had a miscarriage at 7 weeks and started trying AGAIN in September. About a month ago we started seriously considering adoption but at the same time wrestling with this very idea. "are we enough?" I’m still not sure adoption is right for us as it seems just a whole new rollercoaster. I’m not ready to get off the one we’re on and once I am I don’t think I want to get on a new one! But today I especially needed to read this. Thank you!
AnnPosted at 00:29h, 04 May
This brought tears to my eyes. I was never able to have children of my own. I always wanted children; I always knew deep inside I was destined to be a "Mama"…I was supposed to have children of my own. I helped raise a step-daughter, but that was different. Ever since we began trying to have children, I’ve never felt like I was enough. I found out I was infertile. I had to have a hysterectomy at age 37.
I do not feel complete. I don’t think I ever will… but every day I try.
kim klassenPosted at 18:51h, 07 May
oh amy, i just love you. your words are so real and beautiful. truly a gift!
Life in EdenPosted at 23:15h, 08 May
I’m not sure if any of the commenters will check back, but to those whom I was unable to contact I just want to thank you for taking the time to comment and share. This topic is so taboo among some women, and it can be isolating. Wishing you all happiness in the future.