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.