michelle's story

 I've wanted to be a mother my whole life. When I was young, I wanted to have 8 kids, all boys. I was unsure of most of my future, but the one thing I knew was that I was going to be a great mom.

When I was 23 I married the love of my life. By this time my dream of having 8 children had been whittled down to 5. Rob wanted 4, I wanted 5, but we both wanted to start trying right away. We figured that we had such a strong love and commitment to each other, and the idea of bringing a child into our home warmed our hearts.

After 6 months of trying, my enthusiasm began to wane. I began worrying that something was wrong. Rob told me not to worry, so I tried to put it out of my mind.

          After a year of trying, I was devastated. I felt like it was all my fault that we hadn't had a child yet. Although I knew in my head that Rob was equally bothered by the situation, in my heart I felt that I alone was carrying the burden of infertility and was sure that I was the failure. I fell into a depression that only deepened as each month passed. I spent many nights crying over the unfairness of it all.

After trying for 18 months, Rob and I decided to look into adoption. We had attended an infertility seminar previously, but we felt that adoption was the right path for us at the time. The organization we decided on asks that each couple be married for two years first, so we waited until we hit 2 year of marriage and trying to conceive.

We filled out our profile and went to adoption classes with other couples in our situation. We payed our $1000 ‘down payment’ and were excited for our family to be blessed.

As fate would have it, a few weeks after we paid our money, we found out that I was pregnant. Days after our 3 year wedding anniversary, we welcomed our daughter Bee into our family. Although we knew that our daughter was a miracle, we decided to try again right away for another child. It has now been almost 2 years of trying for baby number 2. While secondary infertility hasn't rocked my life as much as my infertility the first time, my heart is still saddened by the fact that I can not bring all the little spirit down to earth that I choose, and I still have days where I can’t stop the tear from flowing.

This time around, I have been much more open about my situation. I tried to bear the burden alone last time. I didn't want people to know that I was having troubles. I’d rather they assume that Rob and I were saving money, or focusing on school and careers, because it was easier to have people think I was selfish than to know that I was a failure. This time, however, I know better. Infertility is unfair, uncaring and unkind. It affects all ages of men and women. There’s no one cure, or simple trick that will work for everyone. And regardless of how many books I’ve read (and I’ve read most of them out there) sometimes the answers can’t be found. Going through it alone is unnecessary. People love me and want to be there for me, even if they have no answers, and having support is much easier than going it alone.

I really hope that I’ll be able to have another child and experience pregnancy and birth again, but if it’s not meant to be, I’m thankful that my journey in motherhood doesn’t have to be over. Rob and I have decided, once again to adopt. Although there’s no guarantee I’ll carry a baby in my tummy, I feel right now that I am growing a baby in my heart. I feel strongly that there will be a child out there who was meant to be mine, but was meant to come another way.

Through my journey I've felt fear, anger, hopelessness, joy, love, sadness, acceptance and hope. It’s a confusing roller-coaster that I wish no one would ever have to get on. I’m just grateful that God blessed me with a wonderful husband and sweet daughter to brighten my days.


if you are interested in participating in this project, please email me at jackienorrisphoto @ gmail.com

To see more of the infertility and pregnancy loss project, click here.


Michelle said...

Thanks for letting me participate Jackie. I wish people going through infertility didn't have to feel like they were alone, but I know too well that it's part of the package.
Your project is helping to shine light on the issue, however.
Thank you.

Stephanie said...

This is beautiful Michelle! Thank you for sharing your journey--it helps me to know I'm not alone in mine. I hope your next baby finds you soon. :)

Rachel said...

That was beautiful Michelle. Thanks for sharing. My mother had three miscarriages before she had me, something she never forgot, and passed on to me, as young as I was. Two of my sister in laws and several friends have also had their own struggles with fertility, some longer, others shorter.
I am so glad you have Bee to bring more life into your days, she is adorable!