Myth: A higher-power is telling you that you should not be a parent.
The myth I want to tackle is the only one I couldn’t convince myself of. I was happy to dispel the misinformation most of my family and friends had about infertility, and adoption for that matter. I had the intelligent comeback to quips about a celebrity’s surrogate or a distant acquaintance’s fertility. I educated myself to know the ins and outs of reproduction. I learned all I could about infertility, causes, treatments, outcomes, but I couldn’t learn this.
My inability to get pregnant without medical intervention, my husband’s severely low sperm count and inability to produce testosterone, my inability to carry a pregnancy to term, these were not punishments. For a long time, I felt like they ALL pointed to the fact that I shouldn’t have children, that God meant for me to stay a childless woman. I took this as retribution for every bad thing I had ever done.
It still stings that my mother said all the things you don’t want to hear after losing a pregnancy. It hurt that my friends thought that if I was meant to be a mother, it would have happened. I’ve forgiven them for this but it’s harder to forgive my own feelings.
This pervasive myth is, for me at least, the hardest to hear.
Infertility is a disease. While some who struggle with it have none, many have diagnoses to show for it. I could rattle off the ones that affected us, but it would take too long. Parenthood isn’t predestined. Whether its medical treatment you pursue, or alternative therapies, or surrogacy or adoption, they are valid paths to parenthood, just like conception that happens without help.
I have chosen not to pursue parenthood. It took a LONG time to decide this. It took failed IVF’s, multiple miscarriages, a failed adoption, and a number of hours in a therapist’s chairs to come to this decision. Unfortunately, it was one of the puzzle pieces that led to my divorce.
I still have days where I struggle with this. I was the most nurturing maternal young woman you could hope to meet. I longed for a child, and prayed and hoped against hope, but it didn’t happen for me. This wasn’t because I am a bad person, or because God didn’t trust me with a child, or because I was lacking some necessary personality trait.
I just didn’t become a mom. That’s OK. It’s hard, sometimes, but it is OK.
Learn more about National Infertility Awareness Week
If you or someone you know is struggling with infertility, please explore the resources Resolve has to offer. The organization and my work with them was a lifesaver as I went through this process.
6 thoughts on “I wasn’t being punished”
Beautiful post. Thank you for speaking out!
This post grabbed at my heart and soul. I often wondered during my IF Journey whether I was beng punished, but never throughout this journey did anyone say it to my face. I would have lost it.
NIAW Blog List #30
We aren’t being punished. I think I’ve learned that we are the ones strong enough to survive it. Thank you for writing this, it was beautiful.
Thank you for this. Thinking of you this NIAW. Whenever I find myself wallowing in “God-must-have-intended-it-to-be-this-way” or some dumb arse sans a clue reminds me, “It’s all God’s doing,”) I pause and tell myself God isn’t a jerk. I’ve got options. Beautiful post.