Since my husband is infertile we had 0% chance of conceiving
I am starting to slowly realize that I am an “oddity” both in the fertile and infertile worlds. Unlike other adoptive moms who share their stories of medicines, shots, various procedures and surgery—my husband is infertile and he experienced many of those. I only experienced them through him. My husband’s infertility led to us adopting sooner in life than we had planned, so I don’t seem to “fit-in” with other adoptive moms who struggled with infertility. I never lost an ovary, uterus, or fallopian tube, and thankfully I never suffered through one or numerous miscarriages. I guess you could say I was infertile by choice. That’s true and not true at the same time.
Since my husband is infertile, we had a 0% chance of conceiving. So for me we stopped testing me to see if I could carry a pregnancy to term. I have a family history of infertility. I have had numerous ovarian cysts, and I have endometriosis. All of those in my mind gave me a good chance of being infertile. Yet, we don’t know that for sure. We never will, though. Donor sperm was an option presented to us and it’s one I turned away, for two reasons: One, I didn’t know how my carrying another man’s child would affect my husband (I also didn’t know how he would feel towards the child). And two, I just really wasn’t comfortable carrying another man’s child. So, infertile by choice? Maybe. But it was what worked for us.
I’m different from other adoptive moms
It does make me different from other infertile moms. I’m okay with that though. It’s just who I am and how life turned out for me. A lot of adoptive moms talk about the guilt they felt for being unable to conceive. Once again, that is not something I have experienced myself. I did watch my husband struggle through it and I was there to try and help him shed that unnecessary guilt.
When I am with other moms who adopted I feel a kinship for the emotional journey we all had to go through in order to receive the awesome responsibility and blessing of being our kids’ parents. Yet when the conversation turns to fertility issues, that’s where I’m left out. I can offer sympathy, but not empathy. I don’t know what it feels like to suffer a miscarriage. I don’t know what it feels like to give yourself shot after shot in hopes of getting pregnant. I do however know what the “want” to be pregnant feels like and how you live month-to-month wondering if your “monthly gift” is going to arrive and spoil your plans of motherhood again.
I might be fertile, but I’ve never been pregnant
Now, to the world of fertility…
While I may be unknowingly amazingly fertile, I don’t fit in with the fertile moms of the world either. I cannot tell you what it felt like carrying my children for nine months. I cannot tell you when they were conceived. I cannot tell you horrific or amazing birth stories. I cannot tell you that I craved bacon bleu cheese burgers with my son and hot fudge sundaes with peanut butter with my daughter. I can’t tell you about my kids first few moments in this world. I can’t even tell you who cut my kids’ umbilical cord.
When I am in a group of mothers who do not know that I adopted, I always feel out of place. I can’t share many of the stories they are sharing. They want me to put my “two cents” in, but I simply can’t. Then when I tell them that I was never pregnant, the conversation quickly changes. I am then in the spotlight being hammered with question after question. Some about me and some about why my husband is infertile. By then the original topic of the conversation is lost. These women don’t share stories like mine and I don’t share stories like theirs. Rarely there are cases when someone will share their infertility struggles as a result of hearing that I adopted. Then we are right back to not fitting in with infertility either!
I can however show off my stretch mark free belly with my adoption tattoo. I can tell you that the clothes I wore prior to my kids’ birth are the ones I still fit in now. I can tell you that motherhood is awesomely challenging. I can tell you how little sleep I got once my son was born, and I do know what it feels like to hold your child for the first time and fall instantly in love with them. So, I may fit in a little bit!
In the end though, it’s not about fitting in. It’s about being a mother. I became a mother by way of adoption. I may be somewhat of an oddity in both the fertile and infertile communities, however, without being that “oddity” I might not have gotten the amazing opportunity to be my kids’ mom. (I’ll be an oddity any day, as long as I get to continue being their mommy!) Plus being this amazing “oddity” allowed me to miss out of some of the unfavorable parts (ie. painful labor and miscarriages) of both the fertile and unfertile world.