Posts filed under ‘infertility’

coming up to the big day

On my boys’ last day of being zero years old, I have a thought.

People have been very generous and supportive of us this past year; we have felt the warmth of a thousand prayers – when the rubbing of bald men’s heads was requested, the rubbing of bald men’s heads is what we got. People have sometimes asked us how we do it, they’ve said “you’re amazing,” and they’ve felt an inner compulsion to reshuffle their priorities to find us a slot near the top. It’s heady, moving stuff, and our gratefulness knows no bounds.

For people who have asked big Al and I how we do it, I’ll offer up this short non-answer. I am not quite sure how we’ve done it, or how we will continue to do it, though I know that we will. There are occasional times when it gets hard, and few times when it gets harder than hard. Our patience is occasionally tried, our endurance, stamina, you name it.

But at its hardest, on the absolute all-out meanest day of triplet parenting, the strain just doesn’t compare to the years and years of trying that we endured before the pregnancy. Our challenges are almost entirely mitigated by endless buckets of cuteness, coos, smiles, giggles, Pablo crawling up the leg of the piano to stand up straight and tickle the ivories. These small affairs make it all worthwhile. When we were trying, though, we had none of this. Just the monthly cycle of hopes up, hopes down, in virtual solitude.

I don’t mean to be a downer on the occasion or our sons’ first birthday (which is tomorrow). It occurs to me to say this only because I think of just how very public our situation is; we are like a flashing neon sign in our community reading Needs Help Now. But it wasn’t always so. I guess with confidence that every person reading this blog knows at least one person or couple, and most likely more than one, currently struggling with infertility. I guess further that the majority of these struggles are unknown to you – unannounced, suffered in shared silence. People choose to have or not to have babies for a thousand different reasons, and then there are the thousand other reasons where it’s not a choice at all.

This ain’t no harangue. Just a gentle nudge to think twice next time you feel inclined to ask “so…were you ever thinking of having kids?” or “it’s getting kinda late, you know,” or “if you really want it to happen it will happen,” or “you just need to relax.” There may be times when these are just the right things to say, but there are also times when they are not. You might also give a second thought to printing that holiday card that features only your kids, not yourselves. It’s a normal inclination, selfless even – my kids above myself, always. But to some the message can feel like kids are all that matters in this world, with all the exclusionary overtones I know you can imagine. If we ever get around to making a holiday card around here we’re going to plaster our ugly pusses up there right alongside the magic clone trio.

There is no Infertility Day in the US (there is one in the UK), no birthdays either, just that sickly cyclical thing, up, down, up, down, hope, despair. For reasons beyond me, it seems to have no place in the national discourse. But it will always get air at SaxandSons, where we remember that place from whence we came.

November 22, 2009 at 9:10 pm 3 comments


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