June 14, 2022

Trying to be "Mama"

Rachel Varkey

I found myself cringing at a toddler’s cry for mama. A few weeks ago, I was surrounded by some pretty awesome kids. When I heard them cry out for their mama, I didn’t expect to feel a tiny, minuscule tinge of sadness.

I never expected to feel anything that I feel now.

Over the last year plus, Charles and I have been trying to have a kid. I poured through the research, downloaded a period tracking app, and tracked my periods and ovulation.

I bought the ovulation kit, and became hyper aware of every potential pregnancy symptom in my body— fatigue, headache, a weird metallic taste in my mouth, and even a few delayed periods.

True fact, when you’re waiting to see your pregnant, every weird thing in your body feels like it could be pregnancy.

I started taking prenatal vitamins and limiting my alcohol consumption.

As the months continued on and I kept getting my period, the more I noticed my sorrow deepen, welling inside of me.

As more and more people became pregnant around me— whether that be tangentially through an Instagram post or at church or in family — I found myself becoming more and more bothered.

I have to say the cluster of emotions I’ve felt as I navigate a season of "medical infertility" (my doctor’s words, not mine) hasn't been particularly easy.

I ebb and flow between knowing my story is mine, wondering if there’s something about me or my partner that may be preventing us from having children of our own, or whether or not I really should have children to begin with.

Those thoughts wage war in my mind — would I really be a good parent?

Am I too selfish, too stuck in my ways, do I want so much for myself that I’ll never be a good mother to begin with?

Will I be able to give up my independence and be the kind of mom I watch some of the incredible mamas around me be?

And let’s not forget how trying to conceive for a year plus can put such a damper on your sex life that sometimes all the glorious sex everyone talks about can become a little stale.

After months of not conceiving, you find yourself fighting with your partner, trying to force the most clinical sex possible, night after night, during an ovulation window.

It’s hard to make your sex life juicy when you have a goal in mind. It’s planned, methodical, and quite frankly a drag for both parties.

I don’t have the answers. But I do want those who are going through a similar season, who have felt the same pings of sadness to know sometimes what you’re feeling.

I know how all consuming the mission of biological children can be. Or trying to have children in general.

I also know what it’s like to know nothing about what happens next. I’ve spent the last few months reading and learning about our options.

The only thing I can say is this— carry your worry with dignity. There is no shame in your game.

Very normal people (well, I like to consider myself normal), are going through what you’re going through and finding options that make sense for them.

There are routes you can take— whether biological or not.

There’s also a lot of freaking waiting.

There’s a lot of unknowns. It’s expensive and it’s a little evasive. The testing isn’t painless. It’s pricey, and it can really get under your skin.

Carry your head high as you navigate your options. Your body, your story, your journey is perfect.

At least that’s what I like to remind myself.

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