3 Things I Learned by Not Experiencing Pregnancy


I thought about what to title this post for over a week. Learning to talk about how I felt when I was mourning the loss of pregnancy is a piece of me that I wanted to share.

There was a time (it seems like a lifetime ago) that I had a goal to be finished building my family before I turned 30. I used the phrase ‘Done having babies’. My vision for myself was filled with baby bumps. Me, the hot mom with a perfect post pregnancy body. I was ready. Fast forward a few years: not pregnant, not yet, and not ever.  Choosing not to experience pregnancy is a loss that I mourn.

When I was first learning to own this new reality, it was not easy to talk about. I was ashamed and embarrassed. I felt like I was less of a woman. Wrapping my head around the fact that something so common and so easy for some was not going to be my reality wasn’t simple. I didn’t realize how much of my self worth was tied to having control of my family building or how profoundly different my life was turning out than my peers.

Everyone around me was getting pregnant. They were planning showers, complaining about pregnancy, and doing maternity photo shoots. Around every corner, there was a baby bump or a shower invitation.  My friend and I both started to ‘try’ around the same time. We would fantasize about our kids being the same age and experiencing motherhood together. She ended up pregnant not once, but twice! I watched as her family planned her gender reveal, her shower, and decorated the nursery. Pregnancy is an event where women rally around one another. They share stories and experiences. It’s a bond. I wanted that. It felt like a right of passage.

There wasn’t a congratulations ‘you can speak about infertility without getting hives shower’. Or a ‘never going to be pregnant photo shoot’. It was isolating. I felt like I would never fit in with other women or other moms.  I felt like I was one of the boys.  Where was my ‘building my family through adoption never gonna be pregnant woman tribe’ party?

Not being pregnant helped me to learn so many things about myself and the world I live in.  Here are three of them…

  1. Pregnancy is a journey and an experience.

It’s a life changing amazing experience. Most people are pregnant to become a mother. You can be a mother and a parent without being pregnant.  I originally thought that pregnancy was a journey to motherhood. It is not the only journey. I was writing letters, creating photo books, and making online profiles. I was learning adoption language, practicing adoption language, taking classes, and being finger printed. I was discussing my weaknesses with our social worker at my kitchen table. Believe it or not, there is not a cake cutting at a ‘we’re adopting reveal’.  This is my journey to motherhood. My experience.

2. Not experiencing pregnancy is also amazing.

It’s different not being pregnant. People have a harder time relating to things they themselves did not experience. Being pregnant is amazing, I’m sure. I’m sure because everyone tells me so ;p. Not being pregnant is also amazing. My journey is a testament to how much strength and how much love it took to bring my child into my world (reference your favorite facebook video or meme about labor/ delivery/ pregnancy here) The fierce unconditional bond that flows between my son and I is truth that my journey is amazing.

3. Motherhood is a privilege and an honor.

Infertility was one of the first times I had to learn to accept and live with things out of my control. When I let go of my expectations for myself in regard to pregnancy, I learned that I am enough as I am. I can do hard things. I am worthy of the best life I can dream up. No one is entitled to be pregnant. No one is entitled to be called mommy. Motherhood is not a given. Living with infertility allowed me to own the shape of my life. Having the time (oh, so much time) to consider life without being a mother allowed me the freedom to see the gift of the fray of motherhood.

 

How has infertility changed you? Was it a surprise?

 

 

 

 

 

 


To Do or Not To Do an Online Adoption Profile


 When it comes to making an online profile, there are a lot of thing to consider. Chris and I are always hesitant. We have to overcome the fear of emotional scammers. There’s also the huge task of choosing a site to advertise on and building the actual profile. How much do you put on the Internet about your family? Your other children? It’s complicated. The process of building your family through adoption is long, invasive, and time consuming without the Internet.

We feel like we have to do everything we can to be seen, but at what cost? We felt this way the first time and we still feel this way. It’s kind of strange too. Chris and I have been building our lives on the Internet together for years. We work in affiliate marketing. We’re into the Internet. Chris’s passion is technology and how to market effectively. You would think it would be easy for us to jump on the online profile bandwagon.  We are actually really private.  The thought of putting everything we hold close to our hearts on the Internet is overwhelming.

It’s kind of like asking for help, the kind of help where you should be able to do it yourself, but can’t, borderline embarrassed but few other options exist kind of help.  ‘Please Google god, won’t you help me build my family?’  Then, Google responds with 5 profile views for 7 months so you are hanging out in the world with your feelings showing and talking to Google. Fun stuff.

We do have an online profile. It’s important for my sanity to know that I am doing everything I can, even if it’s hanging my feelings out for the world to see and talking to Google. We have used two different sites: Adoptimist.com and Parent Profiles (now connected with Adoption.com). (If you would like a review / more details about that experience, email me.)

So why did we use an online profile when we are already in an agency pool, our book is amazing, our letter is perfect, and our feelings are all safe and tucked away from the Internet?

The Internet is a part of our daily lives. It is more than likely a daily part of most expectant women’s lives too. Our son’s birth mother found us through a Google search. She saw our profile online. The Internet is not only the way we support our family, it is also how we build it. Oh, Google. Google searches are a part of our daily lives. They just are. Kind of like how online dating used to be taboo. Building an online adoption profile is becoming more and more necessary for families built through adoption.

 So much of our time is online. For better or worse, the Internet connects people without bounds. It doesn’t, however, make it an easy task to build an online profile.  Sharing all of your very personal and heartfelt feelings about a child you hope to raise someday is really scary. I get nervous every time I make a post. Every time a profile goes live, I get nervous. Being vulnerable to the world is hard. Having online presences makes you a target. You are now open to scammers, to haters, and to people who may copy your letter and call it their own. It’s so hard. On a road that has already been hard, why make it harder on yourself.

My friend, times are a changing! They may have in fact already changed. Think it over. Do some research. Then decide. You can do this. You will, if you choose, make a really great profile.