“We Can’t Have Kids…”

“We can’t have kids.”  I’ve been trying out that statement lately when folks inevitably ask, “When are you guys going to have kids?” or “You guys better get busy, you’ve been married without kids for long enough!”  For so long, I’d laugh it off and say things like “Oh, we’ll see!” or “When God chooses to bless us, we’ll be thrilled” or “We’re working on it!”  Part of dealing with the pain of infertility is accepting it, and if I’m constantly making excuses about our lack of children, how will I ever come to grips with it in my own heart? 

I know people mean well, and I know they’re not trying to be mean.  But it’s hurtful.  The worst response was just last week, when the gal who cleans my office asked when we were going to have kids, and I answered, “We can’t have children.” Her response was, “Oh.  Is it you, or him?”  I was dumbfounded.  It’s me, I wanted to scream, it’s my fault we can’t have children, I can’t give to my husband the one thing he wants in life, it’s my fault we won’t carry on the family name, it’s my fault I can’t give my parents grandchildren…  instead, I just shrugged. 

Does it matter whose fault it is?  Aren’t we a team, my husband and I?  Aren’t we in this together?  If it were my husband who was unable to procreate, would I leave him or feel superior or seek out alternate ways to be pregnant?  We’re dealing with this together, we’re working through the pain and grief and fears together.  It sucks for both of us. We both know that I’m the one with damaged parts, but he never makes me feel less than, or at fault, or like i’m short-changing him. 

This same woman asked if we’ve ever considered adopting, said there are plenty of young girls in “situations” that would give up their babies to a couple.  I simply stared at her.  Of course we’ve considered adopting; we’ve also considered fostering.  We don’t feel settled with either option at present; I guess we’re waiting on clarification.  I was angry with her at first, I didn’t want to discuss my personal life with her.  But I have to keep in mind that people just don’t know, and they don’t understand all the feelings that go along with infertility. They can’t comprehend that this is a process through which we have to work.  They don’t realize that bringing a child into our world of angst and anger with God and frustration and fear is not the ideal situation for us or the child. 

So we keep waiting. And I keep trying to wrap my head and my heart around those 4 little words. We can’t have kids. 


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