When you’ve experienced pregnancy loss or infertility, this is the question that rings in your head at the beginning of every new year.
And it’s a question that is full of hope, fear, uncertainty, and wonder. Because no matter how hard you try, no matter what you do, no matter how much money you spend, you have no guarantee that you will, in fact, actually have your own child in your arms by December 31.
My husband and I started trying to add a baby to our family three years ago. In that time, I’ve had two miscarriages, one stillbirth, and twelve consecutive months being unable to get pregnant.
And it’s been so freaking hard.
For years, people have asked me questions about if we want kids, when we will have kids, or made jokes about how we’re lucky to have all our time to ourselves.
And through all of it, this question rings in my mind.
Is this the year I become a mother?
I know that I’m already a mother. I have three angels in heaven. One of them was even born. I did that. I birthed a beautiful baby boy.
But my arms are still empty.
And I long for them to be full and to be able to participate in motherhood.
We’ve met with doctors and started on a plan to get pregnant and to figure out why I haven’t been able to stay pregnant. I have hope for 2020. But I have no certainty.
Even with fertility treatments, whether medications, IUIs (intrauterine insemination), and IVF (in-vitro fertilization) the chances of having a live birth with assisted reproductive technology is only 31% for women under 35. That’s far from a guarantee. Chances are, someone in your life has gone through multiple rounds of fertility treatments and still has empty arms.
So before you ask someone about their family plans, consider if the person you’re speaking to is asking this question herself.
There’s a lot to look forward to at the start of a new year. And there are a lot of us who are hoping that this is the year we get to become mothers and bring our babies home.
And if you’re asking this question for yourself, I’m hoping with you.