This is Nathan writing here. I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to follow Tami and her thoughts and feelings on what we’ve been enduring over the past six and a half years. I would like to try to finally write and share some of the feelings I’ve had about the infertility struggles we’ve had.
I am a very un-emotional person. Over the course of my life I learned to just hold my feelings in and not show them outwardly. I think somewhere psychologically it was ingrained in me that showing emotion was weakness.
Over the years that I’ve been married to Tami she’s been able to help me express my emotions more frequently. Coaxing me that just sharing how I feel at the time to open up communication between us and create a closer relationship.
Infertility has been a harder thing for me to cope with than people might think it has. I don’t think many who read or follow this blog know me very well, but I’ve grown up absolutely adoring children. I grew up the oldest of seven children. I also had seven 2nd cousins growing up that we saw at least every Sunday. This meant that I had plenty of opportunities to baby-sit and otherwise interact with young children. I find some of the greatest joy in life in cuddling a child in my arms, chasing them around a room or a yard, playing a game with them, any interaction that can produce a smile on their face. I once remember a talk that a leader in our Church gave in Conference. (General Conference is a bi-annual gathering where leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints speak to us and give us advice and warnings) In her talk she spoke of being “creators” and she said, “If you’ve ever coaxed a smile out of a child, that makes you a creator.” I remember how warmly I felt upon hearing that, because it made me feel that my relationship with the children in my life had actual meaning.
So naturally, after I met and married Tami, having children together was the next big step that I was looking forward to. After about three months of marriage we decided to give it a shot so we tried…..and we tried….and we tried….. I spent the most of six and a half years supporting Tami as she dealt with the emotions of infertility I think I often hid my own or put them on the backburner. This is what I’ve wanted MOST out of life for SO long and now it seems that it may not ever happen for me.
The feelings of inadequacy and feeling left out started coming in. I often kept feeling, “Will I never be able to hold a child in my arms and say, ‘This is mine!’?” Will I never be able to have that feeling of their first steps? First day of school, their first date, all experiences my friends and family were going to be able to enjoy. Am I going to be watching them from the sideline?
It’s not to say that the void is left completely wide open. I am very proud to be an Uncle to seventeen of the cutest nieces and nephews in the world! I love the relationship I have with them. To see them smile and run into my arms (or even to run away from me giggling) really can make my day and helps heal the hurt I carry from not being a father. But after spending time with them the other side of the coin flips over. Though I love them and have a great relationship with them, they’re not MY children. I’m not the one who they see after getting up in the morning, I’m not the one they turn to when they have problems at school, I’m not the one that tucks them in at night. Also, one day I will not be a huge part of their lives as an Uncle. Those parts of my relationship with children are still left unfilled.
Now, it’s getting to be hard to even watch others have children without getting emotional. We were even watching “Friends” the other day and the episodes that were rotating around Chandler and Monica finding out they were going to get a baby made me tear up. It brought the need and want of a child of my own directly to my heart at that moment. We really want to start trying again as soon as possible, but finances are really tough and we have other burdens to take care of at the moment.
I love Tami so much and want to give her everything. But I know what she wants most is to become a mother and I haven’t been able to give that to her. I know that she has conditions that play a part in our fertility but I can’t help but wonder what I contribute (or what I don’t) towards our struggles that we’ve endured.
“One day”….that’s all I can put as a closing to what I write about our attempts at having children. That expresses our hope as we look toward the future, perhaps one day we will finally be holding our own child in our arms. We will be so grateful when that day comes and look forward to a lifetime of caring, loving, struggling, bonding and so much more when that blessed child comes to join our family!