Disclaimer: I have two children, one of them is still a baby some would say, as he isn’t yet two. I know, two kids already? Girl, please. Yep, I get the annoyance, but hear me out. Baby fever can be a sickness. It can be a terribly stressful and burdensome addition to any life. Even a mother of two. Baby fever can strike anyone in any stage. I have witnessed several friends unable to conceive that either have or don’t have children who have been struck by this (sometimes) awful feeling and truly I know how they feel.
I always wanted to have seven or eight kids. No joke, I admired that huge family on 16 (or was it 17) and counting. I thought the bigger the family, the better and I figured our family would continue to grow sooner than later. But then I got this crap of a diagnosis, the hell-bent destroyer of fertility: endometriosis. I wasn’t even all that worried at first. It was painful and it was uncomfortable but in the beginning, I didn’t understand the toll it was taking on my body. It wasn’t until I lost my right ovary to the nasty little disease that I first started to radiate with intense baby fever.
I’m sure for some, baby fever is nothing more than a cute saying or description. A “Oh my, she has baby fever, she’s always trying to hold somebody’s baby.” Or “They just got married, I bet she’ll have baby fever before the year is up” kind of thing. However, there are women out there that know wanting a baby and experiencing the difficulties in conceiving can be straight up maddening. Getting your monthly visit from Aunt Flo is never any fun, but when you’ve been taking vitamins, checking apps, and doing the deed every couple of minutes, getting your regular period becomes devastating. It’s a monthly reminder that there might be a kink in the system and your dreams of pregnancy and (more) babies are another month away.
My frustrations started a few months after my second surgery (within a three-month period!) due to endometriosis. I had to have my ovary removed because it was damaged but I was assured by my doctor and countless hours of online research that my remaining ovary would take over the job without pause. As soon as the doctor gave me the all clear I was on a mission to baby number 3. As months began to pass I started to question my usual speedy ability to get pregnant. I swear I was pregnant within a month of even considering a child the first time around, and within two months the second time around.
This time was different.
I started to sweat. My prayers changed from an air of gratitude into focused pleadings for another child. I was slowly losing my mind. Every month I was sure I was pregnant. I was nauseous. I was tired. I was moody. And drum roll…I was not with child. And it sucked. Pregnancy tests seemed to mock my stupidity. I was stuck in a cycle of trying to get pregnant for two weeks, hoping I was pregnant for two weeks, ending in an always shockingly negative test followed by my period, with a deeper and deeper sense of the blues overlapping it all.
Then something changed. I got sick of myself and I finally opened my eyes and started trying to accept the fact that I may never become pregnant again (sob), I may never breastfeed again (sob), I might have to get rid of all this baby stuff I was saving for my football team of children (snotty nose sob). As I begin to stare down the tunnel of possibly needing a hysterectomy at 34 (yes, things are getting that bad) I have made some changes that might help someone else out there suffering from this feeling of emptiness or brokenness that I would like to share.
- Give it some time. Even my doctor says it takes a little while after the kinds of surgery I’ve had to get things rolling properly and I’m also older and not as fertile myrtle as I used to be. People not suffering from some sort of disease and otherwise healthy should know that most fertility clinics ask that you have been trying for a full year of properly timed “baby-making” before seeking help. Some people get pregnant as soon as they have the thought, others must try a bit harder or longer.
- Stop trying for a while. Crazy enough that’s how most people that struggle with getting pregnant end up with a bun in the oven. They stopped trying so hard. When sex becomes a job and folks are on the clock, it loses its luster. The best start for a new life has got to be one from a true “love-making” session. Give the creams, the pills, the ovulation apps, thermometers, pee sticks, and all of it a rest and just be. I swear I wasn’t even trying when I got pregnant with my first, I was just head over heels in love with my husband. (Still am!)
- Finally, talk to someone who can help. Other people might need to speak to a doctor or a fertility specialist. I needed to call on God. I need a healing that can only come from above. Not only does my body physically need healing, my mind and heart do as well. As soon as I looked upward instead of inward, I FINALLY realized everything I already have to be grateful for, and I am slowly (still working on it) finding peace in God’s plan for our family whatever that may be. After all, the plan I want to be on is God’s, not my own.
I vividly remember shortly after I had my youngest, a friend of mine came over. She had two kids of her own, her youngest was only a year older than mine. But she teared up holding my brand-new baby. She told me how much she craved that feeling of pregnancy and a newborn. She shared with me that she had used IVF with some of her frozen eggs to have both of their children due to her husband having some serious medical conditions and they just could not afford to do it again.
At the time, I couldn’t understand how she could feel so strongly about babies. She had babies! Two beautiful babies. But now I know that feeling. It’s an ache that for some women never really ends. Life will always have its sufferings, some small and some grand, I am just so thankful that when I do get a little down about this subject, God gave me two little rascals that pause every now and then to let me hold them and smell them and look at them and cherish all those special mom and baby moments from the past.
If you are suffering in the midst of baby fever talk to somebody, talk to God, talk to a friend, talk to your mom, or a doctor. It is legitimate, it does hurt, you don’t have to go through it alone. And you aren’t broken! Special orders always take a little longer to prepare. Trust that God has your order and according to his plan, it’s coming in one way or another.