The other day I sat with several co-workers enjoying a luncheon on the last day before Christmas holiday. At first we spoke of school and good teachers (and bad ones) and a variety of mothering topics. Then things turned to breast feeding. At first I was ok with it – it’s nothing I haven’t heard before and I am very much in favor of breastfeeding. But after a while it just hit out of nowhere. I am really truly never going to experience breastfeeding.

That led to other thoughts – I’m never going to experience pregnancy or giving birth. I am infertile, for unknown reasons, and I have created my family with my husband through adoption. Most days I’m totally fine to have adopted. We joke that we missed out on sleepless nights and toileting with our oldest. My best friend who also adopted, we just talked last night about how we got to miss out on stretch marks and widening of our hips. We don’t have pre and post pregnancy bodies to worry about.

But there are just those moments of time when the grief and longing hit hard out of nowhere and take my breath away. Those moments where the longing for the physical connection is almost too overwhelming to bare. I can envision myself breastfeeding a baby, that special moment between us. I remember hours spent daydreaming and wishing myself to be pregnant. I should have taken stocks out on companies that make pregnancy tests we went through so many.

Prior to adoption, during our infertility years, people continuously offered advice. Don’t get stressed, stop trying so hard, put your legs up after. The best one (sarcasm) was “Adopt. Whenever people adopt they find themselves pregnant.” Well my oldest is now 18 and I haven’t, for whatever reason, become suddenly pregnant. We have had times of relative stress reduced lives and I have never turned up pregnant. Everyone has advice but perhaps the most hurtful is “It just isn’t God’s plan.” Wow. Nice to know I haven’t somehow been “good enough” to get God’s grace.

Those co-workers were no way in the wrong in the conversation they had. I wasn’t hurt by their words but rather their words triggered a response from me that was unexpected. I keep thinking I have dealt with the grief of infertility only to have it rear it’s ugly head when I least expect it. Upon further reflection I have realized it is a source of grief for me and it may come up unexpectedly over the years. My husband and I are well into our 40’s. Our children are closer to being adults than they are to children. There will be no pregnancy for me. Believe it or not that is hard for me to write. The nagging hope in the corner of my mind needs to be put to rest. It is not going to happen, and for that I am sad.

Tina Szymczak

Tina Szymczak is a wife and mother of two very spirited teenage boys. She is passionate about disability rights; inclusion; adoption and infertility. Also she blogs about her struggles with mental illness, namely Bi-Polar depression. She works as an early interventionist in Ontario Canada. Writing has always been a passion and she enjoys scrapbooking her family's adventures as well. You can find her musings at