a family (a cat and person at computer)

A Family’s a Family No Matter How Small (or big)

As my husband and I have been trying for almost 2 years to get pregnant with our second child (it’s been 22 months of trying to be exact), there’s been a lot of time to process and think (and rethink!) over my feelings.

Blogging has been an eye-opening way to chronicle my journey of trying to conceive. As I go back and reread old posts, I can remember the times when I felt hopeful, fully anticipating that pregnancy was going to happen for me at any moment. Then came the shock of hitting the 12-month mark with still no baby – of realizing that I had suddenly become a statistic, the 1 out of every 8 couples dealing with infertility.

After about a year and a half of trying, and after being evaluated and realizing we had some fertility challenges, I started coming to terms with the fact that my husband, son, and I might always be a family of three. I grieved, I accepted, I (mostly) made peace.

I love my family and think we’re pretty great! But I hate feeling like others view us as an “only” family. We “only” have one kid. If “only” our family was different, we would be complete.

There’s no one right way for a family to look – I’m always disappointed when I hear people say things like, “when are you going to have kids?” or “when are you going to get married?” 

What do you mean when? Why do you presume that everyone needs to follow some prescribed path like we’re playing the Game of Life, filling up our little plastic car with pink and blue peg people?

I recently came across the following tweet and have found it so validating:

Yes, a couple is a family. A person living alone can be a family. Roommates can be family. Pets can be family. The friends and people you choose to invite into your life are family. 

Having children is not the only way to be a family. 

As I continue to think about my life of being a mother to “only” one, my sweet son Calvin, I prepare myself for the inevitable comments from “concerned” observers:

Don’t you worry about Calvin becoming spoiled if he’s an only child?

Won’t Calvin be lonely without any brothers or sisters?

You should consider fostering or adoption. 

I think for the most part, people who say these types of things are wanting to be helpful. But I have to say I’ve never found these comments helpful in the least – they are invalidating, insensitive, and offensive. Having kids (or more kids) does not automatically solve problems or make raising a child easier. Most of these issues need intentionality and time to be addressed.  

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Trying To Conceive: An Endless Loop

TTC | TWW | DPO | BBT | BFN | BFP

If any of those acronyms look familiar to you, you may have recently been in the process of trying to conceive (TTC). Being on this journey myself, I will just say hang in there! It can be a difficult and emotionally wrought experience.

Back in summer of 2019, it felt like the right time to start trying for kid #2 (my son had just turned 3). We ended up only trying for three months before we decided to stop since there was a chance I would need foot surgery (I did end up having surgery the following February.)

Fast forward to summer of 2020 – I had mostly recovered from surgery and thought I would be in good enough physical health to begin trying to get pregnant again.

The first month: nothing
Second month: negative pregnancy test
Third month: nope
Fourth month: I really think I’m pregnant, but it turns out I’m not
Fifth month: I’m going to stop wasting money on tests, which was smart because my period came
Sixth month: I caved in and took a test – NEGATIVE

I’m now in my seventh consecutive month of trying to get pregnant, in the middle of the two-week wait (TWW). I’m at the point where I really don’t expect to be pregnant anymore, which is honestly better than when I convinced myself I was pregnant every single cycle. With my first child, it only took two months, and so I guess I assumed it would similarly happen that fast the second time around.

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