by Teresa Cumptom
Fear is described in the dictionary as "to be afraid of" -- a very simple explanation. But what do you do when the one thing you want most in the world is also the one thing you fear most in the world? The answer is you live in fear. When getting pregnant and having babies doesn't "come naturally" to you, you join the world of "trying to conceive". This world is little known to most women, but to some women it is their entire existence. It is what their world revolves around.
That is where fear comes in. Once you realize that getting pregnant and having babies isn't going to "come naturally" to you, fear starts creeping up your spine like a million spiders. Thoughts start running through your brain at warp speed. Questions like:
- "Will I ever be a mother?"
- "Will I die old and lonely because I have no children to care for me?"
- "Will my husband leave me because I may not be able to give him children?"
- "Will people look at me and consider me a failure because I could never have children?".
The fear comes from so deep within yourself that it can totally consume your heart and soul because you are in a situation that you have absolutely no control over. You have to be willing to risk it all, dive in headfirst and pray that in the end you will have a little bundle of joy to love and raise for the next 18 years.
This leads to the next fear -- the fear of putting your heart on the line only to risk it being utterly and completely broken. When trying to conceive, there is no way of knowing if any procedure or method will work. But you have to face your fear and risk being devastated.
In the beginning of the "trying to conceive" journey this may not seem too difficult. Trying different methods of getting pregnant, or letting your doctor do a procedure or two, have some blood work done, etc. But after many years of trying to conceive and continually being disappointed and brokenhearted, it gets harder and harder to put your heart on the line. But as most of us in the "trying to conceive world" will tell you, you just keep trying.
Then of course, there is the fear of failure. We have all dealt with this one. Whether it be trying to get pregnant or trying to make the baseball team. We have all been there, and because of the opinions of our peers and society in general, we sometimes view failure to conceive and have a baby as failure as a woman. This may sound ludicrous to any woman who has never had trouble trying to conceive, but to a woman who has tried for many years to conceive or to a woman who has had multiple miscarriages, you do at some point during the journey feel like a failure as a woman. We see so many women around us who seem to have no trouble getting pregnant, having a wonderful "normal" pregnancy. They go to the hospital after 9 months and come home with a beautiful bouncing baby. It all sounds so simple, but for us it is merely a fairy tale, a dream that we pray will come true for us one day.
The biggest fear of all is the fear of getting pregnant and having another miscarriage. You have actually succeeded at getting pregnant and because it is something you have wanted so badly for so long, you are immediately in love with this little thing growing inside of you. There is no holding back. There is nothing that has ever made me happier than to hear my obstetrician say, "You're pregnant". I have heard that four times. But four times I have also heard, "I'm sorry, you lost the baby". The first pregnancy lasted 17 weeks, the second lasted 6 weeks, the third lasted less than 5 weeks and the last one was almost 7 weeks. With each miscarriage I felt as if my heart had been ripped from my chest. I felt so empty and so sad, but always willing to keep trying.
My name is Teresa. I am 37 years old. My husband is 44 years old. We have been trying to conceive off and on for the last 16 years. We have taken many "breaks" from trying to conceive due to the emotional side effects of it all. I have had 4 miscarriages, all for different reasons and all at different stages in the pregnancy. We are still working towards bringing home that little bundle of joy. We are confident that we will be blessed eventually. Our faith in God enables us to continue this long and emotional journey. Without our faith in God and trusting in his guidance we would have never been able to continue down this path. Despite our losses we look upon each day as a gift from God and we are patiently waiting until He feels the time is right to bless us with a child.
Copyright © Teresa Cumptom. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.