This year, I came across a whole infertility community of women online who are in the “one and done, not by choice” camp. I feel like I have finally found the people who understand the exact place I’m at in my journey.
The infertility community is full of incredible and supportive women with so many different stories. Whether trying for a first, second, third, etc. child, there is someone who everyone can relate to. However, it gets tricky when you’re in a position like me:
- I’ve never known life as a wife without infertility in the mix.
- I needed fertility treatment to conceive my daughter in 2009.
- Even though I’m a mom and still struggling with infertility, I don’t have “secondary” infertility, but some in the “primary” camp don’t understand how I could want more children when I have one already.
- I went through a plethora of fertility treatment cycles and natural cycles over the last six and a half (almost seven) years trying to conceive a second child, and have only conceived once, then miscarried.
- My daughter is eight (almost nine) and we’ve been hoping to make her a big sister since she was two.
- People think that since I’m a Christian, I should never give up (because that means I don’t trust God) or should adopt.
- I’m having to embrace and accept that “one and done” is my life, regardless of people/s opinions on the matter.
- Very few people understand the chapter I’m in, and therefore, it’s harder and harder to relate to anyone.
This year, I learned that my family is considered a “triangle family”, which was completely strange to me. Why does the number of children have to create this title for the type of family you’re in? Why can’t we just be a family… why do we have to have an awkward title? It’s hard enough that I can’t enter into any sort of family-focused contest because they are all for a “family of four”. Those ads for special pricing on a package vacation? Targeted to a family of four. It’s to the point where I roll my eyes when someone says “Hey, I saw this special pricing for this trip, but it’s for a family of 4…” Gee, thanks. I would hate to break the system by asking for pricing for my weird triangle family.
We are a “one and done, not by choice” family. Do I wish we could have more children? Yes. Do I think it’sever going to happen? No, it’s not likely. And I’m not saying that out of pure bitterness (maybe a little), but this is my reality and it’s all I’ve ever known. Life is short, and as much as I’ve lived in frustration and grief over the last several years, I don’t want to unpack and live there forever. Somedays it’s really hard. We want more children but infertility is preventing that from happening.
We’ve spent nearly nine years as a family of three, and it doesn’t appear to be growing or changing anytime soon. We are a triangle family. We are one and done, not by choice.
Photo by Natalya Zaritskaya on Unsplash
Jessi and her husband Glenn have spent their 11-year marriage navigating infertility. Between her PCOS and his male-factor infertility, they have struggled immensely to grow their family since the beginning. They share one daughter conceived from fertility treatment (born 2010) and had one surprise miracle pregnancy after five+ years of TTC that ended in a devastating miscarriage (2017). Jessi writes about conquering infertility, embracing motherhood, recovering from a miscarriage, and her faith on her blog Life Abundant, on Facebook, and on Instagram.