This post is one I've gone back and forth on posting. We've been pretty private about our plans so it's hard to put it all out here. But - this is what Moxie is all about. It's about having the courage to share your struggles as well as your triumphs. So, I'm opening up hoping it gives someone else comfort knowing they're not alone.
Where do I even begin? I guess, maybe at the beginning. I, Devin McCain, am a planner. Growing up, I had very specific ideas in my head as to how and where my life is supposed to go. I knew which education path I wanted to take, the age I wanted to get married, the kind of car I wanted, and I knew, without a doubt, that I wanted four children that were 1 ½ - 3 years apart max. If I could pick kids the way you pick up groceries at the store, I would’ve chosen twin boys, a girl, and then another boy to wind out the lineup. (How’s that for specific?)
My husband and I both only have one brother, and we knew we wanted a large family. “We’ll have lots of kids, no money, but will be so happy,” I told him one day with a huge smile on my face.
I did the college, marriage, house thing and we were READY for the baby thing! After a few months of “trying”, BAM! We were successfully pregnant with baby #1. Even though I threw up every morning for 13 weeks, I truly loved the whole experience. There’s nothing quite like feeling your child move and grow inside you. To never, ever be alone because you have a tiny baby with you wherever you go.
We had our healthy baby boy in July 2014 and dove into parenthood with everything we had. We got to the year and a half mark and were ready to start trying for baby #2! After all, we (maybe mostly me) did NOT want our kids to be more than three years apart so we had to get started. We stopped our birth control, I picked up some prenatal vitamins, I organized the maternity clothes I had leftover so I knew where they were when the time came.
And here we are more than three years later, and no baby #2.
Here we are, four-and-a-half years after the birth of our first child where we're faced with the constant hints, questions and statements from those around us:
“You ready for another one?”
“When are you having another one?”
“You’re not getting any younger.”
“What happened to you wanting a house full of kids?”
“Linc needs a sister/brother.”
Each question statement causing pain, fear and internal anger that you might not ever see. Because it's too hard to let it out. Because we know.
Yes, we’ve been ready for another one. Yes, I know I’m not getting any younger… I’m reminded of that fact every birthday and every single month that goes by and I get my period again. Yes, Linc is the sweetest kid and would be the most incredible big brother But for all our planning and wanting, we can’t control this.
WHY - Why do we do this? We see infertility, miscarriages, and women struggling with getting pregnant all the time. In fact, about 10 percent of women (6.1 million) in the United States ages 15-44 have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant, according to the CDC. We ourselves might struggle and then turn around and pressure someone else. It doesn't make any sense to me.
If you’ve never been in this situation, let me tell you: It hurts. I don’t think there’s anything quite like struggling with your body to get it to do what it is made to do. To be riding the roller coaster month after month to see if you are or aren’t. To scroll your social media or walk around in public surrounded by babies and just feel… empty. Broken. To wonder if you should give up and toss out that shirt you've been saving for over four years because it would be a super cute maternity shirt. I understand that you might have your own hopes and dreams of grand-kids, god-children, nieces or nephews…but that’s not up to you. While you may mean well, don’t inadvertently hurt the women in your life by pressuring them. Trust me, they’re pressuring themselves enough.
If you’re out there struggling - I’m so sorry. I know that doesn’t help… I do. But I’m truly sorry for the loneliness and hurt that you feel every day. For the constant worry and despair you feel every single month. You are not alone! If you feel it in your heart, don't give up. I PROMISE I will celebrate and shout from the rooftops when your dreams come true.
I am so, incredibly grateful to be a mother. But I don’t know what’s going to happen for us. I’m trying to be intentional with my mental and physical health, continue putting good vibes out in the world, and build up the courage to go to the doctor. I’m not there yet… but I’m working on it. I’m also going to start talking about it. I’m not after pity. I don’t want to make anyone upset. (Hello, recovering people-pleaser here.) What I do want is honest, open communication about the struggles in our lives so we can build an empathetic community. So no one else feels alone or like their struggles are shameful.
Living with Moxie isn't always about the happy, shiny, inspiration. For me, it's having the courage to have the tough conversations in order to, hopefully, inspire change.