Not So Motherhood
Over the course of my life, I’ve noticed changes to myself that - frankly - I’ve ignored. These are changes due to my cystic fibrosis that I chose to place on a back burner and not think about until I had to come to reality with it.
Wanting to have a child
My body is not what I wish it to be, and it’s not where I hoped it would be. When I got married in 2012, I was a new bride brimming with promise and hopes for the future. Like many newly married couples, my husband and I hoped for children, and I was excited.
When we finally decided to try, we came to a reality that this was not going to be easy for us. After two years of trying, I went to the doctor. They told me that my lung function would decrease with pregnancy and my body could not handle a baby. I could not get pregnant.
Experiencing guilt and jealousy
I was devastated and I went into a depression. I cried myself to sleep for a really long time. I felt guilty that I wasn’t a “normal” woman for my husband. My husband married me and I felt guilty that I could never give him a child. I felt like a let down to myself as a woman for not being able to have a child due to my cystic fibrosis. CF took this from me, and I hated myself for a bit because of it. I hated my body.
I felt a piece of myself die when my sister and sister-in-law became pregnant. I wanted that to be me so badly. I had to talk to my husband and tell him how I felt. I said, “I’m sorry.”
My husband comforted me and told me that even if we never had children, what was important was “us” and making sure I was healthy. I needed to be the best I could for my nieces and nephews. I had put pressure on myself to have a baby. However, his support lifted so much pressure off my shoulders.
Coming to terms with not having a child
I still didn’t listen, and I asked my sister if I could babysit my baby nephew. While I was carrying him, I almost passed out due to a lack of oxygen. Luckily, my husband caught us. That experience was my wake up call.
It’s okay not to be able to have a baby. I finally understood that my cystic fibrosis is a factor in my life that I need to consider more and that I cannot have a child on my own. We could adopt, and we could use a surrogate, but I realized that I am okay with not being a mother. I am a wonderful aunt to my nieces and nephews, and I am pet-mom. Once I took that pressure off myself, I could breathe easier.
CF impacted my body, and I needed to be okay with how CF has evolved my physical being. Mentally, I am more than my CF, and physically my CF is present every day. While I’d love to be a mother, I’m also - for the first time in my life - okay with the fact that I’m not.
Do your pets help with your cystic fibrosis?