Thursday, June 6, 2013

Hello, I'm a Stepmom. And I have baby fever.

Stepmoms are in a weird sort of love-limbo with their stepkids - and people on the outside don't really understand it. We love our stepkids to the deepest parts of our heart. We want the best for them, we cry for them, we worry for them, we live for them.

But they aren't ours. And they won't ever be. No. Matter. What.

This realization is one I spend a good deal of time trying to avoid. (Sort of like how I avoid mirrors after I've gone on a three day Mexican food binge.) Besides, it will be my turn soon enough, with my own biological child.

(Oh wait...we've been trying for 2 years and the baby train has yet to pull into my station. Dammit.)

That's right. I'm a stepmom with two stepkids and the intense desire to have a child of my own with Hubs. And it just won't happen. 

At the beginning, I assumed getting preggers would be a walk in the park because, hey, Hubs is obviously Fertile Myrtle. He has two kids and they were both conceived with a woman who was literally told that she would never be able to conceive children. Ever.

We're talking immaculate conceptions, here.

Naturally, when we made the decision to move forward with baby making, I went around telling everyone with functional ears that: 


Everyone, including myself, expected an announcement within two months. But nothing happened. Then a few more months went by. Then a few more. Gradually, people stopped paying attention to my stomach or checking to see if I was having a drink with dinner. They stopped using phrases like "when you have a baby" or "after you get pregnant". In fact, a lot of people just stopped saying anything. Better to pretend like nothing happened.

Because nothing is happening.

Struggling with infertility is hard enough when it's just you and your husband, waiting for a stupid pink plus sign to show up on a stupid plastic thing that ironically looks just like a tampon. But when you throw in being a stepmom, things get infinitely worse...because people think think they have the perfect solution to your problem. 

You already have kids!!!! TA DAAAA!

I recently started to notice that when I spoke to friends and family about my epic failure to get knocked-up, they would inevitably smile and and say reassuringly, "Well, even if you don't get pregnant, you  always have the girls!" or worse yet,  "Maybe God gave you stepkids because he knew you wouldn't be able to have children." And then they stand there and expect me to be all, "You're right. I am really lucky."

But I really want to hold someone's head under water.

Just because I have stepkids does not make my desire to be a mother any less. If anything, it intensifies it 2000 fold. Let's remember I already have to act like a mom and talk like a mom and love like a mom and curtail the college keg stand photos on my Facebook statuses like a mom...but I don't get to be a mom. I don't get to hold my own child in my arms. At least not yet.

Reminding me that I already have stepkids is like pouring a gigantic bowl of salt on a gaping, open sore in my uterus. Imagine you are trying desperately to buy a house, but every house you fallin love with is taken off the market the second you think you have the deal done. Would you enjoy it if I kindly reminded you that God set you up in a totally killer apartment and you should just be grateful?

Exactly. And that's just a stupid house, not the proverbial fruit of your loins.

So just don't. Don't say anything about my stepkids if I confide in you that I'm struggling with infertility. Just be there for me. Tell me you're so sorry I'm going through this and you hope it will all turn out okay in the end. Because in all liklihood, it will. Don't throw my stepchildren in my face. They're human beings, not a consolation prize at the Infertility Olympics.

Oh...and when 34098098234 people announce their pregnancies on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram? I'm likely going to have an effing meltdown. Just hold my hand and be there. Sometime saying nothing says absolutely everything.


  1. I am reading this post just a little more than a year after you posted it and so I don't know where you are in your journey. I pray you are moving in a promising direction. Thinking of you...

    I want to share that I can personally relate with your sentiments regarding stepchildren and others' insinuating that having stepchildren somehow makes up for facing the very real possibility you may not be able to have your own biological children. Don't get me wrong, I do feel exceptionally blessed to have my blended family and I do believe that God brought my husband and I, and his children, together. I am grateful and blessed beyond what I ever imagined for my life.

    Now, I did not experience baby fever as a young woman. I did not grow up thinking, "all I want to be is a Mom." In fact, the opposite is true. I had 'career fever' and thought of myself as someone who would give of myself by sharing my talents with society through my career and volunteerism. Perhaps I developed this as a result of learning I had endometriosis in my early teen years and being told that I may very well be infertile. Although, I was a bit of a tomboy and fairly disinterested in growing up to become mom even in my pre-menses years.

    Even when I happened to fall in love with a man who had two daughters…I still did not develop baby fever and did not even think of myself as a mom. It took awhile for me to accept that I was a "mom" figure in their lives.

    Well, despite my not ever having baby fever prior…something happened when my endometriosis issues made it quite clear that I would NOT ever be able to have a biological baby…even with medical intervention. Don't you know that baby fever set in like you wouldn't believe! Then it seemed like every woman around me…friends, coworkers, strangers…were all announcing pregnancies and/or giving birth on AT LEAST a weekly basis. Ugh. Seriously?

    Something happens when you are told you are unable to do something…you want to be able to do it even more. It's human nature. It has been my experience that something even more gripping happens when, as a woman, I learned I was unable to create life inside my womb. It is not just about not being able to have children, it is a much deeper wound and, I agree, friends and loved ones are best just learning how to be by your side and listen in silence, hold you, and just let you cry it out if needed. There just isn't a fix and only time will heal as you gain acceptance of your circumstances.

  2. Wonderful comment, as always, Cynthia. I feel for you being told you can't have a child biologically without assistance from a surrogate or adoption. That is a tough truth to hear. As it stands, I am still not pregnant (boo), and still struggling with infertility. I should probably write a follow up post to fill people in on where things are!! It's so nice to know people that are complete strangers to me really do care. Yay for the internet!

    I was like you early in life, very career oriented, although I always just assumed kids would "happen" someday. Never did I imagine the difficulty I would have - I don't think anyone does.

    Time and support are truly miracles that will help me get through this, even if the end result isn't one I was expecting.

    Thanks for the kind words!

    1. If you're still looking my husband and I make beautiful children.... Both girls both blonde and blue-eyed. I love being pregnant so I'm here if you need me as a donated �� percent surrogate. If you can pay for your eggs and his sperm to be placed in my belly I will be there. Or if you just want to take one of mine.... I'm here LOL.

    2. Um, weirdo...

  3. Just recently found your blog....and i must say it is such a wonderful thing to find other people out there who struggle with the same things we struggle with. Yours words broke my heart with not being able to have kids.
    I am in a similar boat, but my husband is the one who can't have any more kids. He got fixed long before i knew him and long before his first marriage fell apart, when it was still hanging by a thread. We would want nothing more than to have kids of our own, but alas that will not happen.
    And once more even if we could, we decided that bringing more kids into our situation would just not be the best idea for all parties involved.
    He has a typical crazy Mama Ex....that would use that against us and further drive the wedge she has pushed between him and his girls with her.

    I very much echo the words of the woman above....never thought i would have that desire to be a mom. But now that i am approaching 30 and after having met a man that i would be proud to have his kids. My feelings have certainly changed.
    But we are trying to make the most of the situation we are in. Hope you are taking care.