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Infertility’s Silent Stares

The A-B-C's of Adoption Short Stories: Y is for Yearning

Image credit via Unsplash: Grahame Jenkins

Background: We had our first son eight years ago thanks to the miracle of IVF. I am forever thankful. But still, I yearned for more children. After a failed second attempt at pregnancy we decided on adoption. I wrote this on my commute home about six months ago. I did not know that we were only eight weeks away from meeting our second son.


I see you; I stare for two seconds too long. In New York City, where we all walk around looking everywhere, but at people, this probably felt like an eternal stare.

You see me; you caught me glimpsing — okay, staring — at your baby belly. I looked you up and down a little too long. I know that. I wish I could stop to explain…

You catch my eye and your gaze quickly shifts down. You move on quickly, wondering what the hell my stare was all about. My bet? You are certainly hormonal, your feet are swollen, and you are self-conscious about every movement you make. Your make-up has faded by the end of the day, and unlike before, it’s just not important that you reapply. Your roots are showing, and you just shifted out of last week’s maternity clothes. You are too exhausted to deal with a “look” from me. After all, you have better things to do — like getting home to take care of that growing baby!

I imagine you think, “what the hell? I’m tired here lady!” And you move on.

But you missed something.

You missed my sigh. And my slight smile as I whispered under my breath…

“Lucky, lucky you. I miss those days.”

The Infertility Sisterhood

For those of us that live with infertility, every walk-by belly shakes us to our core. I am so happily jealous of pregnant women that I wish I could stop to “high five” every pregnant woman I encounter and say, “yes! Good for you girl!”

Once in a while, I run into “one of us”, The best conversation ensues. We find out quickly we are one of the lucky ones. We got our lucky, miraculous, amazing, big, fat, uncomfortable, and perfect baby belly. That encounter sparks the proud conversation about our journey, surgeries, who administered the needles and how bloated we got when we were producing eggs for the cycle(s). The endless tests and doctor visits finally led to our big win. It’s a strange sisterhood. But a lucky one. For me, it was just that. THE lucky ONE.

Becoming a mom doesn’t happen easily for everyone. Some find their way through science, others through adoption. Some decide ‘it’s not for me’ and manage to move on. Or so it seems.

Me? I wasn’t sure I wanted kids, but once that YEARNING set off a bell, it was annoyingly loud. My heart and mind became occupied with this alarming sound that’s almost impossible to silence. Balancing work while we became parents wasn’t always easy. But it all came together for us, and we have our two amazing boys.

And so new journeys begin every day. Now a family of four, we find new challenges to deal with and learn from. We walk, we talk, we wait, we stare — rarely in silence!

Originally published at medium.com

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