Tiny Gramma told me one night a few months ago while I was sobbing into the phone “I don’t know why I was a rabbit and you ended up a panda.”

If you’ve ever watched Planet Earth (which if you haven’t you have no business being on any sort of technology whatsoever) you’ll know that pandas are like the worlds most unluckiest pro-creators despite being devastatingly cute. (Much like me in both respects.) Why can’t cicadas or sloths have crappy odds at procreating? Because I’ve seen sloths and I’ve seen cicadas and trust me the world needs no more of either.

In the passion and fury of my post yesterday where I segued into the whole infertility thing without meaning to I didn’t really acknowledge that I live in two different infertile worlds.

One is online. Where people understand. People get it. People talk about it. And the people who end up pregnant understand how much it means to me when they take the time to tell me before it hits the twitter fan. For those of you who have done that for me? A thousand fuzzy kisses (uh, yeah. I need to pluck a little more.)

The other world is what surrounds me on a daily basis. I am a member of a church that pretty much puts Catholics to shame when it comes to multiplying and replenishing the Earth, especially when we have the option of using birth control. (And no, we’re not told to make dozens of babies. Families are just really really important to us, so a lot of LDS people choose to have a lot of babies before they turn thirty. Personal choice. Not religious decree.)

I have watched…wait for it…over 60 pregnancies in the last three years since moving to Indiana. These are just people that live by me.

In the past week I have had three pregnancies made known to me from people that are in my congregation. That is not counting the previous two that already existed or the other two that just completed their nine month run. I have watched at least a dozen women be pregnant twice since living here and just this week I have now seen someone pregnant three different times within three years. After some of your confessions yesterday I don’t feel so creepy that I’ve kept count.

Outside the stereotypes of my religion I am abnormal. I was married just after my 18th birthday (and am enjoying it immensely thank you very much,) had a child at 22 and sometimes desperately want another before I turn 30.

Inside the stereotypes of my religion I am abnormal. I have been married for eight years and yet I only have one child.

My mom didn’t even have me until she was 32.

I find myself wondering so often “Why am I so worried about this? Is it because I can’t? Is it because the people around me are procreating at breakneck speed? I’m only 27 followed closely by OHMYGOSHIAMALMOSTTHIRTY.”

I’m very conflicted about being stuck between the “normalities” of these two very different worlds. I’d like to just be comfortable in my own little world. But there’s not enough medication for me to do that just yet.

Two of my closest friends are having babies before July is over. I have received news of other pregnancies of Internet/IRL friends as well, all of them giving me hope that one day it will happen for me. And for their miracles I can’t thank Heavenly Father enough for answering the prayers I’ve poured out in their behalf.

Sometimes my happiness for others is diminished by the irresponsibility, disrespect or overwhelmingness of it all.

(Which BTW? Dr. SallyForth? My old OB had the option of different appointment availability for infertility patients so I never had to enter his office face to belly with a room full of unwed pregnant teenagers. You *may* want to look into that.)

God doesn’t need/want me pregnant right now. For whatever reason. Today I’m okay with this. Tomorrow could be different.

But no matter what? If you have a little floater down there in your uterus? I want to know about it. And I want to know how I can help.

I just hope you can understand that some days are better than others.

I’m learning how to deal with this.

And sometimes it’s just very very confusing.

panda

Please don’t take the panda personally.

Comments

  1. You pretty much rock and I get it on a couple levels. For me right now? It’s my friends getting job offers that I so desperately want. (No, not the same thing, but sort of…)

    If/when I have a baby, I’m going to check first and you’ll be the second or third person I tell.

  2. I have been where you are (I suffered through countless procedures over 4 years after being diagnosed with endometriosis), and I’ve also had to tell infertile friends that I’d somehow miraculously managed to get myself knocked up after years of trying. Either way, it’s awkward and hurts.

    I just wanted to say how much I appreciate your candor on the topic, and how very much I like the rabbit/panda analogy! Best wishes. Miracles *do* happen, just not as soon as we’d like, sometimes.

  3. Now Casey. Honestly, I can only say this to you because you are across the U.S. and inside cyber space and not infront of me at this moment. But honey, your going through it right now (infertility) so you are uber sensitive to all this. (ever notice all the people sick on sit coms the very day you are home sick?)
    I know many many infertil or fertility challenged LDS people with few to no children. I myself have 3 children. my last 2 are 5 years apart and that last one I consider a miracle conception. You are a great person. You are a great mom. You are a great woman. You are a great wife. You are a great daughter of God. You are good at so many things. Perhaps this isn’t one of them? Perhaps it’s ok. I grew up 7th of 7. my siblings have many children from each of their marriages. I am the only one who as so few. I used to feel as you did, back when I was in the moment. Now that my youngest is 13. I consider what it would be like to still have a house full of kids and many more years of parenting small children and I am grateful the Lord knew me better than myself. I know we are not the same. I’m just saying. Your awesome and it’s ok.

  4. From one panda to another, I understand (church thing and all). My only (thus far) ‘baby’ turns 3 on Sunday and I can’t tell you how many times I have cried and questioned H. Father about why can’t our next child come now (we’ve been trying since our guy was 6 months old)? Even worse is that currently my sister is pregnant with #1 & my best friend is pregnant w/#5 and having some pregnancy health issues so it’s baby/pregnancy talk ALL THE TIME. Is there even a nice way to say, hey, could you please shut it about being pregnant for 5 minutes?

    And don’t even get me started on the ward–we’ve been in our current ward for 5 years. I don’t even know how many of the women who had babies back in 2006 have gone on to have more than one more baby. I stopped counting because it was just too depressing.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say that I understand–thanks for being brutally honest about what you’re going through. It’s a comfort to know I’m not alone.

  5. Big hugs, girl.

    I’m a PCOS’er myself, and while I get “regular” periods, my ovulation is wonky, and my doctor thinks it’s unlikely I’ll ever conceive. I turn 24 in a month, am a law student (Congrats to Cody, btw — hope his bar prep is finishing up well). I don’t want children, but there’s still a sense of betrayal that comes with part of my body rebelling. I can’t even imagine how hard it must be to be in your shoes.

    For what it’s worth, I get it. And I really do think that the rest of your readers get it, too. We love your blog, and hurt for you when you hurt.

    Plus, you’re living in my hometown (I decided on Pittsburgh Law — needed to GET OUT of Indy after living there my whole life), so I think you’re even more awesome.

    You’re a beautiful person inside and out. You’re handling this the best you know how, and a million times better than I ever could.

  6. You’re not alone. It seems our ward has a two year cycle.

    We tried to get pregnant for years and the first year 18 pregnant ladies IN ONE FREAKING YEAR…the next year about half…

    Two years from the overload of babies another HUGE round of 15 women (most of which were in round one.) People start asking WHEN we’re going to have a baby. Overwhelmed with emotions (even jealousy) I announced in Relief Society just because we DON’T have children doesn’t mean we DON’T want them and it doesn’t mean we’re NOT trying for them and that they should be considerate to us ‘can’t find a reason why we’re not getting pregnant’ ladies!

    After that emotional breakdown the doctor puts me on Metformin in hopes to increase my chances with conceiving…it doesn’t work after months and I finally GIVE UP completely decided it is God’s Will I’m not supposed to have biological children. My mom get’s pregnant…my MOTHER! I remember thinking WHAT THE HECK, SERIOUSLY?! I spoiled the heck out of my sister and lost myself in her. ‘Kidnapping’ her as much as possible. Clothing her enough to close a small country in Africa.

    No longer even thinking or wishing or hoping for a pregnancy I find that I am pregnant. No meds, no counting days, no estimating or thinking or even wondering. BAM pregnant.

    I get pregnant on the ‘off’ year and RELISH the thought of NOT having an overloaded nursery. The year I got pregnant there was TWO others my son’s age…the rest are about 9 months older or younger.

    This year the ward is at it again and I’ve had THREE different women (all having a third child) state to ME, “I just don’t know how this happened? It totally wasn’t planned.” Each time I ask them, “would you like me to explain it? it took me FOUR years to get pregnant and have a child, using drugs to GET pregnant…if you DON’T want to be pregnant you have to do something about it…” and I always add, “and be HAPPY you’re pregnant fertile mertle!”

    Wow, I just left a long rambling comment…sorry, it’s late. I enjoyed your post yesterday. I enjoy most of your posts. You’re free to move to our area, we need more of YOU around here!

  7. You have been in my prayers everyday. I pray that Heavenly Father sends Moosh 2.0 soon. You are such a great Mom!

  8. You are in my thoughts – I’m just hoping for the Moosh 2.0 for you. x

  9. Well it just sucks that you are going through this. From someone who happens to be a rabbit I can’t imagine the frustration that you are going through. HUGS! And if I could send cupcakes in the mail and the border guards wouldn’t get mad I’d so totally do it because cupcakes always make me feel better.

  10. Rather than feeling like you’re doing something wrong, you should feel like you are a unique snowflake in the homogeneous blizzard of life.

    Metaphors are fun.

    DesignHER Momma Reply:

    @Avitable,

    I love Avitables metaphor! Unique snowflake – ohhh, so pretty! totally true.

    Casey – as you know, we live in a difficult world. we’re all just trying to do our best. You really are doing a good job – a better job than most.

    Here’s an idea – stop hanging out with pregnant girls. Oh, wait, that would turn out very bad for me, don’t do that.

    Love you! xoxox

    sam {temptingmama} Reply:

    @Avitable, Oh yes! A beautiful, wonderful, loving and compassionate snowflake. That’s you!

    I love you immensely and am always here for you!

    xox

  11. No matter what, your feelings are genuine and valid, so don’t ever feel like you have to apologize for them. Be angry, be happy, be jealous, be frustrated. If anyone faults you for it, they’re stoopid. 🙂

  12. I don’t know what to say other than I’m sorry you have to face this at all.
    I do think you’re pretty level headed about it all and I also think you’re pretty awesome all around. Hugs!

  13. I just thought I’d delurk for once and let you know that you have my thoughts and prayers through this hard time. I can’t say I know what it’s like, but I feel for you. I’m impatiently awaiting my labor to start, I was due yesterday, tuesday, but no one told the baby that….

  14. Kristen McD says:

    In the years between my two pregnancies, Sacrament Meeting was sometimes torture. The sweet sounds little ones make during the passing… Sigh.

    My 9 month old drowns everyone else out now. And I revel in it. Because I know, in a year or two, when everyone else is at it again and I long for another that I won’t have (for other reasons)… Sigh.

  15. I always thought sloths were kinda cute, actually…

    Praying for Him to put a baby in you,

    Steph

  16. I watched my parents suffer infertility for a few years after they got married (my mom and step-dad who soon adopted me got married when I was 9). When I was 15, after they had given up hope of ever conceiving, after multiple procedures and tests and treatments, my mom got pregnant. 3 years later, it happened again.

    So the miracles are out there- you know it. And you know God has a plan for you and we can’t fathom or understand what that plan is. We all know all that.

    But the hurt can still sting and bring us to our knees, can’t it?

    And I love that your old OB had those special office hours. That is true thoughtfulness and compassion.

  17. I have been where you are.

    I have battled and will always battle infertility.

    I was always surrounded by people who I know and love becoming pregnant “on the first try”. I am not one of those people.

    After IVF, I became pregnant with twins.

    No one except for those closest to me, knew what I had to undergo to become pregnant. Everyone just thought I was “lucky”.

    “Is there a trick we can do to get pg with twins?”- they would ask me.

    Some of my best friends became pregnant when I was going through my fertility struggles. Some were apprehensive to tell me, others weren’t.

    Even when I was suffering, I understood why they couldnt tell me. They didnt want to hurt me.

    And when I became pregnant, I struggled to tell my husband’s cousin (who had been married since she was 19- then 28- and still could not get pregnant). Even though I made it to the other side, I didnt want to hurt her.
    I did tell her eventually, and she was happy for me. I dont think she held it against me as I didnt hold it against others who became pregnant easily before I did.

    Like you said, G-D has a plan.
    I can only attribute my infertility issues to G-D wanted me to have twins. Maybe my girls needed to have one another in this world (if I wouldnt have had ivf i doubt I would ever have become pg with twins).
    Who knows what the bigger picture is.

    I pray you get your miracle baby.

  18. That Panda picture is SO CUTE! I’m Catholic, one of the ones who follow Church teachings like you follow yours, which includes Natural Family Planning. There isn’t a religious decree to have children, we are not encouraged to have big families; it is a choice, and like your faith many of us do have big families. I have 3 children, only 2 at home and in church with me each week, and sometimes I feel like there should be more. It would somehow be proof that I’m devout. But that’s an insane reason to want more children obviously, and there is no pressure at all. It’s all in my head.

    60 is a big number – that is pressure I can’t imagine. You handle everything really well and I hope you realize that. It’s in God’s hands and He has a plan, so I hope you can try not to feel pressured.

    ~hugs~

  19. I rarely comment on your posts, but felt compelled today.

    I get what you’re feeling. It’s so hard to see the world going on around you, people bringing babies into this world, when you feel like everything is standing still. I love your panda analogy (I’ve seen Planet Earth, but never realized the comparison) and I think I will have to love Pandas even more now.

    My problems aren’t in the getting pregnant department, they’re in the staying pregnant department. This horrible auto-immune disease pretty much hates me trying to grow things inside of me, babies included.

    So I get what you’re saying. It’s hard to hear the news, but I always want to know when friends are pregnant. Of course I’ll always feel longing when I hear the news, but I’ll be happy for them.

  20. I know I have two kids and I don’t have infertility problems…so I can’t commiserate on that level. However, I totally understand about feeling abnormal in our mormon world. As you know, I too have friends with two or even three kids that are younger than my “baby”. I am 30 – with two kids. Just two. Not very many lds peeps can say that. Sometimes I feel this weird pressure to have another. And I can’t tell if it’s really me that wants it, or just being around people with a bajillion kids. And I know people always look at me and wonder if I’m pregnant (I’m NOT). Because, oh my heck, my baby is almost three – gasp. I have to constantly tell myself that I need to do what’s right for me. I wish I was one of those people that could handle multiple children. But I’m not. And that’s okay. I’d rather be an okay mom to two kids instead of a crappy mom to eight. We may have more one day, but for now, two is good, even when it feels like my mormon world is telling me otherwise. (p.s. it will be a little better when you move…and we need to hang out!)

  21. Beautifully, beautifully written. You articulate this very well.

  22. I used to use a different entrance to church, the one farthest away from the nursery & children’s area. Seeing all the tiny babies & swollen bellies was just too much for me. While I *knew* that a good percentage of them had to have put effort into getting pregnant, the fact that they were while I wasn’t was just too hard to see 5 minutes before I walked into the sanctuary to praise the Lord for His goodness and grace. He didn’t feel very good and graceful to me a lot of those mornings. After the miscarriage I missed church a lot – I was just too angry and hurt to go, I needed someone to be mad at & God was the only one big enough to handle my wrath.

    I begged God to take me home the day of my follow up appt for my miscarriage … I had to sit in the OB’s office with 12 swollen preggers. It was enough to make me more than a bit stabbish. There should really be a seperate “Non Preggers” waiting room in Ob/Gyn offices.

    I wish I knew you IRL. I wish I could hold your hand after those church sessions & the waiting rooms. And personally, Pandas rock.

  23. As someone who’s not physically able to have more children, I feel ya. Of course, I treasure my son and am thrilled to the core that I was able to produce one precious baby, but MAN do I want another one (or two). An evil relative of mine just found out she’s pregnant. It hurt me tot he core because she spends less than 4 hours a week with the child she has now. LESS THAN FOUR HOURS A WEEK. How is that even possible? I mean, you gotta work to spend that little time with a kid who lives in your house! Anyway, the funky feelings do surface every now and then. We’ve just got to keep on keeping on and, most importantly, keep on supporting each other.

    I will now think of you every single time I see a panda, by the way. 🙂

  24. I get you. I got married at 18 and spent the next two years dealing with infertility. Imagine being “too young” to worry about that and having specialist doctors tell you that it will happen in time. Also imagine the world in general look down on you for even wanting a baby that young.

    We had the Sprogling when I was 21 and it was spectacular. Thinking it would take another two years to have a second one we accidentally got pregnant with Little Bit when the Sprogling was 8 months old.

    I had to tell all the ladies I went through infertility with that I was suddenly unexplainably fertile all of a sudden.

    It hurts to be on either side of the infertility fence.

    Lots of love to you.

  25. I like pandas better than bunnies anyway.

  26. I have been in your shoes and some days are not good. Just hold on to hope. 🙂

  27. i’m a panda in a bunny world, too. thanks for being so open about your emotions and experiences. selfish as it sounds, it makes my hard days easier to read your posts!

  28. Candace says:

    I wouldn’t blame you if you weren’t just a teensy bit relieved to move to a ward not so full of procreating maniacs. 🙂

    With that tally…I can see how hard it must be to not feel like your face is being rubbed in the infertility mud, uh, constantly.

  29. I’ve always loved Pandas. And when they have babies it’s a very special event. My heart goes out to you. I wish I could transport my fertility to you. But as you said so eloquently… God has His plan. I remember aching for another baby. And didn’t think I would have the chance, but God had His plan for me too. You are in my prayers, beautiful Panda.

  30. huh. I don’t know why it posted twice up there. sorry for my dorkiness.

  31. Pandas rock! Somehow they’ve made it this far, no matter how hard it might be for them to get pregnant.

  32. Been married 5 1/2 years. And…I’m hispanic. So as soon as the wedding night was over we got the “So when are you having kids” and it never stopped.

    I totally give you credit for me now being pregnant (something about one of your waxing/grooming posts…haha). This has totally been an uphill battle, and finally, a surprise in a long stretch of trying.

    Thank you for putting into words what I feel so many days. You have a way of making it all seem less lonley.

  33. amen!
    thanks for this post. i love your blog. like a lot.
    we’ve been doin’ it panda style for over 3 years with no end in sight. however, interesting fact: apparently 53 women i know have produced 70 babies in that amount of time. way to rub it in, bunnies!

  34. I am eternally thankful for some days being better than others, not just for you, but for me too.

    xoxo

  35. You wanna biblefight? Cause there’s ONE BILLION of us baby-making Catholics out there.

    Oh wait, you didn’t want to biblefight. My mistake.

    Hrm.

    Perhaps the unrelenting challenge is to reconcile culture with reality. A community that values family may not be at odds with those who choose not to have children, but it is a social norm only further wrenches the heartstrings of those whose biology conspires against desires.

    You *deserve* to have what you want, and you are surrounded by those who want and receive this very blessing. Yet—implantation consistently evades. No baby, no baby.

    But despite what you have been denied, contemplate again all that you have received. A loving husband and a curly-haired Casey in miniature. A devoted family and a caring community. And don’t forget more interweb fans than both our baby-making religions could produce combined! You are *loved*. That’s the gift you have today.

    Maybe baby will come, maybe not, but all else is here to stay.

  36. I can’t say I know *exactly* how you feel, but I know what it’s like to want something so badly and it seems to happen to everyone else around you but you. Wondering if God is punishing you, or if you missed your chance earlier in life, or if this is just your cross to bear. It doesn’t get any easier, in some ways the daily painful reminder gets worse, not knowing if your day will EVER come. The only thing I can really say is that hopefully this too, shall pass. I sincerely believe you will have another baby some day. He/she must be too much of an asset in heaven right now to come down just yet… <3

  37. How is it that bunny mom’s produce panda babies? Does that make any sense? It’s not scientifically possible…but of course…out here in human world it happens! Infertile oldest daughter of 6 (7 if you count the m/c), and married to infertile male panda descended from bunny parents whom had 2 living and 3 m/c’s. So far all we have to show is the our own set of trial, tribulations, and 4 angel babies. IF sucks a big fat one!

  38. Oh my gosh… that’s one of the things that so makes me feel…. inadequate in this world. I have a pituitary adenoma, which pretty much makes my body feel/look like it’s pregnant ALL THE TIME, but without the bundle of joy at the end of the 9 months. Weight gain? Got it. Moodiness? Got it. Lack of periods? Got it. Smooshy little toes and cheeks and that feeling of being the most important person in the world to -someone- ??? Don’t have that.

    I go to church, and it feels like someone in the ward is either newly pregnant or having a baby every week. It gets to the point where my heart can’t take it, and I don’t go for a while. Hubs is in his 40s and says if we don’t have any luck by the time he’s 45…. then we don’t. *sighs* Trust me. I hear my bio clock ticking – no – screaming, every single day.

    Kirsten Reply:

    Not to mention that in the last 2 years, I have seen my brother have his first, my niece have 2, and my cousin have 2. My niece was born when I was 8. How’s that for a kick in the pants?

  39. Oh honey I’m just so sorry. I wish there was something I could do for you. Really honestly and truly.

  40. I could not agree and understand your frustrations more. Your struggles are struggles I deal with on a daily basis. I am SO sick of doctors telling me that since I’m young (24) and already have a 2 (almost 3) year old that I shouldn’t have a problem conceiving. BUT after 2 years of infertility, I know in my gut that something is wrong. PCOS is a strong possibility.

    Oh, and if i see one more ungrateful pregnant teen I am going to flip out on her underage ass. (sorry for the violence. what can I say, I’m bitter)

  41. Ugh! I totally get it. And I’m sorry. I’m LDS married for 6 yrs and have 0 children. I’m also in a ward that is 85% over 65 years old. And honestly, EVERY single lady in that ward of child bearing age has had at least one child in my 2 years of living here. And I hate to say this because it is rude, but it is so true. Old ladies just don’t “get it” no matter how long the conversation is or how many details you share…

    Anyway, from a fellow infertile with PCOS etc… I’m sorry, I know it sucks, and I wish I could make it all go away for us both. Here’s hoping Moosh 2.0 is on its way soon 🙂

  42. Can I come hug you, like now?

  43. My mom was 26 when my older brother was born, she had her 4th (and last) when she was 32. I always felt like I had really old parents. (My dad is 4 years older than my mom) My goal as a teenager was to be done having kids by the time I was the age that my mom had her first. I’ll be 30 in 7 months. No kids. My life has gone a lot different than I planned. I just got married a month ago. It’s my second marriage. I’m so very happy now, but it’s been a long hard road. I’ve never been at a place where I was intentionally trying to get pregnant, but I’ve wanted to be a mom for years, just never been in a place where it was the right time. I don’t know if my parts work right, I’m assuming they do, but who knows. I know I’m just a couple years older than you, but you have a lot of time still, and I’m glad you know and believe that God is in control. Blessings.

  44. It took us 2 years to get pregnant w/our son. During that time, EVERYONE in my book club except me had one (or more) babies. I could deal with it most of the time, but I remember one month in particular not going to the meeting because I just couldn’t. I remember being really ANGRY when Britney Spears was pregnant because WTH? Why her and not me?

    I know that it’s hard to be a panda. (Hugs)

  45. I read this post in my reader yesterday and I have to tell you what your mom said about the rabbit and the panda has really stuck with me. I wish we could switch costumes.

  46. I’m pregnant and I’m LDS. I also live in Santa Cruz, CA. You should be in my ward. Since living here for 2 years I am the second person to have a baby. LOTS of members in my ward only have 1 kid. I’m the exception. The liberal politics mixed with living expenses makes it close to impossible for big LDS families to reside here. Plus, lots of people have infertility problems. They’re open about it too.

    I love the west coast.

  47. Word, Casey. Word. It is difficult being LDS and infertile. Well, being actively LDS and infertile. Let me tell you, we had a pretty hard time getting to church during the barren years. We live in an Idaho ward exploding with babies. But next time we’ll have to go anyway because we have to get this kid to church, you know?
    I feel for you, and I’m praying for you. It hurts so much to pray to God and tell him how much you want a baby, but you’ll accept His will, even if it means you can’t have one right now. Oh my gosh, how much it hurts. I only wish there was more I could do for you.