Penny Pinching Peach

The Guilt of a Fertile Myrtle

25 Comments

Tiebreaker!

Tiebreaker!

I always dreamed of being a mommy. By always, I mean from the time that I was able to tote around baby dolls and know what a mommy actually was. My other dreams came, went and changed with my interests, but that dream remained the same: I wanted to be a mommy more than anything in the world, and I wanted more than just two children. By my teens, I was somewhat scared I wouldn’t be able to conceive or carry a child, from watching others struggle with fertility and miscarriages.

When my time came to have my own baby, however, I got pregnant beyond quickly. The second time around, I was expecting within a couple of months of going off of birth control. The third time I conceived I was actually on birth control and went off of it when I realized I might be pregnant, but I sadly lost that baby. This time is my fourth pregnancy, and I was pregnant literally immediately. We joke that all my husband has to do is look at me when I’m not on birth control and I’m pregnant. It’s a blessing, but never stops surprising me, especially now, since they had to remove my right ovary during my son’s emergency c-section due to a huge dermoid cyst that apparently had taken over that ovary’s ability to function long before I was even expecting the first time. I am an unlikely Fertile Myrtle.

That being said, my awareness of the very real struggle and pain of infertility leaves me feeling guilty. I feel guilty that I become pregnant with no effort whatsoever, even though it’s pretty miraculous under the circumstances. I feel guilty that I am expecting my third child while many of my friends are still dreaming of being able to have even one precious child. When it comes time to make a happy announcement or share brags about my babies, I feel guilty and worry that it might hurt my friends who aren’t able to have children so easily. Maybe I shouldn’t, but I do feel guilty because of their sadness and my own joy.

Holding Hands On Our Wedding Day

Holding Hands On Our Wedding Day

But then I think…

I expected to marry at a very young age, due to the way I was raised, but I didn’t marry until I was 27. Our first daughter was born two days before my 28th birthday. I remember wondering if I’d ever find someone to share my life with, as I watched my friends find their special someone one by one. I recall hoping I’d be a mommy myself one day, as I saw them welcome their little ones into their lives through birth and adoption. Even now, as I see their mothers doting upon them and their children with such love and pride, I wish with all of my heart that my own mom could have been here to do just that with her grandbabies she’d also dreamed about, because even when she was dying she said missing out on them was her biggest regret.

Did it upset me for them to share the joy of their engagements, weddings and babies, even while wishing for those things for myself? Honestly, no. I was happy to be able to rejoice with them, and loved seeing the pictures and being part of their lives. Do I resent that these mothers and grandmothers are enjoying the next generation while my mom is missing it? Of course not! It sometimes makes me wistful, but I am glad to see that love. What would have been then- and would be now- a much sadder thing is to be left out of all of that happiness just because people didn’t or don’t want to make me feel sad or left out.

With this perspective, do I still feel guilty? Being for real here…yes! However, having that perspective makes me just continue to talk about my children, share their oh-so-adorable pictures, delight in the announcement of a new life and share it with everyone, including those who I so much wish could have these things for themselves, as well. Yep, I feel that twinge of guilt sometimes when I think about it, but I am going to love my little ones and share that joy with all of my friends and family just as if I didn’t feel it. 🙂

“Penny Pinching Peach is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”

Do you ever feel guilt about something you can’t help because you fear it might hurt someone you care about?

This looks like a good book for those who are struggling with infertility, and for those who are wondering how to reach out to them: Infertility: a Silent Struggle and a God Who Hears

If you don’t have a Kindle, but want to be able to read e-books like the one above, here is a free app that will help you out: Amazon.com – Read eBooks using the FREE Kindle Reading App on Most Devices

To see the youngest member of our family, head on over to my special announcement!

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25 thoughts on “The Guilt of a Fertile Myrtle

  1. I went through a time of feeling that it wasn’t fair that I could so easily have babies when others had trouble conceiving or carrying them. But somewhere along the way I realized that my guilt benefited no one, and that much in life isn’t “fair”. We have to teach our kids that, right? My 7 children are now grown, and raising those kids was the greatest thing I’ll ever do. Thanks for sharing your struggle. Have a joyful, mommyful day!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I became pregnant while on BC (and taking it correctly). I was excited but it was kinda hard to not feel a bit guilty as my best friend has been actively trying to get pregnant for five years…you aren’t alone!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. God is good! 😀 We don’t always realize just how good – in what He has given, and in the prayers He hasn’t answered. He knows best. I for one am happy for you for your blessings! They are kinda cute so far, lol…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I know exactly what you mean…not only friends struggling to have children, but friends who have lost children. A dear friend of mine went through the unimaginable this past year loosing her 2-year-old, her only child, in a horrifically tragic accident. I have felt such incredible guilt as I visit with her and my children run around. But I know she doesn’t feel upset or jealous. I imagine she is just happy to be around the happy squeals again and remember her sweet girl. We all have our trials and struggles, and it seems you have certainly had your share. You have such a beautiful outlook, and your children are darling. 🙂 I hope that your pregnancy is going well!

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    • We just don’t want our blessings and joy to cause others pain, I guess. We almost lost our second child at and after birth, so I can easily imagine being the bereaved mom, and it makes me appreciate these babies so much more. I still can’t fathom the actual loss your friend and others experience every day, though. I think our trials help us be able to love others more.
      Thanks! I think my little ones are pretty darling, too. 🙂 My pregnancy so far is not fun, but the baby is doing well, so I am thankful for that. 🙂

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  5. We were in the struggling with infertility category until we were blessed with our four, now 4 year-old, children. We were still able to be happy for others while being sad about our situation at the time. Everyone has struggles. I think we can be stressed about some of our own struggles without resenting the good fortune of others (in the areas where we struggle). Most of us also have ways in which we are fortunate (and those gifts may be things that others are struggling with).

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    • That is a good way to look at it. I’ve always been able to be happy for others while struggling with something myself, but I’ve known some who had a really, really hard time with it. It’s true that most of us are fortunate in some way or another. 🙂

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  6. Congratulations! It’s such a tough subject, great approach to it. I always think what is meant to be will be, everything happens for a reason 🙂

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  7. That is a great perspective and a great way to approach things.

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  8. I too have felt guilty at times. We have an easy time getting pregnant and have not had any miscarriages so far. I have friends who have tried to many months and years before they have been blessed.
    I do know a miscarriage is a high possibility because of some thyroid issues so I am thankful that we have, so far, had no issues.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Congrats! I understand what you mean. I have chosen to stop after one child and do my best to keep from getting pregnant again, meanwhile I have many friends that are struggling to get pregnant the first time. It’s a tricky situation.

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  10. I understand what you are saying, and I think that is good to feel that way a little so that we are sensitive to those who are hurting about not being able to conceive or other situations. I only had one ovary, but had 5 children! The first 2 we had to work at, and the last 3 came easy, but not until we started trying. I have a sister like you though :).

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    • I don’t think you can ever go wrong in being sensitive to others’ feelings, although the guilt part could definitely get out of control. Five children with one ovary is quite an accomplishment! 🙂 They told me it would probably be difficult for me to conceive again after they removed one of mine, but that then again it might not, since it was probably never functional when I conceived in the first place. It took a blink.

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  11. I can relate on both sides. I have given birth to five children, none of the pregnancies were ‘on purpose’. We have some friends who had tried for five years to conceive and finally, about the time I became pregnant with the fourth, she became pregnant with their first. We went through the pregnancy together, talking at least once a week on the phone. In about the eighth month, her baby died and she was induced to deliver a stillborn. I was overwhelmed with guilt, and fear. Guilt for being able to conceive, carry and deliver so easily and fear that making it to the eighth month is not a guarantee. It seemed that I dealt with it much more poorly than she. She NEVER did or said anything to make me think she expected me to feel guilty. In fact, I think it made her uncomfortable that I did.
    My five are much older now, the youngest a senior in high school. We are now adopting my husband’s niece, who is seven. We are hoping to conceive another child as well. We have been ‘not taking precautions’ for two and a half years now. It is the opposite of my younger years of conceiving WHILE taking precautions ……. the hardest part is knowing three people close to us are pregnant right this minute and didn’t want to be. I struggle with my feelings about that but that’s another story… I remind myself that babies don’t sneak into earth – they are spoken in by the perfect Father. We are trusting in His timing for our conception while we wait.
    We may not know the reasons for the events of our lives on this side of eternity – we do know that we can rely on the Lord to get us through. I don’t think He would want us to feel guilty for the blessings He bestows on us.
    Blessings – Trish

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    • Wow, you really have experienced both sides of this!! Thanks for sharing your story and perspective. I don’t think we should be overwhelmed with guilt over our blessings, but it helps to have sympathy for what others may be feeling, too. Hoping you achieve your heart’s desire, or whatever is best for your family. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I got pregnant with my first daughter a month after I got married and my second came 16 months later. Sadly, I have friends and family that have been trying for a long time to get pregnant and they just haven’t yet. Announcing my second pregnancy to those sweet people was so hard. They always say nice things but I know they are hurting and it makes me so sad. Love this post by the way. 🙂

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  13. I had gotten pregnant after one of DH’s Sister passed away while pregnant and another lost her twins. I felt so bad because It happened within the same year, but I looked at it as giving them some sort of happiness. a new member in the family that would make their pain just a smidge lighter.

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