Monday, October 24, 2011

When Infertility Isn’t Medical

Spoiler Alert: I am a Grey’s Anatomy junkie.

On Grey’s Anatomy, Owen Hunt and Christina Yang are married. Christina has been very clear since the beginning of their relationship that she does not want children. Owen, on the other hand, wants children and hopes that Christina will change her mind. When she unexpectedly becomes pregnant, he pressures her to carry the child, thinking that this is their chance to become a family. The situation escalates, causing her to move out of their home for a time. Eventually Owen supports Christina’s decision to end the pregnancy and she moves back home.

When my husband and I were courting, he was very clear that he did not want to have more children. And at the time, I felt the same. But my heart changed once we were married - seeing my husband interact with my daughter was eye-opening and, suddenly, I yearned to have a child with this man.

But what about his heart?

Although he loves my daughter, my husband still does not want more children. After a year of discussion, prayer, and pastoral counseling, we jointly came to a decision, and my husband got a vasectomy. Factors ranged from my husband’s age, to the ages of our combined children, to our financial situation. In the end, I prayerfully chose my husband over another child, respecting his feelings related to the size of our family.

But that doesn’t mean the desire went away. Two years have passed and I am continually reminded that I will not become pregnant. As I wrap another donor cycle, I wonder about the outcome for this woman who has both the desire and opportunity to carry a child. My jealousy flares up as friends announce their pregnancies and the tears flow when I watch Julie & Julia or Up. Conversations with my husband become baby-centric and prayer becomes my refuge.

When does it stop?

In Grey’s, Owen continues to struggle with his competing desires to have children and respect his wife’s decision. Who knows where they will end up when the series wraps? As for me, I know where I will be: in my husband’s arms. What blessing would be found in another child if I didn’t have this wonderful man to raise it with me?

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