To the childless stepmom trying to conceive… I am here for you. This is my story.
Our journey together began April 20th, 2013, on Prom Night.
Since the day my husband asked me to be his girlfriend, we have gone through many different trials together. Some we have conquered, and some we are still fighting, but the one thing that has not changed throughout it all is our love for each other. It has only grown stronger.
My husband has an eight-year-old son, and I officially became a stepmom on April 30th, 2016. I thought I knew what it meant to be a stepmom before I married him; however, like many stepmoms, I was mistaken.
I struggled a lot in the beginning; often times feeling like an outsider in my own family. I lived, and I definitely learned in those first few years.
I can’t go on without saying that I am truly blessed that my stepson loves me just as he loves his daddy. I have been in his life since he turned two, and we have a wonderful relationship that I am extremely proud of! I try my best every day to help shape him into the man he will become one day.
To the Childless Stepmom Trying to Conceive: May you Find Hope!
Shortly after we were married, I noticed that there were challenges that came along with being a stepmom without my own biological children:
- No honeymoon phase
- Another woman who calls or texts my husband’s phone whenever she pleases
- Another woman to ask permission for things
- Rules for discipline
- The chaos of shared parenting
- Broken promises at times (even if they weren’t meant to happen that way)
- Plans that never happened (or changed a million times)
- Arguments that were no fun at all…
Jealousy, anger, resentment… the list goes on!
Starting “Our” Family: This Childless Stepmom’s Dream
Getting pregnant is something I never really gave a lot of thought to. It seemed to just happen to most people.
About a year of marriage passed by, and we were just enjoying life together. When we first started talking about how weird it was that I wasn’t pregnant yet, it was just that—a conversation that ended with a line kind of like “maybe it’s a good thing. It’ll happen, we just have to give it time.”
Being a Type A person who always has a plan for everything, I began to panic inside. I would see pregnant women and babies and think “Why can’t that be me right now? Gosh, did I do something wrong?”
I was still in college, so I knew it wasn’t “perfect” timing for us. Even though we were on our own, it was okay because we weren’t 100% ready yet. I kept moving forward.
Self-Blame & Guilt
It wasn’t long before people in my graduating class started getting married and were announcing their pregnancies.
That was when I started to really freak out. I don’t quite think my husband was worried at this stage, but it had been a little over a year of “Not Trying but Not Preventing.” I knew in my gut something was wrong, but I didn’t say a word to anyone.
Why? I was scared. I was terrified, to be completely honest.
I thought something was extremely wrong with me. I started buying ovulation prediction kits to keep at home and downloaded an ovulation app to track my cycles (which had been irregular all my life).
I tracked and tracked and waited and waited. I tried talking to my husband, but I couldn’t find the words.
In my head, all I could come up with is, “What if he leaves me? What if I can’t make a baby?”. I silently worried myself sick, thinking that I was never going to be enough.
Anger & Depression
Then, the jealousy crept inside of me. The pain and resentment came along behind it.
I was mad. I was hurting. I was full of hate, and I was downright bitter.
I was a childless stepmom who began to hate everything around her.
I thought, “Why does my husband get to be a dad? Why do I have to settle for the role that goes unnoticed and unappreciated?”
Mother’s Day crept up and ate at me like Thanksgiving Dinner.
I cried, I screamed, I hid my hurt and my pain from everyone and pushed them away.
I felt broken, and I felt so alone. I still visit this stage some days.
I remember thinking, “Maybe if I quit thinking about getting pregnant, it will just happen.”
I told myself, “I must deserve this pain and suffering.”
I questioned everything good in my life. I was angry with God. I cried out because I was lost and scared of the unknown.
I pushed everyone away. I wondered, “What do I have to do to prove I can be a mother? Why me?!” I pleaded with God, “I will do anything if I can just have a baby of my own. One that looks like me and has my own DNA. Just like my husband has.”
My husband has been my rock through all of the pain and heartache that goes with infertility. Throughout all of my tantrums, rage, tears, screams, and doubt, we have somehow grown stronger together.
I said a lot of things out of anger and hurt, but he never stopped loving me. He lets me vent about how hard this journey is being a stepmom and has never given up on me.
When I found support groups online for childless stepmoms, there was a sense of calmness that came over me. I came to realize that there were other women struggling with not only infertility, but stepmom infertility.
I wasn’t the only childless stepmom alive.
I found friendship and advice. I found a family. I found hope. I would still be lost and oh so broken without these support systems in my life.
I gained the courage and the confidence to trust God’s plan for us as a blended family no matter where that takes us.
I finally called that fertility doctor I had been trying to call for ten months. Before, I would pick up the phone and some days actually dial the number, but then hang up.
After realizing I am part of an amazing blended family, I found a sense of peace. I realized that this is my life, and even though it sucks some days, I can do this because I am not alone.
To the childless stepmom reading this, there’s something that you need to know…
I know you’re hurting. I know it’s unbelievably hard to put what you’re feeling into words. You want someone to understand the roller coaster of emotions that flood through you as each day comes and goes.
You try to hold yourself together for the sake of your family, but you fall apart when no one else is looking. I see your tears. I hear your cries. I feel your pain.
It is okay to feel all of these emotions, but don’t stay there.
You are NOT alone. You are NOT broken. You are worth so much more than you could ever imagine.
Reach out, sweet girl. There is a community of women waiting to love on you and support you through your journey. Together, we can keep going.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Find your hope, stepmama.
P.S. When you’re completely overwhelmed, here’s what the exhausted stepmom needs to hear. You’ve got this, Mama!