“As someone rejoices over a new chapter in their life, I mourn over a loss in mine. It's twisted and confuses my mind because it doesn't make sense.

It doesn't make sense to me how someone else's joy is my deepest sorrow. It doesn't make sense that I go through all of the stages of grief when no one has actually died.

For some reason after everything I have put myself through trying to conceive, I still find a glimmer of hope each month. But that hope is lost when I am disappointed again. It’s a sick twisted game, and I wish I could be done with it forever.

I just want to be free of it all—the excitement, the hopefulness, the loss, the grief, the pain, the anger, the sorrow, the hopelessness.

I don't know how to escape it when it's always there. It's exhausting. I'm sick to my stomach and exhausted from trying to handle all of it.

This is infertility.”

That is an excerpt from my journal, a glimpse of the rawest place in my brokenness.

My husband and I started trying to conceive two years after we got married. I had planned on being a mom ever since I was a kid, playing wedding and house with my sister. I was the kid that had a baby doll and took it everywhere with me. Being a mom was what was expected—it was what came next after getting married. It was to my complete surprise that after a year of unprotected sex I still wasn’t pregnant.

At that time, I went to my primary doctor and asked her to “check it out.” Everything anatomically was perfect with both me and my husband. All of his swimmers swam and my uterus looked hospitable. One of my tests did predict that I have a very short ovulation window, but I was told it was no big deal. I was told to pay attention to my body and use ovulation kits.

This started the months of checking my temperature, cervical fluid, ovulation tests, and planned sex. It also started the wave of emotions experienced every month after all that work ended in a negative pregnancy test and a period.

I did not want to do IVF or take prescriptions, so I went to my chiropractor weekly, took all of the appropriate supplements, and listened to my body. I went in and out of depression, had intense anxiety and was always irritable.

I would take all of this out on my sweet and supportive husband. I didn’t blame him, but I needed someone to point all of my hurt and anger at. There was no physical reason why I wasn’t getting pregnant. I couldn’t blame incompetent doctors. My husband became the target of my pain, and he never left my side. 

It has been 6 years since this journey started. Almost 3 years ago, we decided to become foster parents while waiting to have our biological children. We felt led to this decision through an adoption conference that we attended. There are several avenues for adoption, but fostering stirred our hearts and it felt right.

We received our first placement in 2017, a sibling group of two. Adoption was in the near future for these two and when placed the intent was to be the adoptive family. We agreed and started our adoption journey.

Be the expert in you.

Take the Quiz

But adoption is not easy. I had all the thoughts that this is how our family would be built, that once the adoption happened my desire to be a mom would be fulfilled, and that the pain of infertility would be redeemed. This was not the case.

Every single day, I looked into the eyes of someone else’s child. I was reminded of the fact that someone was able to have two babies no problem and then chose to abuse and neglect them. Yet, I was unable to have my own biological child to love and nurture. It felt unfair. I had a very difficult time in transition with the two kiddos. I wanted out several different times, but something kept me going. We adopted them in 2018, and here we are almost two years into adoption.

I do believe that our children were always meant for us, and we do have a family now, but I still cannot say that the deep need to have my own biological children has disappeared because I adopted. I am a mom in a different way than what I expected and I do find joy in that, but it does not fulfill that dream.

I probably will never know why we have not been blessed with biological children, and for the first time in six years I am able to say “that is okay.” It has taken a lot of therapy, writing, and work on myself to be able to let go.

My husband and I decided that we are at the end of our TTC journey. As I wrote this, infertility and all that comes with it has kept my life in bondage. I so badly want to be free. I want to be able to have zero reservations with my own sweet adopted kiddos. I want to feel whole as a woman. I want to be proud of my body and quit shaming it for not working properly. I want to share in another’s joy unreserved when a baby is entered into the world without feeling my own deep sense of loss.

I believe that one day I will be healed—not physically to have a baby—but emotionally and mentally from battling through infertility for all those years. It will never leave me, and maybe that is okay.

Hannah Kortz has been married for 8 years and has two adopted children from foster care. She loves dogs and has a 75lb Tibetan Mastiff pup. She loves writing and eating really yummy food, her sister is her best friend, and she is 1 in 8. You can read her blog here.