Accepting that I was never meant to be a Parent

The last six weeks have been rough. It first started with my birthday as a reminder that age 34 I am in the exact same situation living the exact same lifestyle as I was when I was 30 and will be when I turn 40. Then Father’s Day hit as another reminder of what isn’t and what will never be. You add in the other random triggers that have gotten me down that I’ve written about and the depression that defined my 2013 has returned. Though this depression is more a sad numbing than bitter anxiety.

This sad numbing is me coming to the hard realization that K and I will never become parents. The hope I’ve held onto is gone. I’ve been patient but I think that after 18 months of trying to figure out what our next step is it’s clear that there is no next step this is what it is and will always will be. If we were going to pursue adoption, we would have at least taken steps in that direction by now. We did talk about researching it together last summer but that never happened. One year later we are in the exact same position with no plans to pursue it at any point.

For all of the hard work we’ve put in it’s led us on a road to no where on making a decision as to what’s next. On my end I’ve make life changes that I thought would help me believe that I could live a childless life and be happy. I worked on coping skills last year during the 7 months of therapy. I’ve focused on weight loss, biking, running and volunteer work. Though they are enjoyable activities it still hasn’t changed anything in my everyday life. My lifestyle is the same routine day in a and day out.

The events of the last 18 months (or 3 years when we started to try to have a child) has made me believe that this is what my life was supposed to be. I was never supposed to be a parent with K. Maybe it’s because I wouldn’t have been a good parent and this is natures way of weeding out a weak link. Maybe it’s because it is my destiny to grow old miserable and isolated with no family. Maybe it’s because I am going to get sick and not live a long life (if that’s the case I wish it would happen sooner rather than later). Maybe it’s because it’s for the “greater good” that I don’t become a parent.

On edit

I say “greater good” because recently I had a conversation with a group of people where varying opinions sparked a heated debate on a political issue. The argument that was made was that people should support things that are for the “greater good” not because they stand to benefit. The conversation stuck with me that maybe I’m not a parent for the “greater good” of society today and future generations.

Whatever the reason it’s pretty clear to me that this life is the life I was supposed to live. The life I would like to live would be possible if it was meant to be and if it was for the “greater good”. I just wasn’t meant to become a parent. The difficulty is accepting that and living out a life that was, is and always will be. A life that to me has no purpose or direction except what it’s been for however long it’s supposed to be.

23 thoughts on “Accepting that I was never meant to be a Parent

  1. Angela Bergmann

    Oh Greg- I think you are far too hard on yourself. Truly. You may make the decision to remain childless and to find purpose outside of raising a family, but I never in a million years think it is for the greater good. Some of us just seem to have shit luck. No explanation, no reason. Just seriously shit luck.

      1. Angela Bergmann

        I totally understand that the decision might already be made, but I stand by what I said. You are much to hard on yourself. You remaining childless is not for some mystical “greater good”. It boils down to shit luck. It’s shit luck for all of us. If it made any sense, all of us would be parents without having to try as we desire to parent so much more then those who undeservingly get pregnant (crackheads, alcoholics, etc…)

      2. kisarita

        i don’t get why did you decide adoption is not for you? was it an active decision or just made out of inertia?

  2. Jenn

    I have so much to say, but I will try to keep it brief.

    First, you are DEAD WRONG that just because it has been 18 months, means you will never make a decision. Honestly, it can take years. It can be another 3 months, 3 years, 1 year, 10 years. You just never know. Like us, I know you worry about your age. But N was 24 when we got married, and he is now 39, and just NOW deciding he wants to consider donor sperm or adoption if we can’t do/don’t have success with ICSI.

    Now, your situation is different from a lot of ours in that there is no “fixing” your MFI, BUT there are a lot of infertiles who have had hysterectomies or simply cannot have children, with zero hope. Some of them decided what to do in a few months, some of them took years, some of them are still in limbo.

    Next, I have a real problem with people saying they “aren’t meant to be parents” because of IF. I know you didn’t mean it in this way, but in my mind it tells me you think everyone infertile wasn’t meant to be a parent and that is why they are infertile. It’s a deep-rooted wound for me, but something that puts my hypersensitivity into overdrive.

    I really don’t have words of encouragement. I have been seeing your pain and frustration for a while. But the thing you have to understand is.. you NEVER know. Never, never, never know what will or will not happen. You may be childless or things may change or something else might come along that leads you to the right direction. My advice is to not push the issue and live your life and see what happens. You might wake up one day surprised at how it turned out.

    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      I meant it from the standpoint of if I was meant to be a parent I would be one or moving towards becoming one (adoption). But I get why you took it that way and I apologize for that.

      I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate your kind words and support. They mean more than I can put into this reply.

  3. kiftsgate

    Jenn and Angela have already said most of what I’d like to say too.

    Let me just add a few things. I’ll be brief too 😉

    Whenever I feel – like you – that infertility is a message that “I am not meant to be a parent”, I think of all the people who get knocked up under the worst circumstances and with no desire to have a child (you pick: one night stands, drunken in the pub, career women who do not want a child to the point that the child is in vertical position in the womb and they don’t even have a bump, people who leave children in the trash and let them die… I have a massive list, which I partly got from the adoption services: they see this stuff every day!). Those people get a child or have the possibility to have a child but are not parents. We are (potential) parents but have no children. It sucks but there’s no message from the Universe on us not being “meant to be parents”.

    I don’t know you in person but for me a man who desires fatherhood so much, who makes huge efforts to improve himself, him marriage, his fitness etc., who thinks through things for a long time instead of jumping into alternatives, is a good man, one who deserves to be a parent by all standards, one who would make an excellent father.

    So many people run into adoption out of despair or in a hurry to have a plan B. Don’t feel bad for taking your time. It’s to the benefit of the child and of your possible future family that you think things through properly.

    Really, don’t be so harsh on yourself!

    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      Thank you so much for your encouraging words.

      Generally in my life, I’m hard on myself. It’s not that I’m a perfectionist. It’s that at a young age I had low expectations set for what I could be and I worked that much harder to get where I thought I could be. So it’s hard for me to back off sometimes.

  4. Cyn

    Oh Greg, I can hear your heartache in your words. I have lived that moment of life. Yes now I’m on the road to foster adoption, but even yet that isn’t guaranteed. I’ve been years getting to the point I could even apply. Years of moments, hours, days, months feeling as you have described. I hope for you that through grieving this enormous loss that you can someday find peace. The depression and grief at the loss of being a parent is overwhelming. Sending ❤ and ((hugs)).

    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      Thank you so much for everything especially today. Your support helped me feel normal and that I wasn’t the person I was made out to be.

  5. Geochick

    So, we didn’t start the adoption process till I was 35. I know others who didn’t start it until closer to 40. When
    things don’t go your way, on the timeline you expect, it’s really hard to adjust expectations. Maybe time for more therapy. Nothing wrong with going back to work through this next hurdle.

    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      It’s past the timeline I thought we’d be parents. It’s not even that we aren’t parents. It’s that we haven’t even seriously looked into it. I could live with being in the process and waiting. I would at least know we were doing all we can about it. Having not even attempted treatments, I just feel like we haven’t even tried.

      The thought of returning to therapy has crossed my mind. Not sure yet whether I will. Thank you for the feedback.

      1. kisarita

        40 was way past my timeline too for motherhood. if its just about the timeline, i would urge you to rethink your decision. life is unpredictable and can’t be timed. on the otherhand if you have some strong feelings against adoption being the choice for you, thats a different situation. it makes a diference what your reason is.

  6. Jess

    I’m so sorry you feel this way. I agree with others here- you would have so much to offer as a father so saying “it wasn’t meant to be” is not a reason. There are too many men out there who don’t deserve to be fathers- but you are not one of them. Our paths through infertility all present different challenges, some that can be overcome and some that can’t be in the way that we imagined. Some people resign themselves to being childless, but it sounds like you won’t ever be happy in that camp. For that reason, I hope you won’t give up on the other paths to parenthood. You deserve to be a father. Wishing you happier days ahead, however you move forward.

  7. The infernal infertile

    Everyone above has said all the things I want to say to you.

    I’ll just add this… Life doesn’t run on a timeline. You are talking about HUGE decisions here. Decisions that we never dreamed we would have to make take a long time to think about. Just because you haven’t made the decision yet doesn’t mean you never will.

    If you had asked me when we started IVF whether or not I would consider a donor egg, I would have said “no way”. But here we are… On that path, and so excited about the possibility it brings to us.

    Just give yourself and K the time you need to make the decision on your next steps. There’s no rush… xxx

  8. RemagineIt (@remagineit)

    I know it’s difficult not to be so hard on yourself and I know it’s difficult to imagine anything other than what you currently see as “never happening”.

    Although you haven’t decided yet, it doesn’t 100% guarantee that you’ll never become a parent. Everyone is different. Some decide what to do sooner rather than later. Your desire to become a parent will lead you down the right path for you, whatever it may be, whenever it may be.

    The current state of our lives doesn’t define its future. If you’re childless now, that’s only for now, not later.

    I honestly thought I’d never become a parent either. I thought I’d never lose a child, let alone two. I never thought I’d raise a child with special needs. But all those things did occur regardless of what I thought would never happen.

    Nature chose us to be infertile not by morality of “greater good”, but by millions of factors that are essentially completely random and unlucky for us.

    I believe that our infertility can be seen as a “greater good” by having so much love to give to a child because it’s not easy for us to have one and we won’t take them for granted as many others sometimes do.

  9. journeyformybaby

    I agree with Jenn and I also do not think that some people were not “meant” to be parents. I just think some of us have a harder time getting to become parents. Now, granted obviously some people are not able to share a genetic link with their child but they can still be parents through adoption or donor etc if they become comfortable with that decision at some point. So they are still “meant” to parent, just taking a different road to get there.

    18 months is not that long in the scheme of things. It would be surprising if you had felt emotionally ready to move on sooner than that really. First you had to mourn the loss of ever having a genetically related child. You can’t do that overnight! There is still plenty of time for you to move forward with a plan b. Most if not all people experiencing IF spend at least a little while in limbo land not sure what to pursue or if they should pursue. I spent quite a bit of time there myself. I started ttc at the age of 19 and I certainly didn’t expect it to take YEARS! It’s daunting to sort through all the options and find out what you are comfortable with and what you can even afford. It takes time. At the beginning of our IF nightmare, I swore I would never try IVF. Obviously I changed my mind.

    I guess I just don’t want you to think that you were not meant to be a dad or that you would not make a good dad just because you have fertility issues. Quite the contrary! You would be an even better dad because you wouldn’t take the blessing for granted as all the drug heads and child abusers (who for some reason managed to have kids! see, it’s not nature’s way of eliminating bad parents afterall!) do.

    Anyways, I hope this makes sense and that you and K will come to a decision that makes you both feel happy and fulfilled.

  10. Pingback: I’m the Insensitive Asshole | A Few Pieces Missing From Normalcy – An Infertile Man's Perspective

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