Photo courtesy of Jessie Glockling

You Don't Have Forever To Get Pregnant When Those You Love Are Sick

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Romper's Trying project follows five women with very different stories through a year of trying to conceive. Where discussions about fertility often focus on the end goal, they'll document what it's like emotionally, physically, and spiritually before you get there — the anxiety, the hope, the ovulation kits, the tests. How do you function when getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term isn't a given? Read on for one woman's answer to that question.

Jessie has been married for three years and trying to conceive for one year. This is the ninth installment of her Trying diary. You can read the previous entry here.

When we are children, we tend to think of our parents as these impenetrable forces. As we age, they seem to grow a bit fragile, but still the thought that someday they won’t be here seems impossible.

I don’t remember my paternal grandparents. My dad tells me that they were infatuated with me, my Grandma Anne making t-shirts with my face on them, and specifically inviting us over when her friends were there for a game of cards just to flaunt her darling grandbaby. My Grandpa Thomas would always say “Oh, that Jessie Veronica, she’s a caution…” and laugh at whatever mischief I had stirred. I was 2, and not even photos of me on her lap with her beaming smile conjure the memory of her. They both passed before I was old enough to make strong memories of either of them.

They will never meet my children, or my younger brother’s children, and while trying to start my own family, these are the things I think about; the voids in our heart that may never be filled.

My maternal grandparents were like parents to my younger brother and I. We were intermittently raised by them when our own parents struggled, and therefore we were extremely close. Some of my very first memories are of my Grandma Ione letting me try on all of her big chunky costume jewelry and parading around their house feeling like a princess to her queen.

Photo courtesy of Jessie Glockling

They were the most influential people in the lives of our entirely family. They lived to be 94 and 96, married 76 years, with many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even great-great-grandchildren. They both passed before they could attend our wedding. And while they have had the blessing to be in the lives of so many children throughout our family, they will never meet my children, or my younger brother’s children, and while trying to start my own family, these are the things I think about; the voids in our heart that may never be filled.

It’s difficult to even write these words, much less grasp the weight of what this means for him, for our family, and for our future children.

The day after Thanksgiving, my dad, Kevon, was taken to the hospital. What seemed like a small trip for a stomach flu, presented a much larger issue. They found a mass growing on his pancreas. The days following would tell us that Dad has inoperable stage 3 pancreatic cancer. His oncologist has told us that with chemotherapy, he will have up to two years to live. It’s difficult to even write these words, much less grasp the weight of what this means for him, for our family, and for our future children.

Photo courtesy of Jessie Glockling

My dad is the bravest person I have ever known. He always has been tough for us. He supports my brother and I in anything we ever set out to accomplish, is our biggest fan, is endlessly proud of us. My dad isn’t scared of anything, and even in these difficult times, he keeps everyone around him laughing through tears.

The clock ticks away while we wonder when our baby will be here.

The sad times are brief, but incredibly heavy. I’m trying to summon some of his bravery as I selfishly think about what precious little time this leaves for him to meet our children and be part of their brilliant lives.

Time seems to be moving quicker than ever, and the clock ticks away while we wonder when our baby will be here. And while I don’t know when our baby will grace us with its presence, I do know this: That baby will know how much their Grandpa loves them, and we will do everything in our power to create lasting memories in however much time we are blessed with.