Sunday, April 26, 2015

Do I stand alone?

It's NIAW (National Infertility Awareness Week) and it's time for me to get on my soap box again.  Better late than never I suppose.  Even though I rarely post or keep up with this blog since our miracle baby arrived I assure you infertility and all it's glory is still very much a part of me.  Just because we supposedly "beat" infertility doesn't mean we were cured.  I guess most people think that just because we finally succeeded in having our miracle baby that we somehow are free from all the traumatic feelings infertility has brought us.   Many of the feelings still remain and likely will for quite some time, if not forever.  Infertility is a BIG part of me and has proudly made me who I am, but yet doesn't define me.  I am learning that some wounds take a long time to heal and nothing but time can make that happen.  Struggling with infertility is just something you never forget.  If you have had the unfortunate chance to experience what it has to offer then you can understand what I'm talking about.  Unless you lived with or through it, you could never fully grasp all the implications it has.  I've learned it's not easy to brush these feelings aside...even on the other side.  It's even harder to sit with these feelings, reflect on them, and learn from them.  Upon reflection of my experience, infertility is not all bad and traumatic.  It has made me a better person and has shaped who I am today.  

If you have walked down the path of infertility, man or woman, young or old, gay or straight, black or white, we ALL share a common denominator that's part of our fiber.  It's HARD.  Nothing about it is easy.  It didn't come with a manual.  All our stories are unique but each of us shares the same feelings to some extent.  For example, you are not alone when you are devastated at yet another pregnancy announcement that isn't your own...yes, even AFTER so called "beating" infertility.  It's not because you aren't happy for them, but because you are hurting so badly for yourself. You aren't alone when you think to  yourself, "if I hear one more piece of useless piece of advice" after you've heard the typical "just relax and it'll happen" or "just adopt".  You aren't alone if it's draining your bank account...and draining you emotionally.  You aren't alone when you crumble to the floor at yet another negative pregnancy test.  You aren't alone if you "lose it" when you accidentally walk down the baby isle in the grocery store or happen to stand in line next to a pregnant lady.  The list is endless.  We've all had these and so many other feelings.  It's normal and okay to have them.  It's downright human.  It's okay if you can't attend your best friend's baby shower.  If she were in your shoes, she'd probably do the same.  Don't let ANYONE invalidate your feelings and how important they are.  I promise for most of you, whether you come out on the other side of infertility with that baby you so longed for, that it's these very feelings that will make you a better person.  It may be hard to see this in the midst of injections, invasive exams and dollar signs....but it can happen.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this blog. It has helped to reinforce that couples that suffer from infertility, like us, are not alone, and it is really healing to be able to read and share your own experience. My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for a while now - living apart for most of our marriage and focusing on our careers has not been conducive. I have spent many hours in our journey wondering how things could have been different – if only we had tried sooner or really prioritised starting a family years ago. We knew that we always wanted a family but we let life get in the way.

    So here we are now, both of us in our late 30s, trying month after month, running to the fertility clinic weekly and watching thousands of dollars vanish from our account. In the meantime, I have suffered two miscarriages and plenty of heartbreaks – heartbreak when there is blood; heartbreak when I learn that another friend or co-worker is pregnant; heartbreak when I see a parent mistreating his or her child; heartbreak that my husband, who is the kindest, most loving and nurturing person in the world, is not a father yet.

    I am so tired of hearing people’s stories of quick and easy pregnancies – oh, I forgot to take my birth control while on vacation; I went off the pill and got pregnant the following month – or those who are pregnant talking about gender preferences or starving themselves because they are too afraid to gain even the right amount of weight. I am not a bad person but this journey has made me bitter, envious, and very sad.

    My husband tells me that I should try my best to stay positive and although we have only been seeing a fertility doctor for the last 8 months, I am finding it really hard to be strong and keep hoping. The monthly fertility treatments and the two week waits just consume you, and it is such a turbulent journey – one week you are feeling anxious and excited, the other heartbroken and disappointed, and then you have go through it all over again, hoping that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    So I turn 40 next month, and I most certainly do not feel like celebrating. There have been other achievements in life but not having a child when you really want to seems to surpasses many things. Maybe its in our future; maybe not. It’s a really hard reality for so many of us. But I do have to say if there is one big fat lesson I have learned these few months is to be mindful of infertility – there are many of us who have tried or are trying.

    One friend suggested that maybe it will make us better parents because there could not be a pregnancy more planned. I don’t know; I do know that I am ready and waiting, and desperately trying to hope.