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.