The Ugly Side of Infertility
If you’ve landed on this page, then you are most likely struggling to have a baby. Or maybe you were at one point, but your miracle finally came. If so, congrats!! If you’re like me, then having a baby is something you have wanted your entire life. For as long back as you can remember. You spent years stopping it from happening with birth control or condoms. You may have even had a few “scares” along the way. And yet, you happily assumed that when you finally wanted to get pregnant it would happen. Just like that. I mean, teens get pregnant by accident, right?! But here we are..
No one tells you about this growing up. No one prepares you for this kind of disappointment in life. We face hardships like divorce and death, which of course are heart-wrenching in many ways, but this type of pain is something that to many people seems so foreign. With the loss of a loved one, for instance, we all have our handy stand-by comments: “They’re in a better place..” “They’re waiting for the rest of us..” You’ve heard it all before. It certainly doesn’t take the pain away, but you can recognize it as an attempt to ease the tension and bring about some glimmer of hope in an otherwise dreary time. But infertility is very different.. Let’s talk about the ugly side of infertility.
You suddenly become unrelatable to many people in your lives–people who you are very close with. People who suddenly feel guilty to even talk about the three months they tried to conceive or their “oops baby” around you. What were once harmless questions all of a sudden send you spiraling.. “Long time no see! Congratulations on your marriage…when are the babies coming?!” People seem to talk about marriage and babies in a single breath. I was VERY guilty of this faux paus..
BUT, this juncture in life makes you so acutely aware of social protocols that you never even knew existed. And many people still don’t get it–they see this type of questioning as a harmless probe, not one that confronts you with the ugly reality of your current predicament. Not the type of questioning that could bring you to tears in a public place. My favorite is when you do hint at your struggles to people with children and they try to give you advice. If one more person tells me I have to relax more and stop trying because that’s when it will happen I’m probably going to throat punch them. Not even kidding. Like, really moron, you think I haven’t thought of or tried that? Get real.
And yet..it’s not all pessimism and crying into a pint of ice cream. There are moments when your struggle can almost seem beautiful. You learn to appreciate the miracle of child birth in a way you never thought possible. Every baby’s laugh makes your heart soar (even when there’s a twinge of jealousy) and you want to shake every parent who complains at all. Don’t you know how lucky you are?!
I’ve yet to encounter any point in life that mixed hope and despair so seamlessly. And it’s not even on a daily basis. These emotions can fluctuate within the same hour. It makes you dizzy at times. Sometimes it’s as if you are standing outside of your own body trying to urge yourself to remain hopeful. There are moments when you convince yourself it will never happen. But there are also times when you become overly optimistic when chances are slim that a procedure will take. And when it doesn’t you sink back into that realization that you may really never become a mother.
I’m at an interesting point in my journey right now, and I chose this blog post as my first to really talk about the ugly side of it all. Today was my very first IUI (intra-uterine insemination). I’m not going to talk about the details of the procedure and the roller coaster leading up to it. I’ll save that for a future post. However, I will say that I absolutely hate having to be at this point. In my wildest dreams, I never thought conception could be so sterile and unromantic. After years of trying to conceive the old-fashioned way, though, you kind of gotta do what you gotta do to take that next step. I’m hopeful, but also realistic. I’ve done enough research to know that the chances of this working aren’t great. But isn’t bringing life into the world kind of miraculous anyway?
Even though it seems to happen around us all the time (especially when you’re the one trying to get pregnant!), babies are still like little presents that we don’t feel worthy of having. And hopefully one day we all will be mothers, and we will look back on this journey, the ugliness that is infertility, and realize how grateful it made us. Love, prayers, and baby dust to all of you! Feel free to leave some comments =) We are all in this together.