A Letter to Infertility, From Someone Who’s a Better Person Because of You
I am so tired of you. I am tired of hearing your name. I am tired of thinking about you. I am tired of even hearing about you.
I am sorry if that sounds harsh, but it is the truth. You have a lot of nerve, and I’ve decided to let you have a piece of my mind.
I always knew about you. But in 2003 you decided to insert your big, obtrusive self into my life. Not only my life but my husband’s life. And you know, while we are it, I’ll go even farther and blame you for messing with every single person we knew!
Seriously? Do you think of yourself as that important that you had the right to reach your tentacles into the lives of nearly everyone we loved?
You messed with my parents. You told them they may not be able to be grandparents. And while all their friends were celebrating being a grandparent, you thought it was OK to leave them in a state of limbo.
You even had the nerve to tell my only sibling he couldn’t be an uncle. Maybe not ever. Really nice.
And your reach went farther than that. Your coming into my life meant that you even messed with my girlfriends. They had to dull their own celebrations to help ease my pain. They had to walk through this journey with me. They had to cry with me and grieve with me and try to say the right things when sometimes there just wasn’t a right thing to say.
For five long years you inserted yourself into every single aspect of my life. You thrust yourself into the most private recesses of my relationship with my husband. Birthday parties. Baby showers. Church. Reunions. You were there. You not only thrust a disease onto our marriage but you brought huge words along with you: jealousy, frustration, anger, grief, pain and sadness.
You made me feel alone. You made me feel different. You made me feel left out. You made me feel afraid. You made me question every thing I had ever dreamed for my life. You made me question my relationship with God. With my husband. With my friends.
What right did you have?
And you know what? Even after five years of all that pain, I feel like I could have forgiven you if you would have left me alone as my story came to a close.
But you didn’t.
Here I am 12 years after meeting you. Twelve years later, and I am still hurting because of you. This week I cried in my living room to hear of a miscarriage in a womb of a woman I loved dearly. Another friend shared with me that she has been given the final nail in her infertility coffin. No children. Not ever. Three others wait for a birth mother to choose them while still grieving their barren womb. Another is in the midst of treatments and feeling helpless in the wait.
There are celebrations. You don’t win nearly as often as you lose. One friend got news that her IVF was successful this week. Another is preparing to deliver a baby over five years in the making. Yet another celebrates new life through a donor egg.
But in the midst of that joy, I find myself thinking about you all too often, and I have begun to realize you will always be a part of me even though I no longer stare at negative pregnancy tests or allow my body to be a pin cushion of needles. I do not answer questions about myself or cry on a table while doctors attempt to fix an unknown problem. But yet I think of you.
All the time.
And I hate that about you.
I am changed forever because of you.
Anytime I hear a pregnancy announcement, I think of all the people who are pained by these words. Pained because you are living in their home.
Every single time I walk into the baby department of a store, I think of women who speed by that aisle — fighting back a lump in their throat and wondering if it will ever be their turn.
I want to wear a shirt that says, “Wait! You don’t know my story!” I don’t want anyone to look at me and feel like something came easy for me. I don’t want to cause anyone pain.
I still have trouble with Mother’s Day. Even though I have reason to celebrate the mothers in my life and the mother I have become in non-traditional ways. And I blame you for those mixed emotions.
But despite my grave dislike for you, despite how much I loathe having to listen to a woman whisper your name and despite how my heart hurts each time, I stand alongside a woman doing battle against you. I must admit you have made me a better person.
I am stronger.
I am more compassionate.
I am more resilient.
I am less afraid.
And because of that, my fear of you has lessened. So much so that I am not afraid to stand alongside another woman as they fight you. I will do battle by her side as she fights an unseen enemy. I will cry with her. I will encourage her. I will push her to fight you with everything she has. I will educate myself and her and anyone who will listen.
I will explain what this disease called infertility does to a woman’s heart. What it does to a woman’s body. What it does to her relationships.
I will never stop doing battle against you and against what you bring into homes and lives. You have no right in doing what you do.
Follow this journey at flakymn.blogspot.com.
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