Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Infertility is...

I've been thinking about the impact of infertility on our lives, and what it really feels like to be in an infertile person's shoes. Here are my thoughts. 

Infertility is:
  • Watching DH pick up our friends’ children and play with them and the tears in my eyes, the lump in my throat and the gnawing fear in my heart that we may never have our own child.
  • Seeing DH kiss the picture of the embryos that the RE gives us during transfer – knowing that this may be the closest we will ever be to seeing our own children.
  • The sadness in DH's eyes at a BFN, or during a "not good news" ultrasound in early pregnancy, and knowing he will not say anything, because he does not want me to feel worse than I am feeling already.
  • The hugs that DH gives me following a BFN or a loss, creating the shelter of his arms where I can sob and break down and cry for hours. 
  • The lost relationships and friendships that could not stand the test of our ordeal.
  • The loss of the innocence and pure joy of a surprise pregnancy, or a naturally achieved pregnancy.
  • The sadness and bitterness that comes with the realization that no one – NO ONE – gets what I’m going through.
  • The real reason behind why I don’t ever ask my friends how their kids are doing.
  • Having nothing to contribute to conversations which center around babies or children and feeling singularly left out and awkward.
  • Resorting to being isolated and staying out of touch with people because I don’t want to be asked questions like “Do you have children?” or “When are you planning to have children?”
  • The indignity of all the tests and the procedures and the failures I have endured
  • Not cured by adoption. Childlessness is, but not infertility.
  • Something that envelops every other facet of my life and takes away from the joys of our otherwise normal lives.
  • Not being able to go to the baby section or maternity section of a store and not being able to bring myself to attend any baby related events
  • Feeling jealous when a friend or relative announces a pregnancy, and at the same time feeling guilty for feeling jealous. 
  • Imagining what our baby would look like, and not help wonder if the picture will remain in my imagination only. 
  • Not being able to watch even commercials on TV that feature little babies or baby products.
  • The tears that run down my face when I hear certain songs on the radio
  • The realization that even if and when I do get pregnant, I will be on edge and freaked out till the very end, and I will NEVER be able to sit back, relax and enjoy the pregnancy.
  • Realizing the far reach of infertility. Our families are affected by it. They have to deal with questions from their friends, and they have to live through their friends' descriptions of their grand-children/nieces/nephews, and not have anything to say in return. 
What I’ve gained from my infertility experience:
  • A complete clarity and  knowledge of who our real friends are, and who were there only when the going was easy.
  • The comforting knowledge that DH and I will weather every storm in the world and never flinch – our love will see us through everything.
  • The realization that come what may, hope is one thing I will NEVER let go of. 
  • A clear understanding of who I am, and what I really want out of life, and how far I’m willing to go for it.
  • An experience that has made me so much stronger.
  • The confidence that if we do have a baby, we will embrace the sleepless nights, the hard work, the trials and tribulations of parenthood - because we've wanted it so badly and for so long, and because we didn't get it easily. 
Please feel free to add to this list - I'm sure there are many many experiences out there that I haven't had or have had, but haven't thought of. 


the Babychaser: said...

It's the things you've lost that can't be cured by a healthy pregnancy that burn the worst: the loss of innocence, the loss of joy at the news of pregnancy, the loss of connection with other people.

There is so much that I've already lost. Sometimes I just hold my head in my hands and cry "what more?" What more can IF take from me?

It's no accident that the first half of your list involves the impact you see IF having on your man. This weekend J and I visited our best friends with their adorable 7 month old baby. I got that lump in my throat watching him hold this child, who was fascinated by him. But what really broke me down was when I caught him looking at ME the same way when I was holding the baby.

Believe me, other people out there get it. They just live in your computer.

I Believe in Miracles said...

What a great list. ***HUGS***

Shelby said...

This is a wonderful, albeit painful list that speaks so true. We are worse off because of infertility and yet, better off in some respects. Weaker and yet, stronger. It's really interesting all that IF has taken and yet all that it has given. You put it so beautifully.

Jackie. said...

I don't understand. I don't understand why it has to be this hard for you for so long. I am so sorry. Take it as far as the wind will take you.
I know I don't truly get what you are experiencing or feeling, but I want to make sure that you hear this. There is a group of people who will never grow tired of or be bothered be by what you are going through. I am one of them.

Darya said...

Very well written my friend.
IF is so painful. It's not fair.

Nichole said...

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE this post. It is so true and I can SO relate!
Thank you so much for writing this. I hope you don't mind, but I have printed it and keep it in my purse as a great reminder of the things I have gained.

g said...

you brought me to tears with this post! as i can realate to it all.. the thing that hurts me most is the disappointment i am to my husband and out parents.. my husband cause i too see the hurt in his eyes as he plays with our friends 6yr old and watches his friends one after the other go through the normal progression of marriage then soon to follow baby... and all that happening after we were married.. and hearing my MIL get upset over her best friend announcing shes goinng to be a grandmother... i hate it and there is nothing i can do.. and yes adoption will bring us a child but there will still be a lil void of that imaginary picture in our heads of what OUR child would look like.. whose eyes, lips, nose, lips etc.... But we will have the gains! and that no one will ever take from us.. and no one wil ever reach as they will never understand the pain that we will have overcome... i too am deathy afraid of what will happen if this last horrah does work.. i dont think i will rest on minute.. it will never end i dont think as even with success there will be that worry that it will al lbe taken away and will never be able to have again... IF just sux!!

Melanie said...

I love this list!! It is so totally how things are. And you truely do find out who your real friends are through all of this. Infertility is not fair at all! Like you said, it's hard watching DH play with other kids. It makes me sad. And I always imagine him playing with our children. It makes us stronger and we will be better parents for that! Taking nothing for granted!