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.
- 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.
- 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.