Infertility is such a confusing, hurtful, emotional, and mental attack that it changes everything in your life. You may think this goes away once you have a child, but I have found that it doesn’t. I still have lots of beautiful, strong, encouraging women around me dealing with infertility. We laugh together, cry together, and find our way through this journey together.
When I had Emma I couldn’t wait for everyone to see her, and meet her. However, I have a friend that when she walked through the door at the hospital I had to take a deep breath and fight back tears. She had been on this journey with me, but I didn’t know if Emma would hurt her. Not the typical hurt, but the emotional hurt. This friend is the one that I dreaded telling that I was pregnant because I didn’t want our friendship to hurt, and I didn’t want this announcement to hurt her. Instead, she kept asking about my next doctors appointment, and when I was going. I tried to blow it off by saying oh I had to reschedule, but she stayed persistent asking questions. Finally I said I am not going because I am already pregnant. Before I could finish “pregnant” she jumped in my lap hugging me. It had gone so much better than I imagined, so how would this first time of seeing Emma go? As she walked in I just reached my hands out to hand Emma to her. Needless to say the visit went well, and we both did good because we didn’t cry. When that same friend would have a bad doctor’s appointment she would ask for me to bring Emma by to see her. Each time I would ask if she was sure because I didn’t want Em to bring more pain. She would reassure me that it would help not hurt. Now if you have never experienced infertility I will let you in on a little secret. Infertility impacts your mind to the point that you find yourself hating pregnant women. Strangers, friends, or family members it doesn’t matter it just hurts you so the defense is you don’t like them. I would take Em to visit and for that time frame I just let the friend take care of her, hold her, and feed her. I wanted the friend to experience the peace and love of a baby even if it wasn’t her own. the friend now calls Emma “puddle” because she says Emma melts her.
While that visit was the first infertility experience after having Emma, it wasn’t the first slap in the face of infertility for me. After having Emma I was thanking God for giving me this wonderful blessing, and enjoying every minute of her. I never complained about the pregnancy, the labor, or any of the rough days. Everything was good until my cycle stared back. That first one after having Em was BAM in the face reminder of all of the negative tests and infertility. The reminder of all of the times I thought I was pregnant only to find out I wasn’t. The reminder of the hurt, the pain, the questions, and the miracle in the other room.
Since I started talking about infertility I have realized how complex infertility is. Once you get pregnant it is like others with infertility don’t want you around because you are now what they hate. Then other pregnant women don’t want to hear about infertility because it doesn’t make sense to them. Now you are lucky if you keep infertile friends, and if you go through parenting with someone else who dealt with infertility. I am so lucky to have friends in both of these categories.
Infertility is tricky. You catch little details like the length of time they tried to get pregnant, the number of treatments, the number of medications, and the amount of “work” they put into their infertility. However, that shouldn’t be the focus. The focus should be on encouraging each other and uplifting each other. I have formed so many wonderful relationships through this journey. I hope I am able to encourage others through my journey, and show them that there is hope.
I still have fears from infertility and grieve because of infertility. What if I was so selfish to have a child that she has my smile, my tiny little toe, but also my infertility? What if I cause her to have the same pain from infertility? I grieve for women who may never hold their babies this side of heaven. I grieve for the women who have to say goodbye to their baby before they ever say hello. I also grieve for the friends who do not know what to say for they do not understand that sometimes no words are the best ones. I am an open book about infertility so if you have questions feel free to ask.