1 in 8 women experience infertility. I am that 1 woman, and it’s hard. Everyday you’re faced with new challenges that test your strength.
It’s been 10 years since I found out I can’t conceive a child the natural way. After four failed early pregnancies, and four ectopic pregnancies, two in which resulted in the removal of both of my fallopian tubes, my doctor and I came to a final conclusion that IVF was the best and only option to conceive. After many doctors appointments, blood work, over 30 self-medicated shots in my stomach and butt, plus ultrasounds, it was finally time to see how many embryos we could make. To our surprise, 28 eggs were retrieved and 11 embryos were set to be put in preservation. We were so happy and relieved because everyone is not that lucky to produce that many eggs, if any at all.
So many thoughts cross your mind when you’re being told the natural way to conceive is not an option for you. The cost, the hormones, the medicine, the Truth!! I felt less of a woman. I mean that’s what women were born to do, have babies…and my chances were cut off. My husband and I spent plenty of days talking to one another about life and how one day we are going to be great parents. This journey is complicated but has also brought us closer. He has been very supportive and vice versa, but nonetheless the experience teaches you so much patience, growth, understanding, and most of all, the value of life.
Infertility is not only hard on the women, but for all involved. Family members and caring close friends take your feelings about your infertility into consideration. Although it is nice and sweet to know my feelings are cared for by my loved ones, I would never want anyone to hide their joy from me.
And then there’s the strangers. “Do you have children?” “When are you gonna have kids?” “What are you waiting for?,” are a few questions asked by some, and I think it’s a bit insensitive. Am I wrong for being upset about them asking? Or do I brush it off, due to their lack of knowledge of my story.
With National Infertility Awareness week just passing, and Mother’s Day vastly approaching (the agony), there’s been a cloud over my head, and my spirits have been a little down. It’s not obvious to others, but my husband immediately noticed and keeps asking what’s wrong? It’s been 2 non-stop work weeks at the airport, and I’ve seen what seems to have been a million babies, kids, pregnant women, ultrasounds of friends babies, pictures of newborns, countless news feeds of birth announcements, pregnancy announcements, gender reveals, transfer days, etc etc. Don’t get me wrong it’s the most beautiful thing in the world, I love it, but I found myself in a depressed mode questioning “Why can’t this be Me?” I’m just not understanding how this is my life! It’s hard, extremely hard. Thoughts cross my mind every day, thinking of all the what if’s in the world, thinking of how my children will look, how will they act, whose personality will they have, even what texture hair will they have. I try to keep busy so my mind doesn’t take over.
“What kind of mother do I want to be?”, “Am I her now?” , “What am I doing to become her?” are questions I ask myself. One day at a time, I’m evolving steadily, and learning about myself as I heal. Everything is going to be alright. Pretty sure it will make sense sooner than later. I wake up every day with my head held high, hope in my heart and a smile on my face. Infertility will not define me!
Ladies, I encourage you to be proactive about your health and thinking about your future, if you are thinking of conceiving, or trying to conceive, especially if it has been over 6 months to a year. Find an Infertility Specialist to get testing done, to ease your way into a happy and healthy pregnancy.