This post is written by my friend at An Unwanted Path. This is a very touching and eloquent post about her struggles with infertility.
I've been at this for awhile now- it's been 29 months, October officially marks the 2.5 year mark. I find that the longer I travel this long dark road, the harder it gets. Not just with finding the inspiration, the courage, the strength to continue- I mean the motivation, finding bravery in the face of all this loss, failure, and fear.
See, so far I have ovulated 3, maybe 4, times. I have experienced that positive pregnancy test twice now. I have experienced that excruciating pain of pregnancy loss twice as well. I have learned that fertility treatments can make dreams come true, but for some of us they feed false hopes.
There are a great many things this journey has stolen from me, things I will always miss. I will never again look at a positive pregnancy test with a sense of joy. I will never feel excited and carefree as I tell people that I'm pregnant; I never even had that, and I never will. I will never have that naivety in pregnancy back. My first pregnancy will not be remembered with joy. I will never feel confident that I am having a baby until I have a living breathing child in my arms. Holidays are filled with dread, because I fear that someone will happily announce their good news- and I will have to hide in the bathroom because as strong as I am, I am not strong enough for that. I resent that I can't be happy for other people the way I used to be, because I feel too sorry for myself and I can't seem to get past that anymore.
Our family relationships have been forever changed- I will forever resent the way my family decided to treat me after my first miscarriage, and how hard it was on me. I will resent how my husband's family act like all this is so easy, how all of them knew about the miscarriages and that only my mother-in-law said anything, and how even she did not speak to me after the second one. I will resent their insinuations that we should adopt even though they can't begin to understand how difficult that really is- and how they seem to think that we will just let them in our lives when we have children, even though they have nothing to do with us at all as we suffer. I'm resentful because they love their grandchildren so much, and they dote on them so much at Holidays that I feel even worse, because I can't give their son a child. And because I know they didn't like me to begin with, I can't help but wonder if they hate me even more now because of this.
I'm resentful because I am so bitter. I don't want to be.
I used to be confident that I would be a good mother. The longer I walk this road, the more I doubt this. I haven't changed personally- I mean, I'm more weathered and my life situation has improved since we started- but I doubt my future parenting skills now. And it all boils down to this- the longer I have to think about what it means to be a parent, the more terrified I get.
I mean, watching my niece run around like a wild-child who doesn't understand the word "no", and getting worn out from just spending an hour with her- I have to ask myself, do I have what it takes? When I actually think about my entire life focus would shift (Well, not entirely- right now it's all focused on becoming a parent. It would just shift to being a parent.) I mean, afternoons watching television with my husband would be out, sitting on the computer and playing online as much as I do would be out, reading books and being absorbed in an art project, going out on a whim... all out. How would I handle situations that come up? What about stitches, school issues, babysitting, etc... We don't have a good extended network of family, I have to figure most things out myself. Illness, weaning, potty training, child safety proofing my house, an active toddler getting into stuff, and the horrible horrible teen years... it scares the beejeezus out of me.
But then I remind myself, it all comes in it's own due time. You adapt, you trade off. A night sitting in reading a book, becomes reading and learning time together. Working on an art project becomes arts and crafts time. Going out on whims becomes date nights, or family trips, or family nights in. Life would become different, but in a way you have (if you're like me) desired for years. You learn as you go along- most people don't have it all figured out before they become parents.
And then I stop hyperventilating.I want to be a mother- even if it scares me now more than ever.
I wonder if most people even think about what is really involved in becoming a parent- I mean truly think about it- before they take the plunge.
I am thankful for some things on this journey- I know that I will be a better parent now, I have had plenty of time to prepare, plenty of time to be more gracious, plenty of time to acknowledge that this isn't going to be easy at all. I have longed and suffered so much in pursuit of this dream- I know it will be worth it. I now understand how much my husband truly loves me. I count my blessings, and mourn my losses, and keep walking- I have become stronger, more resilient, because of it. I've realized that my life really is wonderful, and even if it doesn't work out the way I want it too- I can still be happy.
Am I glad I have infertility?
No- but life gives us what it gives us, and we have no choice but to either work with it, or to give up. So, I keep working with it- even if each step feels like agony.