I’m just going to put it out there: I am so thankful for the infertility problems I was given. I know, call the mental ward, this girls gone loco. Seriously though, I am a completely different person now than I was two years ago, and in large part I have infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss to thank for that. Infertility took away a large part of who I was, but until recently I never stopped to think what infertility gave back to me.
Infertility took away the element of surprise. Thanks in large part to opks and temping, I knew everything about my cycle. I could tell you what day my period would start, when I would enter into my fertile window, when I would ovulate and when the cycle would start again. The only surprise to the process was when we would be successful in attaining a pregnancy.
Infertility took away the spontaneous sex life I had come to love so much (Sorry mom if you’re reading this). The first half of my two week wait was spent with timed intercourse every other day, or every day if the mood struck. The second half of the tww was a bit more spontaneous, but sex in general became more of a chore and less of a way to connect.
Infertility took away my ability to be happy for others. I know a lot of you have been here/are here right now. Seeing other people’s success in something that I was failing at was gut wrenching and honestly is the hardest part of going through infertility. This is something I still struggle with, and probably always will.
Infertility took away my sense of self worth. I went through a period in which I felt very bad about myself. I didn’t understand why my body struggled so much to do the one thing that it is supposed to be able to do. I did everything I could (including tell my husband that he could leave me if he wanted to find someone able to give him a family) to push people away. I didn’t feel worthy of their love, or think that I could live up to their expectations of me. I didn’t realize that the expectations I wasn’t living up to were my own.
Infertility partially took away my ability to find happiness. I was still a pretty happy person, but I masked a lot of the hurt and pain and anger. There were days when I was depressed and really didn’t give a care in the world. I was sad and no amount of cheering up could bring me out of my funk.
Infertility took away my ability to have a worry free pregnancy. Every cramp, every ache, everything that could cause panic does. Every morning my first thought of the day is, will today be the day I lose my baby. Everytime I go to the bathroom I have to prepare myself for the possibility of blood being in my undies. Every doctor appointment, ultrasound and test is riddled with fear…..fear that something has gone wrong.
Infertility took an awful lot from me. It left huge gaping holes in my heart, holes that will never be filled. It left me sad, bitter and seemingly alone. What I didn’t realize that with everything infertility took, it left something miraculous in its place.
First and foremost, infertility gave me strength I never knew I had. It takes a lot of strength to go through what I did. Every month you put everything you have in the hopes that this will be the month. At the end of the month when you see one line on a pregnancy test, you feel like you are breaking. When you see two lines on a pregnancy test, only to have it ripped away from you a few days or weeks later……your whole life crumbles. Through all the pain and heartbreak never once did I give up. Each month, each failure, I got a little stronger. I was able to stand up, brush myself off and jump back on the wagon for another try. I was given the strength to persevere where others would have given up long ago.
Infertility showed me that my husband and my family will always love me and support me no matter how hard the times got. The more I struggled, the more they were there. I don’t know if I could have gotten through the roughest times without my family there to back me up.
Infertility introduced me to an amazing amount of online support. I began seeking out the support of women who have been where I was, going through the same things, and headed where I was going. I found not only one but two amazing group of women that have been so supportive of each other through this process. The first was on a ttc forum, that has since turned into a ttc/pregnancy group. The second was the amazing blog community. I started blogging as a way to express my emotions but quickly turned into a wealth of support from a fantastic community.
Infertility gave me knowledge on how the human body works, and what it takes to conceive. If I hadn’t struggled I never would have known just how much went into having a baby, and how important timing was. I could have lived my life based on 6th grade sex Ed, thinking that every time you have sex you get pregnant. I never would have learned about hormone production, ovulation or the actual process of conception.
Last but not least, infertility showed me just how much I had to be thankful for when I was finally able to conceive. I don’t take a moment of this pregnancy for granted. Every morning that I’m sick, every ache and pain, every little movement and big kick is cherished beyond words.
I am so thankful for the journey from where I was to where I am today. If I hadn’t struggled I wouldn’t be who I am today.