I hate that word so much. I remember bristling when I heard someone use it in my diagnosis for the first time. How could they say that? I wasn’t infertile, I was just not pregnant yet, right? But nope, when you pass that year mark of TTC (trying to conceive), and there is no conception, well, then you get labeled that ugly, ugly word.
My close friends, and even not so close friends, know I am pretty open about my struggles to get pregnant. Writing them on a blog like this is the first time I have committed to really being open on such a public forum, I guess I feel like it’s time to write about it. It’s been a five year journey, and it’s not over yet, so maybe if I can help just one person by sharing my story, I can help it not be such an all-around crappy situation.
The best thing about infertility is that it makes you not take one second of loving and hugging your child for granted. You savor every bath time. You cherish kissing their neck and smelling their hair. You squeeze them tight a little longer than they want you to — and their wiggly body scrambles away saying, “no mama, no more hugs.” You appreciate your child SO very much, because you KNOW what it feels like to wonder if you will ever be a mother. You have TASTED the pain and fear of the unknown.
The worst part of infertility… is the not knowing.
Not knowing if something so wonderful and precious as being pregnant and having a child will happen to you. Will it ever happen to you…again? I really truly did not know if I was going to be lucky enough to become a mother. I was terrified when I was told I had diminished ovarian reserve — years of trying naturally had never resulted in a positive pregnancy test. Could I, would I, ever become pregnant? And then doctor’s trips, and more diagnosis, and a lucky break, and a good doctor in Orange County WAS able to get me pregnant with IVF — and a WHOLE LOTTA meds, like steroids and interlipid infusions to calm down my over active immune system, and my pregnancy stuck, and I was OVER JOYED! Nervous, but OVER JOYED! And I gave birth to my Cal, my miracle boy, my beautiful, perfect baby boy. I was a mommy! Brent was a daddy! There was a happy ending to the story…
But then the story wasn’t over – I thought it was over, but it wasn’t. I thought my body had figured out how to be pregnant and surely it wouldn’t be so hard all over again. But it was— it was harder. And we did IVF again, and we did everything the same, and all the meds and all the prayers — but the pregnancy didn’t stick. We lost our little girl. We wanted her so, so much. Why? Why? WHY!?
The worst part of infertility is the not knowing.
So maybe you see these beautiful pictures and think I have nothing to complain about. This is a valid point, and something I have questioned myself a few years back when I have met mothers who were lucky enough to have one child and still yearn to have more. Count yourself blessed and move on already, right? I guess the best way to explain it is that you don’t stop mourning the death of your mother just because you still have your father. You still have a big fat hole in your heart, nothing can fill that void.
When I go through hard times like this I like to look back and think about them in past tense, when I’ve moved on into the safe zone and the trial has passed and I am on the other side and I know the outcome of the story. So then I can comfortably say, “Wow, that was rough but it all happens for a reason and it was because…”
But I am choosing to write about this now, I don’t know the outcome, I don’t know the reason. I just know it’s SO VERY hard to struggle to get pregnant, to stay pregnant, to want to grow your family but can’t. To wait, to not know, to hope — hope and yet not know. Will there be a happy ending? Will it all be worth it in the end? Will I look back and breath a sigh of relief that it all worked out in the end? I don’t know. I just know that today I continue to hope. HOPE that this story of my infertility journey will all turn out okay in the end.
I don’t know. But today I HOPE.