Infertility is a pain that is so manipulative in nature. It tends to make you believe you are somehow less of a human, or even less of a woman as in my case. Never in my life would I have thought that I would be the face of infertility struggles. It’s a part of me that has remained silent for the most part to outsiders, but on the inside it’s like a caged animal ready for release. The hot tears that flow from my eyes dealing with this horrific affliction burn as they fall down my cheeks. It leaves scarring on my heart so thick I wonderer if it can be healed.
For almost eleven years this has been my prison. Not any more, I am done playing victim to this plague. I own it, I am infertile and there is not a damn thing I can do about it. I say this literately because there is nothing I haven’t tried to rid myself of this. Been down the road of ovulation inducing pills more times than I can remember, the IUI’s the four excruciating rounds of IVF, and the life altering miscarriages. Been there, done that, felt the choking grief of all of them.
That grief tends to follows me, I see it on the child’s face next to me at the store. I see it on the face of the pregnant women on the TV. I see it in the way my friends tell me their expecting, they are all cautious like I am too fragile to hear their news. Am I not worthy of the fact that I can be so happy for my friends but secretly wish it was me? Why does it have to be a secret? Yes, I wish it was me every time I hear those words, I’m pregnant. I want to say that, I want to live that reality of giving birth to a living, healthy, breathing baby. I am haunted by the times I did utter those sacred words, my body failed me, our children are gone. I have wept a sea of tears for the children my husband and I have lost, I cry for him, I cry for me, I cry for them my little loves that I never got to hold. All I ever wanted was to kiss their perfect faces whispering I love you as I do. I never will get that chance, I will never see my husband’s features in our twin’s eyes, or my features in our first child’s face. I will miss all those motherly moments. But what I do have is heart full of love and compassion for those like me that have experienced loss in their lives. I am able to truly love those around me who are engaged in the miracle of having a child. I have found a truly unique bond with my husband that sends us soring into new heights in our marriage.
Infertility changes you as a person. Somehow the world is a little different, at times the world is more jaded. At other times the world appears more complex less able to fulfill your longings. There are those people that are successful in their fertility struggles, then there are those who are not. The ones who are not successful seem to be lost in a sea of useless words. In Gods own time, it’s for the best, pray more, it’s fun to not have kids, you will save money, so sorry, can’t you try another fertility treatment, what about adoption; these are words uttered by those who just don’t get it.
When you sit down for a haircut or out on a date with your husband the questions start, how long have you been married? Oh that long? How many kids do you have? None, oh gosh did you not want to have kids? It just keeps going on every day year after year. Stigmas need to be broken, stop asking as if its normal for one to have a ton of kids after ten years of marriage. Every couple that has struggled with infertility knows the silent shame of it. You can’t explain it without feeling less human, less worthy. This is from the stigmas we have placed in our modern world. The assumption that IVF will magically cure everyone’s infertility is asinine. For me after four absolute grueling rounds of IVF the docs called it off, they could not put me through more. My body did not accept the treatments for a successful outcome of IVF. I did get pregnant on one round but it ended in tragedy. I was ready to stop after four rounds, the journey came to a close for my husband and I. We were done on this winding path, we needed a break. We even tried the adoption route, alas it was a failure to, my health prevented it in many cases. Then heartbreak when a mother asked us to adopt her child that she was carrying only to end in a scam for money to buy drugs. We exhausted our finical and emotional resources, we were done.
Making the decision to be done is hard, even utterly scary. I carry the scars of my battle with infertility. However, those scars are pieces of me that I don’t really want to change. The tiny brief lives of my children made an impact that will last me a lifetime. My marriage to their father is strong with a bond that can’t be broken. We have positive memories of pregnancy, even of fertility treatments. This positivity comes from the joy we have being in love with each other.
I hope to be an ear to listen to those with the same struggles. I want to be an advocate for those with infertility. No one is alone in this journey, if your journey ends with no children on this earth it’s going to be ok. Your life can still be full of joy. May you never forget the moments of love in your journey. Don’t be bitter, live your life with vigor! Experience the excitement of being unique. Understand that your destiny is not that of others, it’s your own story so write it with passion.
I am a mother, I am a woman, I am a wife, I am worthy of love, I am Amanda.
PS: I will write more about my own personal journey with infertility in coming blog posts. Stay Tuned.