I have seen a few posts similar to this written for infertility awareness week. I’d like to throw my hat in the ring and contribute my thoughts and feelings on this as well. Below are Words I would use to describe our infertility and a little statement or story describing why I chose the word.
Lonely: I feel sometimes I avoid certain situations so that I can hide my unhappiness. Infertility is constantly on my mind and I don’t want others to see it on my face. I hide myself to avoid the inevitable “what’s wrong” question. I went from an enthusiastic, hyper, social, hilarious girl, to an unhappy one who is seemingly avoiding social interactions to hide her emotions.
Overwhelmed: When Joe and I first started my portion of the treatments I felt like my world just came to a halt and started spinning in the other direction. I had no idea what to do and it was so sudden that I feel like I didn’t fully grasp what was going on. I knew I had to get injections. I knew the basics. I didn’t know that it literally overtakes your life for the few weeks that the treatments take. I wasn’t prepared for that. Even knowing how the last cycle went I was still overwhelmed as you are literally at the beck and call of the staff until the treatments and procedures are over.
Heartbroken: After our failed cycle a few months ago I have never felt that type of sadness and heartbreak in my life. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t stop crying. My little batman and robin were not able to stay with us and even right now writing this I am crying thinking about them. They were the closest thing I have ever had to becoming a mommy and it just didn’t work. It is definitely heartbreaking. I miss my babies. I will never forget them.
Angry: I deactivated my facebook account for 6 months because I found myself getting angry every time I saw a pregnancy announcement. I am not an Angry person normally and I felt terrible feeling the way that I did. Babies are supposed to be happy, but why was I feeling angry? Why do I think some women are less deserving than me to have a child? Because I have spent over $50,000 trying to make it happen? Because we have been struggling for 4 years to make this happen? Why should any of this matter to me? I had no reason to get angry at some of these deserving people, but I did…so again, I removed myself from the situation to avoid the anger. I have been working on this and feel I am getting much better at dealing with my emotions when confronted with the 10,000th pregnancy announcement in a few years.
Embarrassed: I was once a very conservative woman, but that all flew out the window when it was my turn for treatments. At the very least I was lucky to get a practice with women only. Embarrassed can also relate to not being able to do this naturally, the way nature intended. Anytime I am asked “when are you having children” I feel embarrassed it can’t just happen.
Hopeless: It always seems that when you are at your lowest point you think “it can only get better from here” only to get kicked in the gut and you are down even further than you were before. The trying for 4 years, the loss of my batman and robin, the failed coculture…these are all things that kept kicking me back down after I thought things were going to turn around for the better. I have since started a new thing where I am trying to rid my life of negativity…I don’t want to hear it, I don’t want to be around it, I want only positive thinking, positive talking, positive feelings. This positivity is giving me a better outlook on the situation and for once I feel like I am becoming me again. I am joking around a little more. I am happy and honored to be able to afford to do what we are doing…some people just aren’t as lucky as us because this is a very expensive process!
Blessed: I’m using this word for a few reasons. I feel blessed to be able to do this…there IS hope for us even if it is through ART. I feel blessed to have someone fight for us, the staff at my doctor’s office is amazing and are doing everything they can to give us a baby. I feel blessed to fight for something that I want so bad as I know that my love will only be stronger as a result. I feel blessed to have someone by my side who understands the pain that I am going through, who will comfort me when I am feeling sad, and who tries to bring the light back out of me when I am at my dimmest. I feel blessed to be able to share my story to help others and read others journeys and support them when I don’t even know who they are. I feel blessed to have such a supportive family who are rooting for us during this process. There is a positive side to infertility and if you are willing to talk about your struggles you will see that not everyone freezes up and says things that don’t help…you will find that there are more people than you think that have nothing but your happiness in mind.
Guilty: Jealousy. I feel guilty that I am jealous. I am jealous of the good mommies and daddies out there. I want what they have. Jealousy is not a good feeling and as a result I feel guilty about feeling the way I do.
Helpless: This is two fold for me. Sometimes I just get in one of those moods that I can’t shake. It doesn’t matter what is said or what is done to try to make me feel better, I am just stuck. Also, sometimes some people think they can say something so wonderful that it will shake me of my constant struggle. “You can always adopt” was a recent one. Don’t you think I know this? I am trying everything I can right now to carry our baby(ies), I am not giving up on that. Or “Just relax and it will happen naturally” uh, no…there is 0% chance this will happen on it’s own or else we wouldn’t be doing what we are doing. My favorite is “At least you can have fun trying!” Once it becomes a chore, it’s not fun.
Pain: I am at the point right now where I have to get needles every day…three times a day on days I do not have to go for blood work. I am bruised. I am sore. I am swollen. My ovaries are growing. There’s not enough room in my abdomen for everything so my stomach is expanding to fit my growing ovaries while other things are being pushed backwards and causing some back pain. My arms look like a pin cushion and are full of bruises from going through the veins. My stomach is expanding with the growing ovaries, it’s swollen and bruised from all the needles. Getting stabbed with more needles on top of all the bruises and swelling does not feel great. Getting blood drawn from bruised arms does not feel great. Prior to this getting tissue scraped out to attempt a coculture without anesthetics does not feel great. Physical, Emotional, and Mental pain is definitely present throughout the process. The only thing that gets me through all of this is the glimmer of hope that we have that this is going to work. I am not good with pain and I do not look forward to each evening at 9pm or each morning at 6am or each doctors appointment. I don’t like being poked and prodded on my already damaged and exhausted body. It hurts. I am in pain. But this pain will all be worth it.
These are 10 words I would use to describe our story with infertility. I could probably go on with a dozen or so more but I would like to extend this challenge out to you as well. What other words would you use to describe your experience with infertility?
Just always keep in mind, we are not alone. We are 1 in 6. We have an amazing support group and if it wasn’t for your stories and support I would be a hell of a lot worse off than I am now.
Say a little prayer for our fellow infertiles out there.