Friday, 21 February 2014

Infertility sucks

I suffer from secondary infertility.  

My beautiful daughter turns three soon, and we’ve been trying for 20 months to give her a brother or sister without any luck.  Unless you count an early-stage miscarriage as luck, because your doctor will count that as a win – like, “You got pregnant.  It just didn’t stick.”  Great.  Comforting.  Thanks.

I had never heard of the term “secondary infertility” until things just weren’t happening for us.  Infertile meant not able to have babies.  We had a baby.  We were going to have another one.  And another one.  And maybe one more.  We fell pregnant really quickly the first time, and quite na├»vely thought it would happen that way again, which is why we didn’t start trying until our daughter was 18 months old.  I just wasn’t ready to be pregnant again before then.  Had I known I’d be turning 35 after almost two years of trying, I would have gotten it together right from the six-week all-clear! 

And this sucks.  All kinds of sucks that people don’t understand unless they are or have been where I am – or even harder, not having been able to have a child at all.  And that is the only bloody silver lining here.  My beautiful girl.  She is funny and smart, kind, gentle, sensitive, stubborn, shy and outgoing depending on which way the wind is blowing, and I don’t think it’s possible for me to love her any more than I do!  She’s a cool kid.  She keeps me going.  And smiling when I so don’t want to because I’ve seen/read or been given yet another freaking pregnancy announcement.  I have honestly lost count of the number of friends and acquaintances that are having babies this year.  Stab.  It seems everyone with a uterus (or even part of one) and a partner (even a sketchy one) is pregnant! Stab. People have had babies who are now celebrating their first birthdays in the time we’ve been trying. Stab.

I’ve received fertility advice from every corner and on every aspect of conception, and even on coping with infertility.  Depending on my hormone levels, it can be funny, appreciated, annoying or really hurtful.  (And for the record, whatever you want to tell me to try/not try, I’ve done it, got it, tried it or been told about it but thanks anyway).  We are seeing a specialist who tested us both for all the obvious issues (clear) and operated on me last Friday to try and figure out what was going on, and turns out he can’t find anything.  Awesome.

I am a woman of faith, and I have prayed so hard about this that I’m sick of bugging God about it.  I’ve had other people pray for me. And while I have my moments where I am happy and content with just one (and it’s not like I don’t get how blessed I am to have her!  Truly!), there are all those other moments.  I don’t drop my bundle every month anymore, but man those ultrasound photos on Facebook announcing an impending baby just rock me to the core.  My stomach drops and knots at the same time (who thought that was possible?).  And I drop my bundle.  For a few days.  

And I had been feeling really bad about that part – I should just be happy for them and not feel any sadness or grief for myself, but oh boy, do I! – until a beautiful friend pointed out to me that I am entitled to lose it because I’m on a journey.  A sucky, difficult, frustrating, confusing, painful journey of wanting more children but not being able to, which often involves tears.

So I will cry every time someone announces they’re pregnant and I’m not.  Again.  And I will be hurt and sad it’s not me.  Again.  And I will feel a stab in my heart every time I see a newborn because that woman has what I want.  And I will give myself permission to feel all those things because it’s the truth, it’s honest and it’s painful, and the only way pain goes away is to let yourself feel it until it runs out.

We’re getting pet chickens instead.  I want cats too but don't think the two groups will cohabitate happily.  I may only be a parent to one child, but I can at least try and do that job well.