Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Myth: The feelings of Infertility end once you become pregnant


In honor of Infertility Awareness Week, RESOLVE has invited bloggers to bust an infertility myth. The goal of this challenge is to bring together bloggers from the infertility community as well as other bloggers interested in the topic to answer the question: What is the biggest infertility myth and how has it affected your life or the life of your friends and family members?

I am not sure this is the biggest infertility myth, but it is one that impacts me the most at this stage of my life. After nearly 8 years of heartache, tears, treatment and loss, I am finally pregnant. This was the “goal” right? So, is the heartache of infertility over? Because I finally saw those 2 pink lines, am I no longer "infertile"? How does infertility really affect me now?

Myth: The feelings of Infertility end once you become pregnant.

BUSTED!

The feelings of infertility never go away.

Motherhood will never be “normal” for me, or at least what I thought was “normal”.

Each day, I must make a conscious effort not to worry that this miracle will slip away. Even at 18 weeks, I fight the urge to panic at every cramp or twinge. I have nightmares of miscarriage, and have been known to grab the doppler in the middle of the night, just to hear my baby’s precious heartbeat.

I struggle to trust my body. It “didn’t work right” for 7 years, with no explanation as to why, not even from talented and educated doctors. I couldn’t count on my body to know how to become pregnant, and now I must magically trust it to grow, nourish and support this child? This has been a learning process.

Because of infertility, I will be an older mother than I thought I would be. I will have less children than I planned. There is a real possibility my baby will not have a sibling.

Infertility affects everything… even finances. The financial cost to become pregnant could have paid my baby’s first year of college tuition. Maybe two.

So scared by baby showers, I can't bring myself to have one of my own.

I still look at other pregnant women and wonder why some have and some have not. I no longer feel jealousy, but there is still something there. Confusion maybe. Especially when I see other women who have waited longer than I have, been through more treatments, spent more money, and still do not receive what I have been blessed with. It’s all very confusing. I don’t think I will ever understand.

And even with my beautiful baby nestled inside, I still mourn the two I lost.

No, the feelings of infertility never go away.

But in some ways, I am glad for that.

Our baby will never, ever question our love for him or her. There is no doubt this baby was wanted, desired and prayed for. I have literally given my blood, sweat and tears to bring him or her to our family. Even as that date draws nearer when we will get to bring our precious baby home, I have not and will not ever question my yearning to be a mother. In so many ways, I already am one.

Our baby will be blessed by our rock solid marriage. Infertility chipped it and cracked it, and tried to tear it down. We built it back up. It took a lot of work, but our foundation is firm. Two parents who love each other more than life itself… this is something not many babies are blessed with.

I am not sure there is a woman on this earth that has looked at her ultrasound picture as much as I have. I take nothing for granted. I relish in every pregnancy-related moment. I cried with happiness the day I threw up from morning sickness. And again when I felt my uterus had risen. And again when I felt my baby move for the first time.

Infertility has made me more compassionate. Not just toward others with my same struggle, but towards people in general. I understand the heartache of depression. I can empathize with other’s losses. I ask less intrusive questions. I listen better. I try not to assume. Infertility has taught me that sometimes in life there is not always an answer. And that’s okay. We are all just getting by the best we can.

Infertility has taught me how to have faith. Not faith in a certain outcome, but real faith. It has taught me how to pray and how to hope, even when things seem hopeless.

No, the feelings of infertility never go away. It is a life-long disease. It is always there… reminding me of what I lost, showing me what I’ve gained, and leading me through the never-ending process of trying to become a better person.


To find out more on infertility and its meaning go to RESOLVE's website here.
To learn about RESOLVE's Infertility Week visit here.

9 comments:

Jeanne said...

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for posting this! I am finally pregnant after 2 miscarriages, 1 still birth at 20w4d, 2 failed IVF attempts and being told that my eggs are too "old" and that we'd probably not get pregnant.

The thoughts and feelings you posted about being pregnant after being infertile are so true! Right now I am facing similar fears and concerns and I have to keep reminding myself to go forward with patience and faith in the Lord's plan.

Once again, thank you for being so open and honest about your feelings. You're amazing!

Krista said...

Such a beautiful post...it made me cry (of course!) I could relate to so much of what you said and I'm not even in your shoes...yet! but, I know I will be soon! :-) and I know I will feel the exact same way.....

Luna said...

You have such an amazing gift with words. I think you really are able to express a feeling and help others to understand it, and maybe even feel a measure of it. Thank you.

christine said...

It's so true that the feelings of infertility never go away. I'm currently 36 1/2 weeks pregnant and still can't wrap my mind around the fact that I will be bringing a baby home very soon. IF changes us in ways we don't expect, but it also teaches us to cherish what we have been given. So glad to see you are doing well and your body is doing what it should after all those years :).

Heather said...

very beautiful post... keep it for your child to read one day..
best wishes to you!

Christine said...

After being infertile for 8.5 years, adopting our oldest then becoming pregnant unexpectedly 2 years later, and finally being pregnant a second time 2 more years after that, I can testify that it doesn't go away! I sat through a Mother's Day RS lesson about the importance of bearing and birthing your own children, holding my three month old (surprise) biological daughter, and still fumed inside. I wanted to punch the guy, and should have just left instead of letting that all build up and having negative feelings about that place (glad we only stayed a couple of weeks...)
Even after you have your baby, infertility still hurts, something that normally fertile people will never, ever understand!
Thanks for sharing your journey!!

Sister Cavallini said...

Hi,

I found yout blog through the RESOLVE Bust a Myth Submissions. I want to thank for what you wrote. It reflects exactly what I have been experiencing over the last three months. I am now pregnant for the first time ever! And have been working hard with my friends and family to help them understand that the feelings of infertility do not instantly go away once you are pregnant. I think I'll just foward your post to them. Keep up the good work and good luck with your preganancy.

Krissi said...

This was so beautifully written. I've been there and I am now on the other side with my 3 miracles, so I can totally relate to what you wrote and I'm so glad I'm not the only one who has felt this way. It is really hard to grasp the pain I still feel and the joy that I know could not nearly be what it is had I not gone through my journey. Thank you for posting something so real and yet so hard to describe!
BTW, I would love to feature your IF success story...whenever you're comfortable. Thanks!

Erika said...

Thanks for this beautiful post. I have not yet experienced the joy of seeing a BFP, but I completely agree that even when I do, the pain of infertility will never truly go away. Even if I somehow go on to have 10 kids, I feel like I will never truly forget what IF was like for me. You just wrote it so well!

FAITH IN GOD MEANS HAVING FAITH IN HIS TIMING.