Monday, April 23, 2012

Always Infertile - NIAW

It’s National Infertility Awareness Week.

Last year at this time, I was in one of the darkest places of my life. This year for NIAW, I am 34 weeks pregnant. My, how much can change in a year.

Right now, I’m focused on baby showers, car seat bases, and crib mattresses, but I am still infertile. My first 14 weeks of pregnancy were wrought with anxiety, and even now I have moments of terror that my baby will be born still. I picture my life in shambles after such a tragedy.

When people are excited about my pregnancy – when they want to touch my belly, or talk about names, or ask how I’m feeling – it shocks me. I never really learned how to be excited for pregnant people. I only knew how to envy them in a deep, dark, painful place in my heart, and I shut down around them because of this horrible feeling.

I don’t expect people to be happy for me, but they are, and I don’t deserve their kindness. Deep down, I still feel like a bitter infertile.

I am still infertile because pregnancy announcements still hurt. It’s a little easier to be enthusiastic, and I certainly don’t feel like someone is carving my heart out with a dull, rusty spoon anymore. But it doesn’t feel good.

I will always be infertile because I cannot remember my positive pregnancy test from IVF #2 without also remembering the many, many negative pregnancy tests. Those negatives are like tiny pebbles in my heart, as opposed to a giant boulder crushing my chest, but they are still there.

And I am still infertile because my son is not even born yet and I already worry that I won’t be able to give him a sibling.

Infertility has colored every aspect of my life. It has taught me how to be a better friend, wife, person. I am more patient. I am far, far more humble. I understand that I am not in control. I have learned how to advocate for myself as a medical consumer. I have learned to never assume anything about anyone’s family situation. I have learned to keep my mouth shut.

These lessons are valuable, but they were hard earned. Infertility is a life crisis. Don’t ignore it – don’t ignore friends going through it, don’t ignore those of us who are temporarily pregnant infertiles. Don’t ignore your support system when everything goes dark around you.


LC said...

Great post Lulu! I agree with every word!!

iloveyoubabyverymuch said...

I agree and understand you completely and yet in my case I'm blissfully happy and enjoying my miracle pregnancy. I don't think on the pain I went through, I'm leaving it behind. I'm aware of it, but I don't pay importance to it anymore. I'm a different person now.

Alex said...

I completely agree with every word! My baby girl is almost 6 months, and I still feel like a bitter infertile. I dread starting to try to give her a sibling. Infertility changes us in so many ways.