Resolve to know more. In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week, I am sharing today some of my thoughts and feelings about the disease of infertility.
You might not know me. But I want to tell you something. And I want you to know I mean every word:
You can lean on me.
I will be your pillow to cry on.
I will be your punching bag.
I know what you might be thinking. You with your three children. You carried and birthed them all. Two boys and a girl! Does life get any more perfect? Why can’t I have just one?
I know what you might be feeling. Hurt. Scared. Angry. It’s okay to be angry at me. I will be your punching bag if you need one. You can be sad, too. I will be your pillow to cry on.
It’s okay if you feel resentful. If you don’t want to see pictures of my kids or read updates about their development, I understand. You can be sad around me. You can be mad. It won’t bother me.
I get it. Because once, I was you.
I once shivered in that paper robe, thinking, how much longer until he comes in here? What if he takes forever and then I have to go to the bathroom during the exam? And then the exam was over. And I had come back and re-live it again in a matter of days.
I once sat in my bathroom with trembling hands, waiting for the courage to come to me so that I could pierce my own flesh with a needle. Over and over and over. I once went through those periods of time when I didn’t want to sit down because my rear end hurt too badly from those lumps of progesterone-in-oil resting in my bum. I once looked like an addict because my arm was so bruised from all of the blood tests I’d had. I once cried and felt jealous and resentful and hurt and angry and confused.
I’ve heard so many of the I’m sorry’s that you’ve heard too.
I’m sorry, but you’ll probably never conceive on your own.
I’m sorry, but the cycle failed.
I’m sorry, this pregnancy isn’t viable.
I’m sorry, your daughter is gone.
Almost exactly six years and three live children later, I still remember. I haven’t forgotten. I will never forget because it’s a part of who I am.
I remember feeling alone. Don’t misunderstand. I had my support system. I had family. I had friends. But sometimes people don’t understand that you just need a safe place to put all those feelings and the feelings aren’t about them. You’re not sad because the pillow has hurt you. You’re not angry at the punching bag. I had support. But I also had those times of being misunderstood, unheard, misjudged. Needing a punching bag and not having one. That’s why I want to be yours.
I’m supposed to write about resolving to know more. And I do know more. I know the numbers, the statistics, the dollar figures. I know all the abbreviations, the terms. I know the ins and outs of my body and my cycle. Way more than any non-medical person should have to know. But most importantly, I know how much it can hurt. I know how lonely it can feel, how unfair life is.
I know this disease changes you. How its fingers can stretch out and touch every aspect of your life. Your self-image. Your relationships with your friends and family. Your sex life. Your bank account.
But it seems there’s a lot more I don’t know. And that I will probably never know. I don’t know why kind, loving, good people can struggle so much with one of the most fundamental aspects of being human. I don’t know why cruel and horrible people are granted that gift. And I don’t know why I struggled so hard and then, in the blink of an eye, had three.
I wish with all my heart that I could do something to change things for you. To fix it. To make things more fair.
But I can let you know you’re not alone. You can lean on me. I hope you will. I know you need it. Because once, I was you.
And I’ll hope
and wish with all my heart
that one day you will be me.
This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. Even though it surprises a lot of people, I struggled with the disease of infertility before I was blessed with my children. It shaped who I am today, and I still consider myself a part of the infertility community. Even though this blog is all about what I enjoy doing in my free time, my greatest love and truest passion is for my children. My journey to motherhood is never far from my mind or my heart. I will never forget those struggles and will never take for granted what a privilege it is to be a mom. My heart is with those who are on that journey now.
This disease affects 6.1 million American couples. Chances are, it affects someone you know, so Resolve to know more about it.
For more information about this disease and how you can get help or help others who have it: