There is nothing simple about infertility. However, to simply put it, infertility is a hard path to walk down. My husband and I have officially tried for our 2nd child for the 3rd October in a row. I am dumbfounded that it is now November 2015 and this has turned from trying to conceive to struggling to conceive. I am really having a hard time with this. The heartache associated with our struggle has been overwhelming. It has caused me to be depressed, along with causing me to experience anxiety and finding ways to try and cope with the grief of it all month after month. After a while, it just all really takes its toll. According to Psychology Today, “Current research has shown that the stress levels of women with infertility are equivalent to women with cancer, AIDS or heart disease, so there is no question about infertility resulting in enormous stress.
With that said, I often hear women saying that they “Don’t let their infertility define them”. I used to be one of these women who said that-but I was at the beginning of my journey then. However, after trying this long I have to be honest and say that it really is starting to define me. I don’t want it to, but it is. Part of this I blame on the stress of it all. How can something that is so overwhelming not define you when it’s all consuming? It’s become a huge part of my life and my marriage. It’s on my mind 24/7 and there isn’t a day that goes by that my husband and I are not affected by it or that we don’t talk about it. Infertility has also changed me. I am not the same person I was at the beginning of this. In some ways it has hardened me around the edges and in other ways it has softened me. I can’t help but admit that I am bitter and angry that it’s been so difficult to conceive another child and to give my daughter a sibling, yet on the other hand I know how truly blessed I am to have been able to have my one and only daughter at all. So not only am I dealing with the stress, depression, anxiety and coping each month over another failed month, but I deal with the guilty feelings associated with wanting another when I am blessed to have one already. The song, Beautiful by Mercy Me really touches me right now:
Infertility is truly a personal battle for each and every single person. There is a unique pain that is associated with each person struggling with it. Although, I can relate to a lot of the women in my support groups and it is such a relief to do so with a small population of people who understand and do not judge me, I still feel alone. I know that this pain will not ever be relieved until I am holding a healthy and beautiful baby in my arms that my husband and I conceived together. Yet, I fear that even if that happens I am going to carry this pain with me because it is truly so much a part of me now. I feel scarred somehow. I am also scared that this pain is something I may have to live with for the rest of my life if we can never have a healthy pregnancy again. I have been contemplating going to a counselor lately, but have not worked up the courage to make that phone call. I also wonder if it would really even help me? I feel like infertility in many ways has just messed me up completely. I will never be the same person I was. In some respects that is a good thing as I have found a new compassion and sensitivity to this topic as well as I have connected with a lot of wonderful people in the process BUT in other respects I don’t like who I have become because of it.
Infertility is no joke. It’s a real illness. Please treat it as such.
A little update on our personal journey: My husband saw the urologist recently so that we could cross all our T’s and dot all our I’s before making a big decision on going the IVF route. His appointment went well, although probably a tad bit uncomfortable for my husband. We are thankful that nothing else is wrong with him and that no new issues came up in his test results. However, it appears his low motility is just that. We are now left with the option to keep doing what we are doing and hope and pray that the 10% chance we were given to conceive on our own will one day work OR we can try IVF w/ICSI which we knew was our only option left after all we’ve tried already.
My husband and I are both left just feeling defeated and greatly stressed because IVF is very expensive. We are torn on the decision, although if money were not an issue we would try to do IVF in a heartbeat, which I’ve mentioned in previous posts. We’ve come to that fork in the road and we need to make a decision. A hard decision, which does not come by very easily to either of us. I feel like we’ve just been in this stand still in our journey and it’s been extremely tough to swallow. Like I said, infertility is not simple, rather it is very complex. I’m doing the best I can to put one foot in front of the other each day, but a change of pace in a positive direction would be nice or just a positive distraction would be nice.
However, I am in my TWW which has made me a crazy lady (which is normal every month) googling every symptom that seems to come on. Your body is evil that way, in tricking you into thinking you have pregnancy symptoms…ugghhhh. I am pretty certain though the symptoms I am experiencing are pretty much gearing me up for AF. This is probably the hardest part of the month for me and most likely results in me ugly crying.
All I can do right now and pretty much ever, is continue to have hope and continue to pray.