I am still struggling with my emotions when people I know tell me they are expecting when I know infertility was no part of their journey to conceive. I believe every baby is a blessing and a gift and although I am finally expecting myself, I still experience this feeling of melancholy wash over me when I know it comes so easily for some. Those that can get pregnant easily have decisions about when they want to start having kids and know a time frame it will happen and/or when couples can choose for themselves when they are done having children. This is one of those feelings I thought that would disappear after I became pregnant again. Instead, it’s a feeling that sticks. It’s such a strange feeling to feel true joy for a friend or family member and pure sadness for myself at the same time. Pregnancy and a bigger family is all I ever really wanted in life. So feelings of sadness and jealousy that it doesn’t happen for me easily tend to creep in. I experienced this feeling again recently and I was really trying to dig deep to figure out why and at the same time taking time to process so I can get back to a positive note.
It’s not that I wish infertility upon anyone because I most certainly don’t, but I just question why this happens to so many people and not others? Why was I able to have E naturally and it was the complete opposite for me this time around? This is something I will never understand. I know God put me in this situation for a reason and it has truly taught me so much, but I still get angry about it every now and then. I am genuinely happy for others when they are expecting, I really am. This twinge of pain comes within me and has to do with me alone. I’ve been through a lot to get to where I am now and it’s come at a great cost and has been far from easy. Yet it’s so easy to misinterpret my reaction and my actions and take them personally when in reality it’s just still a super big trigger for me given what I’ve been through. It’s one of those things where I need to be given just a little bit of grace because no one truly understands these feelings of heartache unless they’ve been through them personally. I know those that love me unconditionally, will try to take the time to understand, be there for me and won’t hold it against me. However, it’s still difficult.
It’s super upsetting that my husband and I will more then likely never have an unplanned pregnancy surprise, nor is it likely we will have another pregnancy that doesn’t involve medication and another IVF cycle. It’s like a kick in my gut when I hear individuals so nonchalantly talking about how “this pregnancy was a complete surprise to me, and we were not even trying”, or “We just went off birth control and whammy we got pregnant”, or “After this baby our family is complete, we are not going to have any more kids”. When you have infertility struggles, you don’t have these same experiences and you don’t have the same choices.
One of my biggest fears is that even after we have our second baby, my heart will not feel totally complete and I will want another. Heck, I know this is true because I’ve always said I wanted 4 kids. For a normal person, this shouldn’t be a fear-it should be exciting to want to be able to expand your family. For me, it won’t be as easy or as exciting as my husband and I deciding when we want to start trying to make it happen and have that feeling it will only be a matter of time. Instead, we will have to make the hard decision to either not have any more babies because we can’t take the financial risk to have to spend another $20,000 plus with no guarantee of it even happening or take the risk to go through hell and back, spend the $20,000 plus to maybe be able to have another baby. Money and luck will determine the fate of our family. We do not get to make that choice at random. It’s a really harsh reality and a very hard thing to accept-and part of my heart feels a bit bitter about that.
Another hard reality is that while most couples get to enjoy the pleasure of sexual intercourse with little to no stresses of IF they will become pregnant, rather for them it’s just a matter of when. For my husband and I, we will more then likely never get to experience that again. Infertility has changed that for us. Instead, we will be told when we can and can’t, should and shouldn’t have sex when trying for a baby in the medical field. All the while I would be pumped full of medications that have horrible side affects and make me feel like a crazy lady. In between having to go to multiple doctor appointments and all the while being poked and prodded by nurses and doctors and by my own husband at home who has to give me shots just so I can become pregnant-it just isn’t fair. It’s not the way a baby should have to be made in my book and it’s not the way I grew up thinking that I would have to make a baby. I certainly never thought I’d ever have to do IVF to conceive a baby-but here we are. However, don’t get me wrong-I am forever grateful for modern medicine and the discovery of IVF or we would not be where we are now. I just wish with my whole heart that it would just work with us the natural way-this makes me feel like we are not part of the norm.
So, to the next person who tells me they are pregnant that has had little to no struggle at all getting pregnant-I do not mean to offend you if I fall quiet or do not respond in the way you expect me to, or even attend your upcoming baby shower, or even if I need to unfollow you on Facebook-it’s me, it’s not you. I know that these feelings I am experiencing are valid, but I know you don’t understand them and maybe never will. I’ve been through a lot and the triggers are front and center. Sometimes I just need to avoid them for me. A little self care goes a long way in this struggle, a struggle that doesn’t go away even after you become pregnant after struggling. This confession that I made, doesn’t come lightly but I need to be honest about the process because someone out there going through the same thing I have probably is feeling the same way and finding some place to relate and feel like you can say “Me too” is huge. So, hugs to you out there! I understand and know how valid your feelings are.