Do you know how hard it is to wait for something that has a large chance of never happening? And did you know that there is actually something even more excruciating than that? There is no pain deeper then when you have to finally surrender yourself and let go of something you have tried so hard for, knowing that it is everything you have ever wanted in life. When you or your spouse suffer from any form of infertility, the pain is like nothing you have ever experienced.
No one tells you that you will beat yourself up constantly about being unable to do the one thing, the only thing, that humans were created to do. No one tells you that you will cry so much that you literally can not cry any more or that you will feel like you are just plain useless.
No one tells you that you will feel extreme guilt over not being able to give your spouse the gift of parenthood. No one ever, ever, ever tells you that it will take absolutely every ounce of strength you have to keep a fake happy face on the outside for all to see, while you are really dying inside. You quietly curse the world for choosing you to have to experience it all, and you pray over and over for it all to just go away.
It always starts out just like you had planned in your head all of your life. Girl meets boy, girl and boy date, boy asks girl to marry him, girl and boy get married, and then boy and girl have a baby. That is what you grow up thinking from the time you are a small child. Never once does it cross your mind that there might be a very large detour on that plan of yours.
You never planned to have to laugh it off and make the “someday” excuse when people ask you when the two of you are going to have a child. Never on the plan was becoming a really good actor when another couple announces that they, in fact, have gotten pregnant and they were not even trying. No one tells you how much it all will suck and that it will create some super dark days for you. It is the very thing that will break you, but yet you keep going. Even though you try everything the medical world tells you to do, you never get the result that everyone you know already has. There is no joy with infertility, no happy announcements, no gender reveal parties, and no baby showers for your friends to host. There is just a lot of deep pain.
You experience relentless pain, because you have opened your heart and prepared your mind for a child that does not come. You scramble to figure out how to fill the empty place that your heart now has. You scream at the world in anger, asking “Why us?” You get down on yourself and think that maybe you actually do not deserve to be a mom or a dad. You grin and bear it when all of the couples in your social circle already have children and start announcing they are pregnant with their second. You try not to judge when you see someone that is clearly not in a position to have children, yet has several of them. You know they do not have the education or resources that you do to raise those children in today’s crazy world. But you try not to lay down a guilt trip on yourself after you realize that she deserves to be a mom as much as you do and that you should not be so resentful towards someone you do not even know.
What you do instead is this: You count the blessings you DO have in your life, even though one is missing. And you thank God everyday for your spouse, who sticks by your side as your rock and never waivers in the faith they have in you and your marriage. You politely decline going to baby showers when you know that it is going to just be too much for you, and you cut yourself some slack that it is okay to do that. You focus on the other things in your life that are important to you, and you enjoy all that your life without a child has to offer.
You give yourself permission to cry and feel your grief, even when your friends are present. You do not hide from those feelings, and you open up to others and share your journey. You talk about it so that others in the same position will not feel alone. You lean on others who have “been there, done that,” and gain strength from knowing that there are more couples out there experiencing the same thing. You break through the stigma that surrounds infertility and help make it not so taboo to talk about.
This is what you will DO, because there is just no other way to get to the other side.
The side where you are okay with yourself again and you laugh at the things that always made you laugh before. You smile when you hear a baby giggling and cooing, and you have faith in the world again. You may never have a biological child, but you will always have YOU, and you are the most important thing in the whole world. What is done in importance is done with love, and you are loved by many no matter what. Infertility may change you, but it doesn’t define you.
Experiencing Infertility? Join Us.
If you would like to have a safe place to ask questions, hear other people’s stories, and connect with others who are experiencing the struggles of infertility, please join our new ICMB Infertility Support Group on Facebook. We need each other. Your story matters.