Monday, May 17, 2010


National Infertility Awareness week took place the week of April 25th.

I didn't write about it.

I thought about writing a post on it, and each time I sat down to work on it, I would end up spilling a frustrated mish-mash of words onto the screen.  Sometimes I sounded angry.  Sometimes bitter.  Sometimes resentful.  Sometimes sad, sellf-pitying, and pathetic.  I stopped trying to write about it.

One pregnancy and two babies later, it is sometimes difficult to know where I fall with infertility.

Then I saw this video, from Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed:

What IF? A Portrait of Infertility from Keiko Zoll on Vimeo.

Suddenly I found my words, in the form of many "what if's" of my own.

What if my infertility-inflicted wounds do not heal?

What if a small part of me always feels like a fraud?

What if I forget where I came from?  What if I can't?

What if my sharing the joys and hardships of motherhood is hurtful to those still struggling through infertility?

What if I don't deserve to describe the hardships of motherhood?

What if people never stop asking if twins run in my family?

What if I make the wrong decision for our four frozen embryos?

What if I never stop being angry?

What if it never stops hurting?

I used to think that the cure for infertility must be a baby.  What I didn't count on was the aftermath of infertility; the role of mother has been achieved, but this woman who I have become is not the woman I was when I started on this journey.

Don't get me wrong.  I am beyond grateful that IVF worked for us.  I love being a mother.  Bred into the love I have for my children is the realization of how close I was to never having them in my life.

There are parts of me that just want to live in the moment and forget how I got here.  I know that I never can.

For me, infertility has been about acceptance.  As I sit here today, I realize that my newest task is to accept the fact that while there is necessary healing that will happen, the inevitable reality is that the fabric of my being is forever altered.

National Infertility Awareness week has passed.  

The heartbreak of infertility has not.


Sades said...

I can't begin to imagine what it was like going through IVF, but I do think you are no different of a mother because you did. We are so fortunate in this age to have the access to modern medicine that allows us to overcome infertility, and so many other health problems. We don't look back after we get glasses and say we feel guilty because we should have to go through life with blurry vision. After the doctor saves you from a heart attack, you don't say, oh I should have died since I was born with a weaker heart. I know IVF is a much more emotional and personal, and I am not trying to downgrade that in the least. I just want you to realize no one thinks of you as any different than any other mother.

Jilliane said...

That is a powerful video. I think it is important to never forget the emotions that get us to where we are today. Your "what if's" are real and the ability to recognize them is what helps others. You are inspiring.

Michelle said...

I love this video. My twins were a complete surprise, so I am lucky in that I did not struggle with infertility before I had them, however, I had to have a hysterectomy at their birth because I hemorrhaged so badly. I now struggle with most of these feelings you are expressing, and would like to add my own "what if.."
What if people never stop assuming that having my twins is enough for me, and that I should be fine with the outcome because we are all healthy.
I never got my birth experience since I had an emergency C-section, and can never try again.
These feelings creep up on me at the strangest times, and I am hoping that I can find a way to deal that is healthy. That is one of the reasons that I love your blog. It makes me laugh when I really need a laugh, and expresses feelings that I have been dealing with n my own for son long. Thanks.

DeltaSigMamaJen said...

yeah, i get the what if's as well... my hubby & i struggled for 5 years & did the meds w/ no success. then outta the blue, we were preggo. i always wonder if this means that i don't fall into the infertility group anymore... hmmmm? and my personal what if currently is "what if we when we try for #2 it is as big a battle as getting #1?" i guess i will just have to be optimistic...