The Real Life Side Effects of Infertility (Update)

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I posted this just over a year ago to share my infertility story with you in hopes you would feel less alone. In honor of Infertility Awareness Week 2015, here is my story and an update…


 

Three and a half years ago we embarked upon a journey to create life. Sounds super simple right? Man joins with woman, a month or two go by, and voila, child is conceived. Nursery colors are chosen and names are debated until your beautiful bundle is born, and then you can start complaining about not sleeping. It’s the American dream.

I’m not going to get into the in’s and out’s of our journey from a medical standpoint. Nor will I seek to offer anyone dealing with infertility an answer to a terribly painful struggle. I will just share with you a few peeks into our experience, so that simply put, you will know you are not alone, and so will I.

Having had 2 children who are now 10 and 13 (during my first marriage), I know the side effects of pregnancy quite well. What I did not expect were the vast side effects of not being pregnant when we really wanted to be.

Here are a few:

  • Crying when my period starts–Boo-hooing on the toilet or in the shower alone, so no one, not even my husband could see how sad I was.
  • Wasting money on pregnancy tests and fertility treatments–Of course it’s not a waste when it works out but I must’ve peed on a 100 sticks (and all too often, my hand) of various kinds to predict my fertility and test for pregnancy. Then sometimes I hid the sticks in the closet so my husband wouldn’t see how many times I checked, thus making my towel closet smell like urine.
  • Feeling guilty as heck–I read that the person who feels to blame for the infertility shoulders the brunt of the pain associated with it.  They feel the same level of stress that comes with chronic illness like cancer or heart disease.  But heck, I even feel guilty for typing that because how dare I compare my pain to something as serious as a life-threatening disease?
  • Feeling pissed–I have been angry with my friends for getting pregnant and even angry with my husband for not feeling as sad as I do (see above reason.) My husband has cried too, but he can’t get pregnant ever. I can, or at least that’s the idea, so I have felt like I needed to fix it.
  • Feeling super pissed at my body–I’m 39 and people say I look a lot younger, yet my haggard ovaries or my dusty womb have betrayed me. Infertility has a special way of making me feel like the bride of Yoda, complete with Easy Spirit support shoes and elastic pants.
  • Feeling bitter about babies in general–I went through a phase where I would see a pic of a baby girl and think, “she looks like a boy.”  I would think, “that baby’s bald, that baby’s fat, that baby looks like Elvis.” I was mad, and secretly judging little babies felt a tiny bit good for a second. Yes that is a spiritual low, and I am not proud of it, but dang it felt good to just let myself be grumpy for a minute.
  • Hating Facebook–Selfies of pregnant women every week of their pregnancy (hi, I’m 8 ½ minutes pregnant), new moms complaining that their  baby won’t sleep, sometimes 6 posts in a ROW about pregnancy from 6 different people. Oh my! Sometimes, it’s just too much!
  • Feeling excluded–Friends with young children tend to stick together, I get it. But some of my friendships have changed since my friends have had kids. It might be normal but it still sucks. Sometimes I am even left out of baby showers that I would expect to have been invited to.
  • Stress, anxiety and even depression–I have experienced it all. And guess what? The rest of my normal problems did not put themselves on hold while I mourned my miscarriages or felt monthly disappointments.
  • Losing faith–There were months when my faith was so low and I felt betrayed by God. I would call Him out too, “God, we had a deal. How could you?”

If there is an upside to infertility, I want to share it with you. It might not change a thing for you, but I will share in hopes that it might.

  • I’m more solidified with my husband–At first I feared I would lose him because I couldn’t give him a child. Now I feel more blessed than ever because he has stuck with me and loved me with every breath.

The best thing he has ever uttered to me in this process has been, “I married you. I want YOU; not what you can give me.”

  • A renewed attention to myself and my health–Aside from the binge Oreo eating that occurs when I am really down, I have learned to be kind to my body, not because it might host an embryo at some point, but because it is a gift, and I plan to use it for a lot longer.
  • Gaining Faith –Yeah, I know I said I lost some faith, but that was only temporary. This arduous process has brought me closer to God than anything else has. If this is what God had to do to draw me closer to Him, then I am thankful for it.

I am not Miss Happy Sunshine all the time, in fact, I am dealing with a fair amount of anxiety at this time. Writing is hard sometimes too, because I have to sound wise, while eating 20 Oreos at once and scrolling through pics of babies and thinking rotten thoughts about baby comb overs.

I am also not going to tell you that if you pray hard enough that God will bless you with a child. I don’t even know what God’s plan is for my family. But I’m still here, and I am still getting out of bed, and I am still pecking away at this keyboard to tell you that you are not alone. It sucks, damn it sucks, but I am not alone either. I have God, I have my sweet husband, I have my big boys and my cute dogs, and GOD has a plan. I can wait on it.

Life is still pretty good, but I won’t pretend it’s perfect. I couldn’t get through this alone. Email me if you need to vent, pray or slam a pack of Oreos in 3 minutes flat. I am here for you.


Update: I got pregnant the very month I posted this last year and quickly miscarried. I was pregnant two more times within 4 month, losing both pregnancies and my right tube…but not my faith. My faith is stronger than ever. And whatever God’s plan is for us, I am going to rock it obediently.

P.S. I am not longer obsessed with Oreos. I have moved onto Nutella and peanut butter. 🙂

 

For more on infertility check out, The Pregnancy Post that Really Chaps My Behind

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