I know I have shared the literal definition of Infertility several times.
Infertility is described as the inability to conceive children after one year of having unprotected intercourse.
There is so much more to being infertile than what is shared in that one simple sentence. There is sadness, heartache, debt, emptiness. That one sentence doesn’t even touch the tip of the heart-break iceberg. Because I think it is important, I’m going to try to better explain it for you.
Infertility could be described as:
- Feeling sadness during gatherings that should create joy. Baby showers, first birthdays, and holidays. The last thing anyone wants to feel is pain and envy during a celebration. But it is unfortunately something that can’t be helped. The longer you try for a child, the harder these situations get. A feeling of dread may even start to come over you when you receive the invitation.
- Looking forward to getting fat, heartburn, having emotional frenzies, and swollen feet. You know your pregnant friends feel absolutely miserable, but you just can’t help but WISH that you could worry about getting up for the sixth time to pee in the middle of the night instead of being concerned you will never watch your son in a little league football game.
- purchasing every supplement, drink, ointment, gadget, that promises to help you conceive. You will try taking them at different times, different amounts, and change the combination just to see if one will work better than the other.
- Spending every second worrying. Because treatment is time-consuming, and everything is on a set schedule. You will have timed intercourse, take an over abundance of ovulation tests, struggle through the longest two-week wait imaginable, and experience monthly heart-break when your menstrual cycle shows up uninvited.
- Knowing that adoption is a feasible option, but you can’t help but feel grief when considering you may never have a child with your spouse’s devilish eyes, and shit eating grin. You will love an adopted child just as your own, but that pain of not creating a child made up of you and the one you love will always be there.
- Feeling a twinge of self-pity and envy every time that you hear someone is pregnant. It’s not that you’re not happy for them, you are just so sad for yourself.
- Creating wish lists on Amazon, boards on Pinterest, and keeping lists of baby names on your phone even though you aren’t pregnant. It gives you hope that some day you will be able to buy and create everything you have saved.
- You will also have your babies nursery completely designed even though you have yet to get a positive pregnancy test. It gives you a sense of ease and comfort that your chance to celebrate WILL come.
- Feeling totally alone and helpless, because it’s not something that’s talked about, and people don’t know how to respond when it’s brought up. It took a lot of guts for me to “come out” with my story, and it felt so good when I finally did. You can read about it here. There is a huge support system out there. Take advantage of it!
- Undoubtedly being in horrible debt, because in all but 15 states Infertility treatment is not considered medically necessary. You can plan even with just one round of IVF to spend upwards of $20,000 dollars, and it may not even work. My guess is the person who decided it wasn’t worth covering has never had the pleasure of experiencing it. Check out an estimate of what you could be spending here.
- Even though you know it’s not your fault, and your other half has never lead you to believe otherwise, you will feel an endless amount of guilt knowing that you are taking the right to have your own children away from them. Suffering through your own infertility is one thing, but burdening your spouse with it is a whole different level of pain. When Mike and I first started dating, he once told me he wanted to have enough children to make his own football team. Knowing I may not even be able to give him a quarterback breaks my heart every day.
- Losing friends because they are all starting families and no longer feel like they have anything in common with you. You begin to feel left behind, and like an outsider because you don’t have a little one to join their daily play dates.
- Infertility is questioning yourself every single day. Asking what you did to deserve this, if there was something you could have done to prevent it, and what you need to do to become a mother. You will have to fight every day to remind yourself this isn’t your fault, and that you’re strong enough to make it through.
And we can’t forget, every couples struggle with infertility is slightly different. Mine may be the average example, but there’s male infertility, lesbian couples where neither person can get an embryo to stick, cancer survivors that reproductive organs were destroyed during treatment, gay couples who have no option to carry their own and HAVE to adopt, and on and on. But one thing we all have in common is the knowledge that this shit is hard. And that this unfortunate chapter in our lives is only given to the very strongest individuals. We WILL all get through this!
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