It’s national infertility awareness week, and before it passes by I felt like acknowledging it because although I am a mother now, I come from a place of infertility.
I have PCOS, and although ours is not a particularly long story, we did undergo two years of waiting, an unknown future, one horrific miscarriage, many different tests and medications, and in the middle of it all my husband had both of his hips replaced. At the end of the two years I found myself in the therapist’s office struggling with depression that I didn’t want to let out of control.
Once you deal with infertility, in any form, you are changed.
In some ways it scarred me. I still carry the sadness, grief, bitterness, and envy inside of me. I still tense up inside when thinking about what it will take to have a second baby. I frequently get sad thinking that Meredith might be my only child, and then immediately feel guilty because so many people would do anything just to have one. I still find myself envious of pregnant women. I still mourn for the baby I lost.
I think, though, that infertility has made me a better person and a better mother. We ended up conceiving through an IUI, and even though I had some serious discomforts during pregnancy, my main feeling was thankfulness. My daughter is a miracle to me, and I think I do a much better job at appreciating her than I ever would have otherwise. Every time I pick her up, even if I’ve only just put her down, I smile. Every time she learns something new, or smiles, or laughs, I am thrilled. When she cries at night or gets hurt or lonely or scared, I am secretly happy because she needs me to comfort her. I am so honored to be her mother.
Infertility has also taught me to be dependent on God, to delight in His blessings, and to wait patiently on Him. Strange as though it may sound, if I hadn’t lost my first baby Meredith herself wouldn’t be here, and I can’t imagine the world without her. She came along once David’s hips were healthy and I had a new, more stable job. It was the right time.
The Year of Suffering, as I call it, actually helped our marriage. We saw each other at our most helpless (mentally, emotionally, and physically), we were there for each other, and we became stronger.
But you know what? If I had read this while in the midst of everything I probably would have thought: that’s easy for you to say. I get that. But I just wanted to say that I will never forget, I will never pretend that it was easy for us, and I will always be here for anyone who is going through it now.
This isn’t an infertility blog, but I did write about some of my experiences. You can read about them here.