It’s been a while since I have talked about infertility and I had something that triggered me, so I thought I would talk it out with you. If you are on the infertility journey, this conversation may be a trigger for you.
The trigger was a person I know stating that if they accidentally got pregnant because they can’t take birth control, they would have an abortion. For their privacy, I’m not going to give any more details, but that statement is what caused my trigger, not the details around the whole conversation. I have been around a number of people having abortions because they did not use protection and made a decision.
I haven’t able to get pregnant for almost six years now and when we were exploring infertility treatment, the doctors couldn’t find a clear reason why I couldn’t get pregnant. We made the decision after one unsuccessful IVF transfer, IUIs, and medicated cycles, that we would no longer pursue assisted pregnancy. For a bit, I got back on birth control to prevent periods because I didn’t want a reminder that I couldn’t get pregnant. I stopped again because my body wasn’t tolerating it well. It’s been years since that time. We also decided not to pursue adoption, it just didn’t feel right for us. We chose to proceed with life without any further efforts to becoming parents.
Since that decision, I’ve tried to joke about my hostile uterus and love on other people’s children. I’ve done really well and have even yo-yo’d between “thank God we didn’t get pregnant” and “sigh, it would be nice to have a baby and be able to raise a child”. I think I’ve done relatively well and haven’t had a trigger that caused my anxiety to be triggered or the pain from not being able to get pregnant to be triggered. Until the conversation I mentioned above.
I felt like the person was rude and insensitive because they didn’t ever consider how making that type of comment might make me feel. I was crushed and angry all at once. It was uncomfortable and my anxiety was triggered. I ignored any further conversation for the day and journaled on my feelings. I decided I was going to tell the person how they made me feel.
But then I decided to run it by one of my friends and she made a great point. It is not that person’s responsibility to ensure how I would feel or how I would react, just like it is not my responsibility to ensure how others react to my life. This doesn’t negate my feelings or opinions, it simply doesn’t put the onus on the other person to censure themselves.
This way of thinking or operating through life is so fucking difficult. It sucks!! It sucks because we have to put our big girl panties on and not expect other people to dance around our predicament. Being unable to get pregnant is life-changing. It is emotional and painful. There are so many feelings wrapped into being unable to get pregnant for whatever reason, even if you’ve decided not to pursue any further assistance or other methods of becoming a parent.
This situation taught me a few things. It’s still raw. No matter how much I tell myself I’m okay, it still stings. My personal views on abortion AND my inability to get pregnant have collided and cause deeper feelings. And most importantly I’ve learned that there is so much freedom in working learning how to be able to shrug off what other people do in their life that conflicts with my views and my pain or feelings.
It’s also taught me that no matter how much time goes by since we made the decision, there will be unforeseen things that creep into my life and hit me like a mack truck causing all of the pain to rush back in and that’s okay. It just means I am growing and learning how to continue to heal.
“Just because it still stings doesn’t mean you haven’t grown. One day the mending will have turned into healing. Be gentle with your process.”Arielle Estoria
Infertility sucks. The lingering pain we don’t realize is there sucks. It just fucking sucks. But what doesn’t suck is you, is me. You are strong and amazing. You are growing through this tough life change. You’ve got this and remember, you aren’t alone in this journey.