It’s me! I’m back!
Back, and with a living, breathing baby daughter. 🙂
A while back, I mentioned that I was having a hard time getting pregnant. That turned out to be an understatement. Getting and staying pregnant became an obsession for me; doctor’s appointments and research and crying and trying to find people, women, who had been through the same thing… it was a lot to balance, with my day job.
I sunk into a depression, but “sunk” doesn’t really convey it. It felt more like getting through each day was an adventure in bushwhacking, where instead of cutting through foliage I was cutting through branches of sadness/grief/anger that were slowing me down. It felt like every step took 100% more effort, and there were so.many.obstacles in the way.
And then… it happened. And I was in shock, maybe? Or denial? I went to all the appointments, I watched myself grow, but I couldn’t quite believe it was happening. Even when she was being born, I couldn’t believe it was happening.
But, it did happen, despite my disbelief. She is here. And she is, to my eyes, more beautiful than the sun. I know the sun gives us all life, but she gives me life, in a more visceral, tangible way. She’s been here long enough that she doesn’t need to feed around the clock, and she’s sleeping a little longer now. As any mother of a young baby can tell you, it’s a lot of work. But I’m starting to feel myself open to the world again. I don’t feel like every step I take I’m fighting to contain my grief and anger.
If you are struggling with infertility, here are some things I read or watched over and over, in the middle of the night, trying to make sense of it:
- Interview with Mara Kofoed on Cup of Jo: ” Let’s say you really want to get a high school diploma and you’re working your tail off to get that diploma. And when all your friends are ready to graduate, the school comes up to you and says, Oh, you have to come back and do this for another year and then maybe you can get a diploma. So you go back and work and study and take all the tests, and still they say, I’m so sorry, you have to come back and do this for another year. I went through that for 10 years. Meanwhile, all your friends already have their diplomas and are living a completely different life. At this point, I’ve forgotten what it feels like to be excited about getting a diploma. “
- Ask Polly on Infertility: “Caring more than you can possibly stand, in spite of terrible odds, is a beautiful thing. I think these women can teach you an important lesson about investing fully in your life, about pouring your emotions into your marriage and your career, about engaging completely with the world instead of keeping yourself removed and safe. Keeping your distance will not keep you safe from anything.”
And a couple of personal blogs. These women were so brave to share their stories as they were going through treatments, and I found their ups and downs so compelling and relatable. The highs of hope when a new cycle begins, the lows when it fails.
- Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself (personal blog). “One big lesson I’ve learned over the last year is how random and unpredictable life is. I’ve come to realize I spent a lot of time over my previous 30 years spinning a narrative around my experiences, a narrative propelled by magical thinking. I used to think life was fair and balanced, with setbacks countered by an equivalent number of wins. I used to think people earned and deserved the good things that came to them, and assumed those things continued apace. I used to think that even the terrible things in life could at least be forecast and made sense of. “
- Kateka Goodman’s Youtube Channel. In some videos, this couple recaps their infertility history. They are so inspiring.
- My Journey to Conceive. I’d go back to the beginning and read this one from the start. For a lot of my time in treatment, I was very angry, and she captures this so well: “I keep reading articles and blogs about people who are grateful for their infertility experience. I’m not there yet. How does one get there? I could sure use a map. I also notice these women who write these kinds of stories have already had their miracle. Where are the blogs of angry, bitter, jealous women who wish they could somehow strangle infertility and watch it die? Well…here’s one. “
I also kept a journal during my struggles. Maybe one day I will share it with you. 😉