This is a post for anyone struggling with infertility right now. I’ve been wanting to write a post about my own daily struggles with infertility for while but the idea has kinda morphed into a need to validate those around me who are struggling instead.
I needed to let my own struggles with infertility bubble away inside until I was ready to let my fingers do the typing.
Cue spewing of words onto a page. Ta-da!
There are a couple of reasons why I’m deciding to write this post today at 7.32am. Beautiful baby Gammy in Thailand. The passing of Robin Williams. The Australian couples stuck in Thailand who can’t bring home their newborn babies. The message from a dear friend about her unique journey to motherhood.
All of these stories have touched me and I recognise and acknowledge their struggles. Mia Freedman published a post on Mamamia a few days ago about struggling with infertility and feeling like a failure. Reading about her struggles left me in a puddle of tears because I recognised her pain. Her words validated my own feelings and my own struggles and it felt good to have someone understand what it feels like to struggle with infertility.
Mr Lover and I started trying for a baby back in March 2008. It’s now August 2014. You do the math! We’ve tried everything, and I genuinely mean E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G to conceive a baby; romantic walks on the beach, cold showers, steamy showers, putrid Chinese medicine, herbals remedies, acupuncture, countless IVF treatments, ovulation kits, moxibustion burning (the neighbours hated this!), an experimental surgery, travelling (cause everyone conceives when they’re relaxed) and prayed to baby Jesus.
We have also spent close to $60,000 trying to expand our family and I’m proud to say we’ve survived it. Our bond is stronger than ever. Mr Lover still loves me – even when I’m a psycho IVF drug witch – so I think I’ll keep him!
You may remember reading my post last year about losing our babies. It was devastating and life altering to lose another baby, nearly lose my life and be told I had to wait 12 months to conceive again.
I thought I was ready to begin IVF earlier this year and started taken the drugs to prepare my body. But circumstances (and a shit load of nerves) will prevent us from trying again this year which saddens me. Life keeps moving on and I feel like I’m wasting days, minutes and seconds the longer I wait. I’ll be 35 next year and my eggs aren’t getting any younger.
Among the tidal wave of emotions I get the pleasure of experiencing on a daily basis, I also have to face the reality of lots of girlfriends announcing pregnancies and having babies. I’ll admit that 99% of the time I am overjoyed, thrilled and bursting with pride and happiness for them. But if that 1% catches me on a dark day, the earth plates shift and I explode with sadness. The ‘woe me’ cries can last for days.
This infertility road gets so lonely sometimes. I’ve had friends join me for a short ride, but luck strikes and they get to switch tracks to the shiny yellow brick road to parenthood. It’s a dream come true for them, but Mr Lover and I get stranded and left behind on the rugged infertility mountain road.
My body has failed me again and again. My function as a women is to produce children and I’ve failed. Just like Mia said, I failed my babies, failed my husband, failed myself. My body has failed to produce and nurture and the guilt THAT delivers just swallows you up and takes you to some internally dark places.
This has been my biggest challenge to date and there are so many times I’ve wanted to wave my white flag and surrender to a life of scrumptious dogs and travelling the world with Mr Lover. But my Dr keeps reminding me that IVF could work for us and a gorgeous, beautiful, generous friend has offered to carry our baby for us. So life is still delivering us options which is my current silver lining.
Never in my life have I struggled with one issue for such an extended period of time. But you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m a better woman for having gone through it. I’m almost thankful. The lessons infertility have taught me have created the woman I am today. Strong, resilient, determined, empathetic, patient, focused and compassionate. It’s also taught me how to deal with loss, disappointment & heartache.
My struggles are out in the open for all to read. I want to be a voice for those who can’t yet talk about their struggles. I’m pretty much a walking and talking infertile boom box. So many women (26 and counting) have contacted me this year privately after reading my post about losing three cherubs and shared their stories with me. It is always an honour to receive these messages. The greatest gift in all this is my story is helping others to open up and share some of their grief and frustration. It is such an honour to offer these women in return heart bursting love, abundance of support and a life long connection that is truly treasured.
Ladies (and gents), if you’re currently struggling with infertility, grief or heartache, then I want you to know that YOU are not alone and I am here to hold you tight.