Early on in our infertility journey I had promised myself that I was not going to let this change me. After all there are no guarantees that say life is going to be easy. Struggles really are just part of life and we have to accept that. The funny thing is for a while I think I actually believed that I would not be changed by this journey. I took those blows over and over and would get back up, brush myself off and start again. I knew that together G and I could overcome absolutely anything…yes even infertility.
In the beginning I put all my efforts into putting that smile on my face and allowing myself to have some sort of “normal”. I would meet friends for dinner, movies and shopping. I talked on the phone, texted and answered emails. I was diligent about remembering everyone’s birthday and continued to bake the cakes they asked for. I tried so hard; I was going to stay the same fun loving person I was before the dreaded diagnosis. The problem was I was suffering in silence. My life was a façade…I was not alright! Yes, there were a few close friends who knew about my cancer, my infertility and miscarriages, but I was reluctant to share my constant thoughts and fears because I didn’t want to burden them. I tried not to talk about it unless they asked, and for the most part they didn’t ask. I kept those feelings buried deep down inside where no one could see. To onlookers it seemed as if I had jumped that obstacle and was doing fine.
At first I asked about those new babies. I bought adorable little onesies (I have a fetish for onesies; cutest piece of baby clothing ever), I oohed and ahhed at the appropriate times, I looked at baby pictures, I cooked meals for the new parents and I even held those little babies close. I swaddled, snuggled and rocked them as if they were my own. I would smile, hug and say my goodbyes then I would get back into the car and lose it. I was putting on a brave face, pretending I was alright for fear of hurting those I loved. I would sit there sobbing…wishing, wanting, and childless feeling lost and alone. It was at that moment I realized that I had changed. I cried for the babies that I had lost, I cried for the thoughts of my dreams never coming to fruition and I cried for those friendships that I was not sure would survive this journey. Our friends are moving on with their lives and growing their families and I don’t fault them for that. I feel like everyone is moving forward and I’m still stuck in neutral full of sadness, anxiety, frustration and uncertainty.
I am not the same person anymore. Yes, I can still laugh, joke and make those somewhat questionable comments at times, but I am definitely not the same person I was 5 years ago. Though I never wanted to change from my infertility I guess it really was inevitable. I have experienced a mixed bag when it comes to how I have been changed. I have allowed myself to become vulnerable and let others in, especially G. I have realized that sometimes it’s ok to do what is best for me no matter what others feel is best. I have learned that I am much stronger than I ever imagined. I have discovered that I have an ability to empathize and comfort others despite my own trials. Most of all I have learned more than ever I know that I am going to be a mother…some way, somehow!