I have had the privilege to meet some amazing women that are still in the trenches of their infertility journeys. Talking with them about their specific stories has really brought about some of those same feelings in me that I thought I had moved past or tucked away. Everyone assumes that once you have a child you suddenly develop infertility amnesia and are "fixed". Having a child is amazing and I'm not going to lie, it does lessen the pain of some of those experiences, but it definitely doesn't make you forget what you have been through.
Infertility does more than take a toll on you physically, it takes a toll on you emotionally. The severity, length of time and type of procedures utilized during the infertility journey play a big part in the damage it does to ones body and mind. I know, for me, infertility was more painful emotionally than physically. I could heal from my surgeries within a few days or weeks but every setback, every failed cycle, every more advanced or expensive treatment and every loss cut a little deeper into my emotional well being. Knowing that the reasons for our infertility lay solely in my body I felt a greater responsibility for the turmoil that was happening in our lives. Everyday of this journey chipped a little more at my self-esteem. You wouldn't think that having a child or not could effect your entire life but for me it did just that. It caused me to question my abilities at my job, my relationships with my friends/family and most of all my marriage. I felt so unworthy of anything as if the ability to not create life somehow made me inadequate at life in general. I even went so far as to tell G he could leave me if he wanted so he could have the chance of a biological child with someone else. If you have never struggled with infertility you may not understand this and it may seem ridiculous to you but I assure you for anyone that has been in the war zone of ultrasounds, IUIs, IVFs and FETs they get it.
As I begin to prepare for the ultimate finality in our infertility journey these feelings have come to the forefront of my thoughts. I have once again begun to question my self-worth. I feel as if my body has failed me one more time. Had I never struggled with infertility, had I just ovulated like any "normal" woman, had I seen a doctor sooner would the outcome be different? I feel as if once again I dangled the baby rattle in front of G's face only to rip it away like a cruel joke. Now I wonder what this new life, without any of the things that allow me to biologically have a child, will be like. Am I going to be good enough for my husband? Will this change me as a woman? Had I just done this or that could I have prevented this...it's all my fault.
So where does this leave me now? Hmm...I am not sure, maybe an even slightly more anxious basket case? G may argue that I am just as nuts as before just my focus is on a new fear. I hate that we infertiles have put so much of our self worth into having a child. I hate that it allows people who I know are amazing people to question themselves and their abilities. I hate that it took a horrible disease to bring such an amazing group of people into my life. However, because of this same disease I know that I can get through anything with my husband, my son and those friends. Oh infertility you are a BITCH! You have taken too much time and joy from my life over the years. I think its time for you to pack up my uterus and go. You don't belong here anymore. I'm ready for the next chapter of my life!