It is a special kind of hell to have baby names picked out for a child that will never exist.
It’s a lonely hell to live in too.
And to already be a mother I feel makes it so much more unique than infertility in general because for women who have not yet been blessed with children we all openly understand and sympathize with them.
But for me. For me I hear:
“You already have children so it isn’t that big of a deal”
“What if this just isn’t in your plan?”
“Just be happy with the kids you have”
I feel selfish even being upset. I feel selfish for comparing my burdens to those women who don’t have children and are feeling the same emptiness and pains that I feel.I feel selfish even being upset. I feel selfish for comparing my burdens to those women who don’t have children and are feeling the same emptiness and pains that I feel. Click To Tweet
When we decided we were ready for another baby I already had PCOS, I just wasn’t aware of that yet. So I started testing for ovulation daily. Daily turned into multiple times daily.
And then the one time I did get a positive ovulation test I was convinced that I had conceived. I counted down the days until I could take a pregnancy test and I test several times a day every day for weeks. WEEKS.
I would hold a flashlight up to the test just searching for those lines. I knew I was pregnant and I wasn’t going to believe otherwise.
I remember the day I gave up, the day I realized I was denying the truth. I don’t think I’ve really been the same ever since.
I continued testing ovulation, I bought every single supplement recommended to me. I tried temping, I tried diet changes, I tried it all. Someone recommended these blueberry vitamins and I even bought those.
I eventually went to the dr where I got my diagnosis of PCOS. At this point I already knew I definitely did, but just needed the official notice.
My usual dr was booked out for weeks and they suggested I see her physicians assistant so I did. The entire appointment was spent talking about my weight. For every problem I brought up she responded with something weight related.
“I have zero sex drive” — “maybe you just feel really big”
“I’ve only had 3 periods in the last year” — “well we aren’t going to prescribe anything until you lose 20% of your body weight”
“I have severe pain daily” — “there’s nothing we can do for you until you lose weight”
And those are just a few of the comments. I spent $600 at this appointment and absolutely nothing was accomplished except me leaving hating myself. And it’s sad because I went in so excited and ready to get things done and help my health.
Now look, I see myself every single day. I live in this body. I know this body better than anyone ever will. And I’m fully aware of my size. But there is a right and wrong way to approach any situation and not only did this woman cross every line, she crushed my spirit.
I’ve grown closer with a few women during my journey through infertility. All of our stories are different and yet they all share the same goal: a healthy beautiful baby. We all share the same ache for a baby. We all share the depression, the obsessiveness at times. We share the loneliness that no one else understands.
Once a friend of mine wrote a post that said “I woke up hearing a baby cry, but it was only a dream again” even remembering this post is so gut wrenching for me because I can feel her through that. And I remember someone laughed at the post, because they just don’t understand the severity of it.
In the same way I am told insensitive things about my own infertility, I see these women told things as well. Everything from “someday if you have kids you’ll understand” to “why don’t you just adopt?” As if it’s that easy, and we all have 20 grand lying around for adoption. As if we wouldn’t run straight to an agency at the drop of a hat if it were that easy.
I reached out to a couple of my friends and asked them to share their thoughts and feelings on their own infertility and here they are:
“Infertility to me is a constant reminder that I’m not good enough.”
That about sums it up honestly. That’s how I feel on a daily basis. “Inadequate.”
“Something I want people to know is that while those of us with fertility know they mean well, saying things like ” well it will happen of you just quit trying” or “don’t stress, it will happen when it is meant to” are actually really hurtful.
No one knows how long someone has been trying, what they have tried, etc.
And for some of us, it may never happen without medical intervention, so saying things like that really isn’t helpful. Better responses are along the lines of well, I’m here if you need to talk, or I hope you find a way to make it work out the way you want soon. Or even that sucks, want a hug?
There are so many ways to show support without disregarding someone’s feelings. And for those people we know that get that positive, know we are happy for you and cheering for you the whole way. We just need to separate ourselves for our mental well being.
It so super difficult to balance joy and jealousy. Excitement and anger. Please know we care, love, and support you, but sometimes we just have to step back and support ourselves.”