Monday, June 23, 2008

Once infertile always infertile

Ok, before we get started on this post I want it understood that I am in no way trying to step on toes here. It takes a lot for me to venture out on shaky branches so bear with me. This post has been on my mind for a while now, and I've had a hard time not only typing it into being but also explaining it out loud in words (mainly to my hubby sounding board). With that being said, I apologize ahead of time if I fail miserably at this or upset anyone too badly.

When I found myself married and optimistically excited in regards to bliss and baby-making, no one could have prepared me for the harsh reality and long bumpy journey it would lead me to. It was so simple then. We were married and in the eyes of God and our family "legal" to perform the acts of producing offspring. The idea was to do the deed as often as possible, as unprotected as possible, and with the naive innocence we had back then. Ha ha ha...!

After a couple of years we realized (do you think the lack of a menstrual cycle should have tipped us off somewhere in there? Me too. Kids...what can I say?) that things weren't working out the way we planned. Now, almost six years later, we are still trying minus the giddy excitement and carefree afternoon romps in the sac. We are infertile. So? you say...

Throughout our journey we have read about so many couples in the same boat. Many of them have had much rougher roads than ours. We have known many couples that decided the same way we did to have a child and within a couple of months of kicking the pills into the wastebasket they were well on their way, not caring that they had sent out birth announcements before finishing out the first trimester, or even having pictures of the first ultrasound to prove their claims. But. One thing remains the same throughout. We all decided at some point that we wanted a child. We all knew it would be hard. We all knew that babies were wonderful, life changing, amazing little miracles. We all dreamed of the cute outfits and the coos. We couldn't wait for the first smile or tooth. We had all been at least exposed to the idea of sleepless nights, crying, diapers, tantrums, etc.

Through the course of time, lots of my friends have overcome the biggest hurdle of infertility and they now walk around as proud scared parents of a child or baby. These people have struggled just like I have. They have cried over peed on sticks and red toilet paper. They have carried a calendar from room to room. They have displayed their hoo-has so many times that they now offer it as advertising space to cover the costs of their labors of love (What? You don't?). These people are my heroes. They got over the fence and now I read what they have to say, soaking in every word in loving envy. I take in all their experiences as a sort of "What you have to look forward to...hopefully...someday" book or class.

I've found that with every new "graduate" the fear and pain of infertility is still there. They all still wait for the ball to drop and for Ed McMahon to knock on their door demanding the kid back saying it was all a computer error. Most of them are terrified to seem ungrateful when things get hard and they tremble at the thought of complaining in fear that some unknown force from above will come down and snatch up the miracle they feel they don't deserve.

These people also fear me. Well, not just me. They fear the people in my place. They are terrified that we will all hate them for winning the procreative lottery. They can't bear the thought of seeming unhappy and scared of something they have begged for and dreamed of for so long. They know the pain and the emotional turmoil of trying to have a baby and they feel like it should be someone else in their place. It always was before, right?

Well, I want to clear the air. I'm over here still sitting in the cold dreary waiting room of infertility and I just need to tell all of you out there who have made it.... It's ok. Really. I get it. I think everyone else over here will agree with me too. We've all been waiting around long enough to realize that it ain't all sunshine and lollipops over there. Trust me! I've heard the screaming babies all the way over here! If you have a bad day or a rough week; if the first several months or even some months in the middle somewhere get hard and horrible, don't be afraid to say so. I don't think you are ungrateful in any way. Infact, I kind of need to know that it is ok to have those bad days. Lemme tell ya! If no one ever said anything about the hard stuff, there would be some seriously pissed off people coming over that fence with their new bundle of sunshine ("What the heck is that brown stinky stuff running down my baby's leg!?!?!" or "OMG they cry? No one told me they would cry!" or "What the... omg someone gave me faulty boobs up there! What is the matter with me? Now my kid will starve!"). Do you want to be responsible for that? Didn't think so.

I want you all to know that I'm here for you. I may not always be able to say so. I may slip away in a corner to silently shed my tears of envy and fear, but I'm here. We all are. You made it! Enjoy it! Revel in the normalcy of it all! The sucky stuff? Let it out! Don't be afraid of mashing a toe or two. Don't worry about getting kicked out of the clubhouse (Although, don't we all wish we could be?). We are all still your friends and unfortunately you are always going to be an infertile. I've learned through my six years that wanting the baby is only what starts you on the journey. There is so much more to that word once you leave the doctor's office! In our hearts it becomes a monster that is waiting in every nook and cranny to snatch all hope and happiness from our lives forever. From what I've heard, (Don't hate me please, I haven't been there yet and I know this...) that monster walks you out the door of the hospital and holds the door as you strap in your little angel. He sits in the closet as you snuggle and rock your little one at night and he often visits your nightmares. You struggle to overcome the racing heart you still get as a pregnant woman crosses in front of you and you are constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop.

As an infertile I want people to know that I'm not angry at other people with babies. I'm angry at myself for not having one.

So, if you are an infertile mom... feel free to tell me how hard it is to run after a stubborn toddler. Don't be afraid to let me know how much sleeping cycles and colic suck. Your stories give me hope that I can have a chance. They pass the time as I sit over here in the IF waiting room and they prepare me for what I hope to have ahead of me.

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