Things that are really hard with a baby:
-middle of the night feedings
-getting the minimum required hours of sleep for a functioning human
-eating with one hand
-running out of crib sheets in the middle of the night
-leaving the house
-going to the bathroom alone
Things that are really hard when you can’t have a baby:
-every season’s family-focused holiday celebrations and traditions
-every failed cycle
-every public encounter of a pregnant woman & families
Each infertile woman reasonably understands that raising children is difficult, for a variety of reasons. But those that have not experienced infertility are simply unable to understand how hard it is to not to have the opportunity to do those things. It is sincerely difficult to not parent if it’s all you have wished to do.
I’ve wished for a happy moment in a hospital bed. A loving peck on the forehead as an acknowledgment for a job well done as a strong, healthy cry leaves the lungs of something we made together first sees the world. I’ve wanted to explore all of the features of my child in order to find the pieces of my husband in a laugh or a facial expression.
We find ourselves here, though. In a perpetual land of ‘wants but can’t haves’. At a fork in the road of happiness and heartache, where the directions are determined largely by finances and how much fight you have left.
Of those two conditions, finances and fight, here I want to focus on the fight. I want to dedicate this post to the resilency of infertile women (and couples) everywhere.
Some of the best people I have had the pleasure of calling a friend are infertile. I have watched them fight for weight loss in order to have an opportunity to do IVF. To wipe the savings accounts set aside for responsibility in order to try. To walk away when heartache becomes too tough to handle. These, my friends, take fight.
As National Infertilty Awareness begins, I want to recognize the Aimees, the Stephanies, the Emilys, Abbys, Anitas and Amandas of this world and say “I see you. I recognize you and your daily struggle and I am here to help you fight when you can’t do it alone.” I want to say there is beauty and grace in this strength that is impossible to see from the inside, but it is there. Happy endings are too far and few between in this community. You all deserve happiness and I wish it for you, but I want to honor the pieces of you that feel both realistic and unrealistic, hopeful yet careful, and wishful but grounded.
Lastly, I wish for peace at the end of your journey. Peace in not just the outcome, but in the decisions that bring you to the end and in moving forward once decisions are made.
This is dedicated to all those rightly bittered by infertility.