It Doesn't Go Away

A lot of people assume that once you've had a baby, the sting of infertility melts away. I wish that were true.

Now, don't think for one second that I don't wake up every morning or go to bed each night, not remembering how blessed we are to have Georgia in our lives. Trust me, it's something I will never take for granted.

But hearing pregnancy announcements still feels like a kick in the guts. It's a reminder of something that should have been 'easy', should have just 'happened', was that 'natural' thing that most women can choose to plan.

So many things make me angry. Hearing people complain about it taking so long to conceive - and by 'so long', we're talking two or three months. It's just so unreal: we tried for almost two years, two years that felt like an eternity. And sadly, two years is small fry compared to so many others in the Infertility circles I'm in! Hearing about the OOPS pregnancies. Hearing the complaints and gripes about being pregnant: 'Why am I doing this?' - or worse - 'Why did I choose to do this AGAIN?' They have no idea how lucky they are.

Even people who I would consider close to me can't escape my bitterness. While I'm happy, and glad things have worked out for the best for them, I still feel sad. Why did it have to be us that had the hard slog? Why did we have to pay money, a LOT of money, for a child? Why did we have to go through months of disappointment, of surgical procedures, of loaded negative pregnancy tests, when others can get that BFP without even needing to think?

I'm sad that when it comes time to try for a future baby, we won't be able to 'time it'. We won't be able to try 'when the time is right' or plan for that perfect age-gap between babies. I'm sad that it'll take money, doctors appointments, stress. And I'm nervous that despite all those things, it may not even work.

I'm not an awful person. I'm so thankful to have this little person in my life, that we were able to add to our family of fur-babies with our beautiful baby girl. I just wish people understood that the infertility and the pain doesn't magically disappear after becoming a parent. It still hurts, and it sucks.

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jess said...

Some background before I leave my comment. We have MFI but we conceived our daughter naturally after two years of TTC.

I struggle with lots of different feelings. I too get cranky at my friends who fall pregnant easily. The same friends who tell me that I just need to relax for it to happen. But then I get the guilts because my own journey to parenthood wasn't as hard as some others have it.

We've been trying for no 2 for over a year now and I'm little better this time round. I've found that those resentful feelings have faded just the tineiest bit. I do count myself lucky to have one happy, healthy child. But of course I still have some bad days. The ladies in my mothers group who started trying at the same time for no 2 now all have had babies. I find if I think about that too much it makes me go to a ungrateful place.

I guess the point of my comment is that infertility does suck. I've found that those sucky feelings have faded over time just a little bit. I hope they do for you too.

Candace said...

Well said friend, well said. I'm with you. While I feel insanely lucky to have my little guy, I still get sad/upset when people get pregnant so easily and take it for granted. I still completely identify myself as "infertile". I don't think that'll ever ever go away. Going through what we went through changes you to the core and there's really no coming back from it.

Anonymous said...

Hi from ICLW...IF will always be there no matter what and it sucks!!! Once an infertile always and infertile

Loving Lee said...

Well said...I know how you feel. We've been trying for a year and half and you have people who can get pregnant who don't necessarily want to be pregnant. It gets very frustrating to try and be happy for friends and family who get it without even trying.

Lisa said...

I totally agree. Although I have managed to get pregnant on my own 6 times, I only carried 1 baby to term. It drives me crazy to see people obliviously announcing those happy pregnancies. They just get pregnant and have a kid, as if it always works that way. But not for me. I finally decided to stop trying when it was affecting my time with my son. But still, seeing larger families or huge pregnant bellies is a smack in the face to me. Why do they get to keep theirs when I lost mine so many times?

Miss Navy said...

I'm there with you. Well, mostly. We are officially 12 weeks along today, and our appointment for our egg retrieval was during Infertility Awareness week in the States, as well as our 1 year anniversary with the REI clinic. It was pretty bittersweet, and nerve wracking. Shortly before I quit my job, found out that one of the girls I worked with was pregnant. Then I came home to a text from DH that said guess who's pregnant? His sister-in-law, who swore she was never having kids, was pregnant, with their baby due about a month before ours. I'm not going to lie, it took some of our joy away, knowing that his mother was now split between two grandkids in quick succession, and that it was so easy for them. Right now, I'm still in a state of "it doesn't feel real". I look at my stomach and think I need to cut back on the chocolate. I start sucking wind as I walk up the stairs and think I need to be better about working out, though then exhaustion takes over and I nap instead. This will always be a part of us, regardless of how many kids we can have in the future. But I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we are stronger women for having gone through this than those that can look at their spouse to get pregnant. Heck, they've probably had to get their tubes tied and the men get cut.....we won't ever have that problem!! ;-)

Mrs. Higrens said...

No, no it doesn't. I've recently been reminded of that - thought enough time had passed, that I was doing okay but then, wham!, it hit me again hard.

Having 1 child is a contradiction of being grateful for that one and feeling jealous of others for whom a 2nd came easily. Of my mommy group friends, 2 already have child #2, 1 is pregnant, and 1 isn't preventing. So much bittersweet feelings towards them all!

Anonymous said...

I cant tell you how many of my friends who have gone through IVF have gotten pregnant again alone and how they have been COMPLETELY shocked so know it DOES happen :)

I could always GET pregnant but could never stay that way. I am not sure what is worse really? Knowing you can and it wont stick, losing baby after baby or not being able to at all? Both hard pills to swallow really.


Becky said...

I am so so glad you wrote this post! Thanks for sharing!

Alana said...

Thank you for sharing this!! I didn't have any issue getting pregnant, but I did have an issue STAYING pregnant, and I share similar feelings around pregnancy announcements, and big ol' third trimester bellies since I never made it that far. There's a good chance I will never be pregnant again, that I will never know what it would be like to make it past 25 weeks, that I'll never know what it's like to have fat, healthy full-term baby. As much as I want to be happy and supportive for other people's good fortune when it comes to babymaking, it is still a big loss for me, and will take some time to get over. It is comforting, at least, to know that I am not the only one who finds it difficult.

heidikins said...

Thank you for sharing this, my dear. I think this is a really important topic and one that most people gloss over--the being grateful for what you have (healthy, gorgeous Georgia), but also still wishing for another or more of the same (2nd or 3rd child) and still being frustrated at knowing how difficult and possibly expensive it could be.

I can't relate on an infertility or children level, but I feel this way about a lot of other things in my life.

Lots of love,

K said...

Even close friends who seem to understand can sometimes just not get it. I've been told that once i get pregnant i will regret it. Obviously i laugh and say 'probably', but really, it's not that simple.I want all that crappy stuff! For me it wont be a happy accident.
I get so jealous of my friends babies (how ever much i really do love them). I live in constant (irrational) fear that my sister in-law is going to be pregnant any time now.

I just have to try and forgive my loved ones for not understanding how much i want it, and how much it hurts to not have it. Keep the green eyed baby monster under control K!!

Anonymous said...

I am on the other end of the spectrum, my strict religious upbringing means that contraception was always a big no no, and so here I am at twenty something with my fourth child (very unplanned) on the way, hubby looking for work, stressed and tired with 3 young children. Life is not easy, we have sacrificed a lot at a very young age accepting with love the children that we were blessed enough to have, even if it feels like a burden sometimes. I pray that you can add to your beautiful little family soon.

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