Infertility does strange things to you. It’s such a weird thing to go through. I couldn’t even explain all the craziness. Laced through all of it though, unfortunately, is guilt.
Some of the guilt is just crazy. Many feel guilt because of what their body is not accomplishing. Which is unfair because you can’t control that.
We feel guilt about our other emotions. A lot of us are upset (to varying degrees) by others’ pregnancy announcements. Many, many people have touched on this. Hearing announcements, while we are likely thrilled for that person, reminds of what we still are struggling for, so it’s upsetting. And then we feel guilty for feeling that way.
What I did not expect was to feel guilty about being pregnant.
I’ll be honest, though what we went through was a challenge, it was a drop in the bucket when compared to a lot of other stories of infertility.
I started this blog to connect with other women going through IVF so I could prepare myself for what it was, and get support during, and support others. And it’s been amazing to have that during all of this. There are some bloggers that I’ve become closer with, I consider them friends, even if I don’t know their real names and have never met. Some of these women have been at this a lot longer than I have. Some have to go through much more invasive procedures than I’ve dealt with. Some don’t get as many embryos from a full IVF cycle as I did, and so they go through the whole shebang over and over, where I got to freeze some and try again with those (which is a much easier process to go through, physically at least). Some have to stay on these crazy strict diets to try to improve their egg quality, and then it doesn’t even end up sticking. Some have experienced one or more (and sometimes many) miscarriages.
Before we were diagnosed as infertile, when we were just a regular TTC couple, I would see pregnancy announcements and wonder “why not me?” When was it going to be my turn? Not that I wanted it to be me instead of them, just me also. Now, I read about my friend who has decided to take a break from treatment because she can’t handle any more right now, and is breaking from blogging as well to try to better not focus on infertility in her life. I read about my friend whose baby has a heartbeat but is not growing, she’s just waiting for the inevitable, while also hoping that something changes. There’s a woman who was fostering a young girl for months, then was placed with her newborn sister, was picked by a birth mom for the adopting of a baby due in a few weeks; then the courts reunified the first newborn with the maternal grandmother, and the adoption birth mom changed her mind about adoption, and they gave up the little girl to the grandmother as well so as to not separate the sisters. All in the space of about 3 weeks. There’s the woman who has been through tragedy after tragedy, finally had a little success with an egg donor, had a transfer, and then ended up in the hospital with an unrelated issue and her treatment may or may not have caused her transfer to fail. Now I find myself wondering “why me? Why not her?”
As far as infertility goes, we’ve had it pretty damn easy. And believe me, I am so grateful for that. I’m grateful it was as easy as it was for us. I’m beyond grateful for this little strawberry in my belly. But I’m also so sad for the others. I’m sad for what they’re going through still. This community has been so wonderful, but I’m not sure where I fall anymore. We’re not done with it completely. When it comes time that we want to try for another child, in all likelihood, we’ll be going through this again. So many women can’t even think that far ahead because one would be a complete miracle. Everyone’s infertility issues are different. It seems to be that we are lucky in that, while a challenge, it is absolutely possible that we will be able to have more children.
So where do I belong? DH and I are still “infertile.” But we’re also expecting. I’m thrilled to “finally” be pregnant. But I also feel guilty that I am after less than 2 full years of TTC. Having these conflicting emotions about one thing, my pregnancy, is a strange place to be.
I just want all these women to get their babies already, no matter how they may come to be.