It’s always amazing to me how feelings about infertility come up at the most unexpected times. Most of the time, I’m ok about being infertile. I always feel strange saying that – and to be honest, I feel like a bit of an outsider in the infertility community because of it. I know I’m lucky, in some ways, that it doesn’t bother me the way it once did. I am guessing that part of it is attitude, but I think the other part is just time. I first started trying to have children with my first husband in 2002 – that’s ten years ago! Even though there was some time in between when I was divorced, and when M and I weren’t sure we wanted to try to have children, I first realized that having children wouldn’t come easily for me ten years ago. That’s a long time to accept a situation, even if it’s a situation you never thought you’d be in.

I don’t want my feelings about infertility to be mistaken, though – I wish I wasn’t infertile, and I realized long ago that I will never view pregnancy or birth the way some of my friends do – the ones who got pregnant easily. It’s more that my level of acceptance – after being infertile for so long – makes it sometimes feel normal. I really do forget (until I am reminded) that people DO get pregnant easily, and that they can actually choose when they want to have a child and how many. I think it’s one of the things that makes it so hard for me to move forward with any kind of treatment – that I sometimes can’t imagine it all working out in the end.

I’ve gotten much better about pregnancy announcements, even though some of them throw me for a loop. What’s come as a surprise lately is people who say things like ‘when you have kids…’ or ‘if you have kids’ or ‘I don’t know if you have kids…’ I think I feel like infertility is stamped on my forehead, and I’m always thrown by those questions. They’re so innocent, especially when they have to do with home remodeling. I always feel strange after these exchanges, but what am I supposed to say? ‘Well, we have to see how the surgery to repair my insides goes first, and then we have to see how my old eggs do with high doses of fertility medication. Then I can talk to you about what kind of flooring is appropriate.’

It just surprises me, still, how much infertility impacts so many aspects of my life – even after all these years.

Advertisements