WARNING: This post was written in a mixture of emotions.I don't know what you've been told before, but the scars of infertility last a lifetime. They don't just 'go away'. So many people aren't so understanding of this because I've crossed to "the other side" and have my sweet baby boy... but the pain is still real.
His sweet face makes so many things better and easier to deal with, but some days I am still just managing. My husband and I are currently in the midst of the in-between. After years TTC, our son was born just three months ago, and we haven't been 'trying' long enough to be qualified as 'secondary infertility'. So am I fertile? No.
To be honest I've really been struggling with a few things when it comes to reproduction lately. Stuff I'm not ready to announce or talk about quite yet. However, pregnancy is over and mommyhood has began... and so so has many of my PCOS symptoms. I've started to get bald spots in my hair, because of the handfulls that fall out every time I wash it. My body is weak and lethargic, and I'm doing my best to again stay away from those foods that make me miserably more-so, but in a world of being a busy mom sometimes pizza delivery is the only answer vs going to bed hungry.
I'm struggling to find my place. A quote I have always loved is "Do not let your struggle become your identity". I've prided myself on not doing so...
or so I thought.
Lately I've realized a lot of my life (social media, the words I use, the conversations I tend to have) all lead me back to infertility. Despite the quote, I am not positive this is a bad thing, yet it is something I would like to work on changing a bit. Infertility sometimes is all about categorizing. I really feel like it's our need to control SOMETHING because we are living in a hell we cannot control. So we put people into boxes. Is this person "IVF" or "IUI"? Trying "long enough" or "new"? "Infertile" or "Secondary"? "His problem" or "Hers"? Up until recently I felt like I knew where I fell.
Now because I carry my sweet boy in my arms I feel like I oftentimes try to mask the problems I'm dealing with. I mask how often I feel sick, and how often I feel down, because I've reached "the other side".
Truth is, infertility lasts a lifetime and I'm still hurting.
I'm still hurting when I feel the pain and symptoms of PCOS. It still kills me that I have to check my face daily for facial hair, have weight cling to me, have to deal with skin tags, headaches, stomach aches, and more. It's embarrassing.
I'm still hurting when I can't sleep at night wondering about if I'll ever give Sullivan a sibling. When I was struggling in my infertility, a friend of mine opened up to me about her secondary infertility. At first I thought she was selfish and greedy (I'm sorry!), but I soon realized the hurt that it still brings. Just because you have a baby doesn't mean you don't feel broken anymore. It doesn't mean miscarriages no longer crush your spirits, or that you don't struggle with depression. I'm so thankful she taught me to be understanding about secondary infertility early on. I'm terrified about where we may have to go on that road in the future. It often consumes my thoughts. I understand I have many friends who may be reading this and thinking I am selfish and greedy, and that's okay. That's a road everyone has to walk through during infertility, and maybe I can be 'that friend' to help you through those thoughts. I used to struggle with the thoughts of not being able to give my husband a child, and now I just struggle knowing I may not give my son a sibling. I was an only child, and I promise I won't give up easily on getting him a sibling. Only children should be illegal. Just kidding... kind of.
This past week has been very hard on me because of the feelings of infertility that still stick.
As hard as I try...
It still hurts when I hear about a woman falling pregnant so easily, I wish I could do that so badly.
It still hurts when jokes are made, and complaints are made about pregnancy. I would take it all in a heartbeat. I really think it's all about the attitude, and my attitude is so willing to put my head in a toilet bowl again to give Sullivan a sibling.
Maybe most of this is normal for a pregnant woman, and my pregnancy was the abnormal one after all the infertility bull... but I'm just being honest by saying it still hurts.
It's nothing against my fertile, pregnant mommas, I need you to know that. It's just that once infertility comes into your life it almost changes your chemical makeup. Things said hurt when they hadn't before, actions sting when they were commonplace before, and every movement becomes a little more planned out to spare the feelings of others.
I have forever changed, and I'm just learning on what that means for all three of us for right now.
What does it mean for me as a mommy, as a wife, as a friend, as a sister-in-law... ?