A Journey Called Infertility

I always wanted a natural birth.

From the moment we decided to start trying all those years ago, I had a plan. It would go such and such a way, because that’s the mode life works, you know?

A natural birth, an opportunity to demonstrate my strength, a metaphor for the transition from girl to woman, from caterpillar to butterfly.

So we began to try, and oh, did we try. And when each try ended in failure, our hearts broke a little more and we rested our weary head on wet pillows, sometimes together, sometimes not.

To describe this time of pain is difficult, because it’s so completely personal and most people only half-listen but are fully ready to answer with an optimistic solution that only amplifies the loneliness of this journey.

It can’t fully be understood by those who don’t know it for themselves.

Two people in love, too much love for one another that they urge to let it spill over onto something they’ve created together, something pink and wrinkly that smells of heaven. And they can’t do it…

A pain so life changing.

However, while this journey does not define us entirely, it has changed us, me, so much I hardly recognize the person before. It has changed me for the good, and that was a daily choice,  oftentimes a battle.

The reason I share this is because someone reading might need this, and because infertility is a condition with no need of shame.

And if I want to keep this blog going, I have to be willing to share the unpleasantness. A year of vulnerability, perhaps.

If you know someone going through this, they need your listening ear, kind heart, and empathy… no pity, no advice. That’s what everyone needs, I’ve come to realize.

Thanks for reading! And Happy New Year. May it bring renewed hope and wonder.

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53 thoughts on “A Journey Called Infertility

  1. This was beautifully written, as are all your posts. Although I can’t identify with infertility, I do know the pain of miscarriage. I was blessed with my son about a year later.
    I think I speak for all your readers in saying that, we’re here to listen to whatever you care to share.
    Happy New Year to you and Country Man. And that’s a gorgeous lighthouse photo!

  2. Bless your heart! I’ve been there and it wasn’t until my 30’s until it happened…31 and 36. Each month became the waiting for “I a woman day” I called it and my loving husband learned to understand its meeting. You’re not alone. With the help of Baylor College of Medicine, a sensitive doctor…etc, etc…it finally happened. It’s okay to talk. There comes the time you just have to just ask, wonder aloud, and be listened to. Take care…both of you.

  3. We tried over two years to get pregnant only to suffer many miscarriages after that. Thanks for sharing what you’re going through, it does feel so lonely but know that there are many out there who know of this pain.

  4. agree with everyone here. I am in awe of your ability to speak through to us from a very personal core of truth and life. there are so many roads we take unintended! And many we yearn to take that never seem to appear upon our horizons. You have made something valuable and more beautiful from nothingness and pain. AND you shared it – unconditionally! THANK YOU. I only know your truth because you chose to open it like a gift and share it with all of us! You might not be able to make a life,..but you sure as heck know how to save one! You are Blessed! And you are an angel for sharing this. THANK YOU!

  5. As I struggle through my own journey to motherhood, I’m surprised at how isolating and lonely infertility can feel- when it’s something so many couples face. Thank you for reminding me that this is a shared journey, even with those I don’t know. :)

  6. Thank you for sharing from your heart, exposing your vulnerability and the raw emotions that come from loss. I have not experienced infertility rather miscarriage but like all of us bloggers, our hope is that one person might be able to identify with our story and therefore, help is given. May you be blessed in 2014 however that manifests!

  7. I believe that so many times we go through our daily lives….and most people have no idea what is really going on. It took courage for you to take off the “mask” and be real. My favorite verse,Luke 1:37, came to me while reading your post. Nothing is impossible with God…..He knows your heart and He is faithful.

  8. I’ve followed posts a bit here while trying to find time for making the rounds from time to time, and this was most touching by far, surely hitting home with many. Maybe there is a reason for our need to openly share these things pertaining to life… lets others know they are not alone anyway even if it is in the blogosphere of cyberspace – often it is not an easy thing for some to reach out at all.
    Glad to see you know there is a lot of purpose in life, and you two are being of good comfort to each other. Thanks for sharing your gift of writing, as always keep the faith all throughout another blessed new year(“-“) < Smiles & hugs, and much love peace, and joy.

  9. Hi doll. I’ve walked this path. Seven rounds of IVF, three miscarriages (four if you count twins as two) and finally, renting another woman’s womb to have my second son. It is beyond difficult and painful, but it will teach you lessons thet are beyond valuable. I don’t want to offer solutions, but if you ever need suggestions or help, I am here. I wrote an article about surrogacy for TheAtlantic.com – http://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2013/04/surrogacy-joyful-frightening-always-risky/274928/

    Might be worth a read, although you are far from this point.

    Blessings and happy New Year. May 2014 be the turning point.

    xo

    • I think I have read all you’ve wrote on your journey, and appreciated it SO much. It was because of people like you that I felt like talking about it. However, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to wait until we had success, or bare it all while still on this side of the journey.

      Thank you so much for sharing your life through your website, it has been such a comfort!

  10. See, I don’t get this. Children aren’t status symbols. They aren’t completion nor signs of oooo we’ve had sex. I don’t get that drive of ‘should’, unless it’s from fake hallmark commercials. I don’t understand that butterfly thing, one has to be taught that such a thing is true and to accept NOT having a being pop forth is a failure or a brokenness is (to me) a form of programming that needs to be undone with therapy. I just don’t see that one ought to feel like a piece of crap about it. I feel bad and cranky that you must feel sad about it when there is another way. Good wishes!

    • Elisa,
      You are entitled to your opinion, but as a long time reader of this blog and seeing T’s heart in her writing….I believe you should have refrained from making this comment. It might not have been intentional on your part, but your words come across as unfeeling and hard hearted, not the kind of thing that is helpful at all. Please be considerate of other’s feelings in the future…..they might not be the same as yours, but her feelings of longing for a child are valid and heart felt.

      • Well put Dawn. It’s not about putting oneself up against the measuring stick of some societal norm, it’s about reconciling an aching in one’s soul, or at least learning to live with it…

  11. My husband and I just started trying. We’ve been married for 2 months, and my biggest fear is infertility. I’m sorry that you’ve had to deal with all that pain. I hope that I do not…but you do prove that there is life after discovering such a thing. Thank you.

  12. This must have been difficult to write, but you’re right: it will help someone. And you already helped me—I still have the couple emails we exchanged. I mean that in a totally noncreepy way.

  13. I have been there and felt every single one of the emotions that you describe so courageously and well. I have felt your melancholy (and maybe a shred of despair) in your writings over the years and wondered about whether this was at the root of it — Isn’t it odd how connected we’ve all become, just through blogging? I can tell you that infertility is a journey you take entirely on your own, but you have many fellow passengers (witness the comments you’ve seen here — and personally, I just feel in my bones that you and CM will have your beautiful, bouncing miracle soon — l honestly do! Happy New 2014, thanks for being so honest — and keep the faith!!!

    • Betty, thank you so much! You are so wise and kind and I admire you. There were times over the years that I felt that despair, and it took a good four years to fully emerge from the pain. But we will keep moving forward, and hopefully have that good news one day. Thank you so much for your comment!!

  14. A big hug, my aunt spent years and lots of money trying. She and her husband did not succeed. She is now in her fifties and can’t have anymore. It is the worst thing she said. I’ve seen her tears and how listless she feels. I’m sorry for your pain. I hope you two will soon be blessed with your little addition, wherever she is, she knows she’s already loved. Yes, I hope it is a girl :) happy new year!

  15. T,

    My farm girl and I finally found each other a little late in this life (we were 39 & 40 – I’m the old coot), but it did not affect the desire between us that you describe so well in your post – “Two people… [with] too much love for one another that they urge to let it spill over onto something they’ve created together…” In fact, this overwhelming feeling, that one must experience to truly understand (and you obviously do), is exactly what prompted us to take a stab at finding a surrogate, unfortunately before our state laws fully accepted such course. In the end, we gave up on the idea, just happy to have finally found each other and the love we share together before this life was over. We decided a celebration of that everyday would certainly be the next best thing! And tomorrow, we celebrate 13 years…

    During her younger years, Lori had been through the gamut of infertility tests, treatments, and its associated emotional roller coaster rides. I wish I had been there for her back then, and would like to think I would have been her “Knight in Shining Armor”, but I probably wouldn’t have been all that great. You see, men are “fixers” at heart. When we see something broken we want to fix it right away, get it back up and running smoothly. We tend to approach life and relationships the same way and, especially with someone we love so dearly, we want to fix the bumps and scratches and outright hurts right now, so we can see your smile shine through again and know all is right with your/our world.

    There are times, still, when Lori’s pain of infertility surfaces, and it has taken me many years of living life, and of living life with the right one, to come to understand that, when that pain is more than you can hold inside, you don’t always want us to fix the leak. You just need to know your fix-it-man’s shoulder is there for your head to rest upon, and that it’s OK if you soak it with tears. As you say, what you need most, as the roller coaster goes up and down, and around, is a ” listening ear, kind heart, and empathy…” And we’ll throw a lot of love in with that too, if you don’t mind.
    :)

    • Oh, this explains so well why you and your wife are such kind, sensitive folk. I wish so much you two never had to experience that pain, but I am thankful to have met you both and witness how you allowed the pain to make you even more compassionate people, to people and the animals that look to you. Thank you both!

  16. Infertility is indeed, a solemn journey we muddle through on our own. My husband and I wanted a house full of kids. For more than 20 years I sought every avenue possible. In my 40’s, gestational surrogacy was possible – but many states, including Oklahoma, did not have statutes for such a process. It was considered “child-trafficking”. By the time I was in my late 40’s the legal process was finally changed – much in thanks to an attorney and his wife, who were themselves, dealing with infertility. My husband and I both felt it was too late for us by then, and possibly a risk in many ways. With that decision came some closure, which is always good I suppose.

    At 52 I can’t say the hurting ever goes away. I can’t say I’m not a little bitter sometimes. I don’t think you ever get over, something that you long to experience. Along the way, I found happiness in helping out with nieces and nephews, friend’s children, and neighborhood kids. There are many ways to experience being a mother. Laugh at me now, but I blog mostly about the orphaned deer I raised a couple of years ago… and now I have a granddeer! Regardless of where your life’s journey takes you, it’s OK to feel every emotion possible. It’s ok to feel ripped off and it’s just fine to spend the day sobbing away. And it’s a wonderful thing to talk or write about it. There are many people here who love you and support you… and numbers like that lift you up! I appreciate the depth of your writing on this subject… and your courage to share it with all of us. ~Lori

    • This was such a sweet comment, and what great timing it came in. You really know how to encourage people. I really struggled with whether or not to share this, because in my head I wanted to wait until “success” came to share our journey. It took me four years to finally come to terms with the fact that I am not defined by infertility.

      Thank YOU so much for your readership, your kindness, and for taking care of all creatures, great and small.

  17. This post caught me eye for two reasons. The first one – you had the courage to write about infertility in such a beautiful way. Two – I have just scheduled our first infertility appointment. Our story is different because we have one healthy baby that happened just like things are suppose to and now we have been trying for over a year for our 2nd with no luck. Sometimes, I wonder if we are doing the right thing by going to the appointment but the more I learn and talk to people, it seems that 2nd child infertility is a rather common occurrence. I pray for anyone going thru infertility to seek the guidance that they need and to find a peace to their journey. Thank you for your kind thoughts!

  18. You write so well. As a parent writing about an uncomfortable subject (I write about the death of a child), I appreciate your vulnerability and openness. It has always boggled my mind that those who so desperately want children and would make such wonderful parents aren’t able to have children…while those who seem to view children as throwaways and have no interest in being a decent or involved parent can have children with no problems.

  19. Beautiful post.
    I do know what you’re going through, I had a full hysterectomy September 30th effectively destroying any chance for us to have children. The whole in the heart is almost unbearable. But the comments from people who don’t know like the comment on facebook where I stated I’d slept like a baby and a commenter stated “Oh just wait till you have a baby of your own – they don’t sleep well” hurt worse.
    Hang in there girl.

  20. I’m hurting with you, sweetie. You took the words right out of my own heart and described in both beautifully and with insight. I don’t think there’s a pain quite as misunderstood as the ache that takes up residence in your heart when you can’t naturally conceive a child with the man you love…Hugs!

  21. Wishing you the best of luck with your ttc journey in 2014. My husband and I are also trying to conceive our first child (it has been 2 years now) and, after three early miscarriages and no answers to our questions, it is very hard. You aren’t alone on this journey. Hopefully this will be your year xxx

  22. I find in our honesty and vulnerability we find healing. Thanks for being both. I haven’t been on here as much as I would like, but I’m glad I stopped by to see what you were up to! I have no doubt 2014 is going to be a great year!

  23. Such a beautifully written post. Stories like yours are what makes me want to serve a family as a surrogate carrier in the near future. Thank you for sharing and best wishes on your journey.

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