you're reading...

Life Is Beautiful: Surving Infertility

The strong man who has known power all his life, may lose respect for that power.  But a weak man knows the value of strength… and he knows compassion.

Abraham Erskine from Captain America

In honour of National Infertility Awareness Week I have been preparing a whole series of posts.  Most of them were ones I had written over the months but never actually published.  When I wrote them, I was grieving the loss of my fertility and trying to let go of all the pain that I suffered during my struggle.  Because I had started to become my affliction, when I tried to let go had a hard time figuring out who I was anymore.

I am more than just infertility.

I am more than just infertility.

After grieving and writing (and rollerblading), something finally changed.  I was walking past a building window and my reflection caught my eye.  I paused briefly to take a closer look.  Around me I could see the reflections of several people including other mothers with their children and it just hit me.  I am just as good as them.  I am even better than some of them.  So why am I allowing fertility to be the only measuring stick I use to compare myself to the world?  (Not that I ever recommend comparing yourself to others, but hey, we all do it sometimes).

Not anymore.

Today I want to share my joy with everyone and let people out there know that I am so much more than my infertility and so are you.  Today I am making a choice to let go and be happy with the cards life has dealt me, because really I have a winning hand.  I am choosing to remember my victory and not the battle. I am closing the door I walked through years ago and I am moving on.

I am one of the lucky ones. My battle only lasted a year and while I may still have scars I have something much more important. My beautiful wonderful healthy twin girls (and my special little boy).

Even though there were so many times I wanted to quit, I didn’t.  I couldn’t.  I looked deep down inside me and summoned strength I never knew I had to keep going, and you can too.  And while I would often get down on myself for the fact that I have IF, I know now that I am so much more than that.

I am in great shape and look good for my age (and having given birth to twins). I have a university education. I have a good job. I have a family who loves me. I have the best man in the world who is both a wonderful partner and an amazing father.  I have a nice home, a car, and everything I need.

Sure, there are lots of women out there who can get pregnant easily. So what? They will never truly know the value of what they possess.  I do.  And while they were given their gifts biologically, I have had to work hard for my accomplishments in life which means not a lot of people make it to where I do. I know that there are tons of people who would kill to be in my shoes.  People who can’t find that right person or are stuck in a job they hate or in debt, unhappy with their appearance etc., etc.

Does this mean that I will never think about it? No. Will it still bother me sometimes when see women around me get pregnant so easily or worse, take it all for granted.  Yes.  But instead of feeling sad about my struggle or my loss, or angry because something that is so easy for most was so hard for me, I will remember that my life is unique and beautiful and that I triumphed over adversity with not one but two trophies to commemorate it.

So to all my fellow women and men who suffer from IF I just want to send you my love and support and let you know that there is hope.  Know that no matter where you are in your path, if you haven’t gotten your happy ending its because you haven’t reached the end yet.  Whether than end is a biological child, an adopted child, or even a life without children, you have a choice to find peace, and when you are ready, you will.  Because really there is no end.  Time never stops and life marches on and today I can finally say that  I am ready to move on too.

P.S. The complete irony of it is that after a year of trying and eight months of fertility treatments, my twins were conceived during National Infertility Awareness Week 2012 (sorry if TMI)  So hang in there 🙂



About Shannon

I am a university educated full-time working mother of four children. Proudly Canadian, I freeze my butt off along with my loving partner, two dogs and a cat. I hope you enjoy reading my posts as much as I love writing them, but if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.


12 thoughts on “Life Is Beautiful: Surving Infertility

  1. Nice post. It will prove very helpful to other women to hear your story.
    I think it’s also worth recognizing that, even if a woman’s body needed a little help to get pregnant, it’s an amazing feat to produce healthy eggs, grow a baby, give birth and nurture/feed a child after birth.
    Many women have trouble with one of the above elements, so why sweat it? The key is the outcome. If you have three healthy children, than you’re a big winner in reproduction, a biological process whereby so many things can go terribly wrong.
    In my case, I wanted unmedicated, natural births, but ended up with two c-sectios. I could spend the rest of my life questioning my womanhood and why I wasn’t strong enough for a successful VBAC, but I’m so impressed by what my body did so well that I’m at peace with this perceived shortcoming.
    I completely understand and respect your feelings; I just wanted to my take on my own reproductive limitations.

    Posted by momcloset | April 21, 2014, 7:54 am
    • Thank you for sharing your story. I agree. While I may not have been able to get pregnant on my own I carried those twins to term and was induced at 38.5 weeks vaginally delivering a 7.5lb and a 6lb baby and many women are not so lucky. You are also right in that it does not make us of a woman or less of a mother. Congrats on your two lovelies and have a great day.

      Posted by Shannon | April 21, 2014, 9:49 am
  2. I’m worried the above may have come off as insensitive. I do understand how emotionally exhausting and challenging infertility would be; i just wanted to say that, even on a reproductive level, your body is amazing to have produced, grown and nurtured three children.

    Posted by momcloset | April 21, 2014, 8:03 am
  3. This brings back so many memories… some happy and some so very sad! When I’m feeling down, or get sucked in by envy, I remind myself this quote that I’d read on another blog — “who am I to complain about not winning the lottery twice?”. It helps me a great deal to find back the balance! You have fantastic children, Shannon… good luck with seeing the joy in what you have, and overcoming sorrows about what you cannot. Sometimes, that’s easier said than done…I *know*. Worth striving for, though!

    Posted by Sumitha (@afineparent) | April 21, 2014, 9:10 am
    • Thanks! I will always find it ironic that its some of the best parents in the world (like yourself) that have trouble having children whereas others don’t. But I am glad you have found your peace. That is a very useful quote, thank you for sharing it. You are right about life too. It isn’t easy but if it was it wouldn’t be worth it 🙂 Have a great day.

      Posted by Shannon | April 21, 2014, 9:54 am
  4. Love it!! 🙂

    Posted by livinginthedeepend | April 21, 2014, 6:37 pm
  5. I am so glad you arrived here at this acceptance of the blessings and the struggles. I don’t know how to word this but I wish more women could arrive at this place of respect for themselves and acceptance of all the elements of their lives that are out of their control. It’s so destructive to have your happiness hinge on something that is for the most part, out of your control.
    On the other hand, I think fertility treatments could make mothering more stressful! By this I mean, I love my kids dearly, but there are days when I wonder what I was thinking becoming a mom. They have turned everything upside down. It might send me into despair if I had spent lots of time, money, emotions, and pain on the process of becoming a mother. Like, “I went through all that for this?!”
    As for saying, it’s about the outcomes, I have to respectfully disagree! If it were about the outcomes, people would adopt. Infertility is so hard because it means life isn’t turning out the way you expected. After all those years trying not to get pregnant, now it’s hard?
    And the most important thing I have learned as a teacher is you never know someone else’s pains or struggles. Everyone has something going on.
    Sorry that was a long comment!

    Posted by Rachel | April 21, 2014, 6:46 pm
    • Thanks for commenting. You see I disagree. It’s particularly because of what I went through (and I have talked to others like me) that we are extra appreciative of our kids. Situations that send other mothers over the edge make us smile because we know it is a privilege and an honour to even have that problem to deal with in the first place :-). Not for a second do I regret the time, heartache, or money that went into my babies. I am not really sure what you meant by adoption but I know it isn’t an option for most. It wasn’t for us. It was too expensive and after watching a colleague have to give a child back to an awful home just before the finalization I don’t think I could handle that. And you are right about the struggles. No one who looked at me would know, or that my mom is sick with Cancer and things are rough right now. Its hard but we should always treat everyone with loving kindness. Thanks again for taking the time to read. Cheers.

      Posted by Shannon | April 21, 2014, 7:23 pm
  6. Would you mind if I asked what made you turn to fertility treatments after 4 months of trying? Did you have difficulty conceiving your first?

    Posted by Rose | April 23, 2014, 3:50 am
    • After my son was born I ceased to ovulate. Without that I couldn’t get pregnant. So I suppose you can’t really call it trying nut o was using opks and we were having sex, but really it wasn’t doing anything. I just kept thinking maybe my period would come back, but it never did.

      Posted by Shannon | April 23, 2014, 8:40 am

Join my team. What do you have to say?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

How About Some Love?

Follow on Bloglovin
%d bloggers like this: