The person who inspired this post just had her baby a couple of weeks ago and it made me realize it’s time I posted this. Hopefully it helps.
There is this club. It is a wonderful and magical club, to which billions of people belong, both men and women. Odds are, you are in this club, and you don’t even know it.
I know it, because I am not a part of this wonderful and magical club.
Instead, I get to watch you dancing and signing to the music under the bright lights, while I lurk in the shadows, drenched in my own tears. You are the fertiles. Those who have sex, get pregnant and have babies, all like it’s just normal…even easy.
Today was like any other day in the blogosphere, until I received a comment that made me read it twice. One of the moms whose blog I follow left a comment about my belly pics and then she mentioned she was six weeks pregnant.
That’s odd, I thought.
I could distinctly remember her posting about her husband getting a vasectomy because she was definitely done with having children.
I must have confused her with someone else, I thought, and posted back.
No, I was right, she explained. While her husband was waiting for his appointment they were surprised with a pregnancy.
My heart literally crumbled.
Try as hard as I could to be happy for her I wasn’t. I was upset. How come someone who doesn’t even want anymore kids get pregnant by accident, when there are people who would trade a their left arm for a baby can’t get pregnant?
This is not a new question for me. I have been infertile for years. And in fact, I overcame it when I delivered my twin baby girls. I hoped that would allow me to leave it all behind, but letting go is hard. You see, my journey was long and difficult and somewhere along the lines I lost myself. All I could see was infertility. It became my identity, who I was and my sole purpose in life became to get pregnant. Otherwise, I was just a useless woman, because in Darwinian terms our whole reason for being on this planet is to procreate. While I ate well, exercised, took vitamins and supplements, I had a good job and would provide an amazing life for a new baby, I was barren, meanwhile the twenty year old at my work gets knocked up.
When I finally did get pregnant with the twins I was so elated. My biggest failure had become my biggest triumph. While I wanted to share my story, I had never told anyone about my health problems, not even my own parents. I suffered in silence, in fact, I had already undergone over six months of fertility treatments before I had a mental breakdown and told Daddy! I don’t know why I am ashamed to talk about it, but I am.
I think part of it is, it’s difficult to talk to people in the club. They just don’t get it. They tell you to relax, be patient and you’ll get in eventually. Um, no, it doesn’t work that way. Or they ask you insensitive questions like “so when are you having another one?” meanwhile you have been trying for months.
Then there is the problem of secondary infertility that not only takes you out of the club, it practically denies you access to everything because you are even an outsider on the outside. Infertile couples with no children hate you because at least you have one child, and think you are just whining and their pain is worse than yours. Meanwhile, at least they can stay away from places they might see pregnant women or babies, but you can’t. Look up at the park, they’re there. At the toy store, they’re there. At the doctor’s office, they’re there. It is pretty much a living hell being surrounded by the thing you want the most, yet you can’t have it. you pain is just as real as theirs, besides, it’s not a competition. Not to mention the pain you feel that you are letting down the one child you have by not being able to provide them with a sibling and give them the childhood they deserve.
So here I am, almost two years since I got pregnant with the twins and I still feel jealous whenever I see a pregnant woman. A colleague of mine smoked during her first pregnancy and is now smoking while pregnant with her second. I look at her on my break and think, she has no idea how lucky she is that she can smoke and conceive and give birth, meanwhile I can’t.
Sure, to you I may sound like I am crazy. What do you care? You aren’t trying to get pregnant anymore? And you know what? I agree with you. Still, I feel as if I am incapable of feeling anything but sadness and jealousy towards others. I am unwelcome, and outsider, longing to be a part of the club.
I think of how exciting it would be to have a surprise pregnancy compared to what I went through with appointments, transvaginal ultrasounds, blood draws, self medication including injections, and planning every minute of my life out to make sure I could be ready for ovulation, just to see the bright white of the pregnancy test laughing at me while I desperately tilted it in the light, praying and squinting for a tiny pink line.
On the bright side, the one thing I am thankful for is my perspective. Since every moment I spend with my children is a blessing I never take it for granted. While so many women gripe about pregnancy, I enjoyed every second of my “challenging” twin pregnancy, I even miss it. To me, my belly was the most special award that I got to carry around with me for nine months, and show it off to everyone. Especially when it comes to moms of twins, so many of them don’t appreciate it like I do even though they “wouldn’t trade it”. They can’t. No one can. Unless they have been through what I went through.
I know it could be much worse. In the scheme of things we didn’t try for years and years, and I had not one but two healthy babies to show for it. And while I am still struggling to come to terms with the miscarriage that took away one of my babies, I was only nine weeks along at the time, which was much better than having a stillborn baby, or one with severe medical problems. Not to mention, had it remained a triplet pregnancy, who is to say how my two amazing girls would have turned out. But still, I wonder, what would it have been like if I had given birth to all three. It comes as no surprise that the feeling I get when people accidentally get pregnant is the same feeling I get when I meet a mom of triplets.
So how do you let go and accept the fact that you are different and that you will always be different, but that’s okay. You don’t need to be in the club to be happy, you are the only one who thinks that? To be honest, I haven’t figured that part out yet, but I figured writing about it would be a good start.
So I would like to thank for giving me this wonderful opportunity to scratch the surface of my feelings and hopefully let others who are not part of the club know that they are not alone.
If there is one thing I could go back and change it would be that I didn’t have a blog back then. I wish I’d had an outlet to channel my anger, frustration, fear and depression because it almost killed me. But, I survived and you can too.
Life is not about weathering the storm, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.