I've been sorting through files on my computer and in my emails, in preparation to merge computers. This is something we've wanted to do for a while now - have one computer at home - and it's now possible since Joey is done with school (more on this in an upcoming post). Having smart phones and an iPad help, too, as we rarely both need to be on the computer at the same time.
In my "spring cleaning" the other day, I came across this letter that I wrote to Joey back in 2009: the height of my frustration with our lack of success with infertility treatments. Reading this was difficult, but it was a reminder of how much we endured and how far we've come. In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week, I wanted to share aspects of this letter with all of you who are still fighting to become parents - to let you know that I've been there and I don't forget this pain:
I felt trapped yesterday. I often feel this way with baby conversations - like I have nowhere to go. I cannot relate to being pregnant and having a baby. I may never be able to relate, and the thought of this stings a little. It's become so that I feel I will never live up to certain standards or expectations as woman if we are unable to have children. Even as a couple, I feel like we will never be viewed at on the same level of completeness if we can't have kids. It's not the children themselves that bother me, it's everyone else and the way they speak about them. I hate how having a child is viewed as having completed the family. But are we not a complete family without a child? I like to think we are.
I think people believe that because we are now "open" about our struggles then we 1) are going to have a baby right away and 2) therefore want to hear about childbirth, cravings, and "when you have a baby..." This is not the case for me. I appreciate the support and optimism, but if this next IUI doesn't work, the odds of us never having kids will decrease dramatically - especially the odds of us having kids soon if we have to save for IVF or adoption. Our family is going to experience a huge let down. I am terrified of this happening. I beg God every day that this doesn't happen. That this, right now, is working and we have a child. Not because I don't want to let people down, but because I WANT to be a mom. I want sleepless nights and all of those things people complain about, and it's not easy to be told you can't have them.
I'm 24 years old. I'm supposed to be healthy, and fertile, and have lots of babies. But I can't do that. And sometimes that makes me feel hopeless and upset and I get emotional. I don't feel sorry for myself and I don't expect others to feel sorry for me, but I DO expect them to make an effort to be sensitive about the things that they say and do. It doesn't mean they can't talk about babies. It DOES mean that saying things like, "you don't want to be pregnant on vacation anyway!" hurt. Yes, I do want to be pregnant on vacation. I will be pregnant at the top of a mountain if it means that I'm finally pregnant. I'll take it. I know people don't understand that, but we can help them understand.