The Pain Of Infertility Doesn’t End Once You Have A Baby
When I had trouble conceiving, I believed becoming a mom would mean the fertility nightmare was behind me and forgotten. I thought I would move on with my blissful, baby filled existence and never look back.
Thanks to modern science and luck from the powers that be, I got my wish, but having the title of “Mommy” doesn’t make the pain of infertility sting any less than the day I was first diagnosed.
I’m luckier than some woman who have fertility issues- I was diagnosed quickly and got pregnant with my twins on our first round of IVF. From my initial visit with my OB/GYN until the time I got pregnant was a span of only eight months. Many couples who get pregnant the old-fashioned way try for much longer than that. I’m fortunate that we quickly had answers and a course of treatment, but being the poster girl for a successful infertility treatment doesn’t mean I don’t still struggle with the fact that I am infertile.
Being diagnosed as infertile is like having asthma or food allergies- it’s a part of who you are. There are medicines you can take, or things you can do to cope with it, but it doesn’t change the fact that you have the condition. Even though I have kids, I’m still infertile. I can’t just hop in the sack with my husband and get knocked up. There are no surprise siblings in my boys’ future thanks to a wine-soaked weekend getaway, no reason for me to have a pregnancy test stashed in the back of my linen closet just in case my period is late.
In fact, since my boys were born almost twenty months ago, I haven’t gotten a period at all. Never having to worry about planning a beach vacation around getting my period is sweet, but each time a friend casually mentions she has cramps or PMS I get a little bitter, and not just because I miss having an excuse for binging on chocolate once a month. I would gladly volunteer to surf the crimson wave again if it meant I could have the option so many other woman have- to simply get pregnant when I want to without any outside assistance (besides my husband).
Sure, I could have more kids. If I’m willing to scrape up a fat wad of cash, undergo weeks of injections, find a babysitter while I go to appointments with multiple specialists and can brace myself for disappointment in light of the highly possible chance that the IVF doesn’t take, we can give it a go. Instead I’m working on being at peace with my sons and trying not to resent people who say their birth control method is “whatever happens, happens.”
When I read yet another headline about a child being abused at the hands of their mother, I can’t help but get mad that a monster like her can have a baby without any issues. When I see an article about young moms, I wonder if I could have gotten pregnant naturally had I only tried to have children earlier. I feel like a failure for being unable to do the one thing my gender has been doing since the dawn of time.
Of my close girlfriends who have children, so far I am the only one who has had any fertility issues. As of now, those of my friends who are moms only have one child, but a few are planning on working towards a second in the near future. Of course, I will be happy for them when they share their exciting news and I will be first in line to buy a fabulous shower gift, but I don’t know that I will be able to shut off that tiny voice in my head when it whispers, “Why not me?”