Today is my first day of writing a journal on my road to victory over infertility. I am writing this book for women like me who have been told that their eggs are too old, that their bodies are too old, weak, or damaged, that there is little hope. I am writing this book for women who feel that having a child is some type of impossible dream, that they are the victim of some pathologically cruel biological problem.
I am writing this book for women who, like me, dream of starting a family,
but find the road long, cruel, uphill, and not always forgiving of slight
mistakes and accumulated years.
I am 36 years old. Last week, a
doctor that seemed very kind when I first met her told me that my eggs were the ‘bottom of the barrel’ and I should consider adoption or egg donation. I have been seething with pain and engulfed in sadness ever since.
‘Bottom of the barrel’ the very image leaves me feeling hopeless. I cannot
yell at her. I cannot criticize her. For if I do, the clinic may label me
‘psychologically unfit’ to undergo further infertility treatments. So I stay quiet. I watch my words. I must adhere to and accept as normal their warped and perverse idea that pulling hope away is truly in the best interest of the patient, when with all my heart I know that it is only hope and faith that will ultimately give me the baby I so desperately want. What kind of monsters are they? I so want to walk into that clinic, tell that monster doctor disguised as a kind, caring medical professional off, and never step foot in there again. But then what? I have no choice but to bite my tongue, and wait until it is my turn to walk in there with a beautiful baby and say, “hello, do you want to see what bottom of the barrel looks like?’ That is when my victory will be complete.
For now, I wait and suffer and try to erase their hopeless images from my head. They have labeled me a hysterical women. They never said this out loud, but I know that is what they think of me, because I ask questions–too many questions, and my phone messages to the nurses are a bit too long for their overbooked schedules.
They are a baby making factory, and I am a clog in the machine, someone who wants to take an extra five minutes to have my particular case analyzed. And in the world of high tech baby making, five minutes is too much to ask.
In this book, I will recount my experience with infertility.
I will tell you now that this book will end with my successfully creating the family I dream of. I say this with confidence, for I believe God created us with a body that can heal and thrive and grow past illness, and that doctors do not understand the miracle of faith and the miracle of hope.
And for that doctor who tried to destroy my hope, I dedicate this book to you and all the other doctors who believe in stomping on a women’s hope so she gets ‘realistic.’
I don’t always believe in being realistic—in putting my faith in only what I can see –realism equals cynicism and cynicism
equals loss of hope. Sometimes holding on to a dream takes being strong enough to push aside the skeptics, the cynics, the naysayers and delving into the world of hope–a world that takes a lot of strength to hold on to when everything around you is crumbling.
I begin this day by swimming. I am trying to get as healthy as possible. In the world of infertility, at 36, I am labeled old, but I don’t feel old. Well, yes, maybe I do feel old. Withered inside at times. I just went through a harrowing IVF that ended with my becoming pregnant, only to lose the baby within two weeks of conception.
Cruel. That is how I feel right now about the past two weeks: cruel. They dubbed this pregnancy a chemical pregnancy, relegating it to something that almost didn’t happen, didn’t really happen, never existed. Thus was taken my right to feel sad or mourn, as it wasn’t a pregnancy and it wasn’t a miscarriage, but it was in a way, or is it? Nothing…dismiss it…mourning stamped invalid.
Most of all, I dedicate this book to God, who is the
strength of my life. Without the privilege of prayer, I could not endure the
hell of infertility. When the load was too heavy, it was only through prayer to God that I kept one foot in front of the other and kept trying.
So together, I begin this journey with you, a fellow infertility victim and survivor. I pray that we all see victory, in whatever form we wish it to come.
For those of you wanting a child, I pray for your victory. For those of you
who have come to the point that adoption is a joyful option, I pray for you. I
pray that we all can have the families we want and deserve, for family is a
blessing and a gift, and all women deserve to receive this treasure of security, companionship, love and purpose.
The Infertility Journey: A Training Ground for Motherhood?
In times past, women have always endured sacrifice and trial as part of
motherhood. Now, due to a host of factors such as age, and environment, women are put through a severe test even before they conceive their child.
This road, this test, this initiation, will test all of you–and it will make
you one of the strongest, most capable, confident, generous, resourceful, perseverant mothers a child could ever have. Experiencing infertility gives you a lifetime pass to enjoy motherhood in a way few ever get to enjoy it, because with the difficulties of this disease come confidence and appreciation.
This journey will demand all the best parts of you. It will demand you persevere when you want to give up. It will demand patience and persistence when frustration and helpless surrender might feel like a more natural path. It will demand that every survival skill that you possess be brought forth and utilized. It will demand sacrifice, self-preservation, and a willpower beyond what you knew you had, but what intrinisically you know you are capable of.
If you are not fortunate, you may have your heart broken in 1000 pieces.
If you are fortunate, you could still have your heart broken in 1000 places.
When you give birth to a baby none of it will matter. Your heart will heal, the scars will seem insignificant, and all the tears, disappointments and devastations will seem like bunny rabbits and balloons on a summer’s day.
No big deal.
If you do not give birth to a baby, but decide to adopt, become a foster
parent, a teacher, coach, counselor or play a very active role in the life of a
young niece, nephew, neighbor, cousin, you will be ready and able to
mother these children and impact a younger generation in a way more powerful than you ever imagined.
You have probably been through the best training course for motherhood possible: you understand pain, you understand the potential for joy, you are willing to do the work to get the child you want, and you’ve proven you can take the bad stuff that comes with going after the good stuff. In doing this, you will join a group of super cultivated mothers, women ready to nurture and love, and have more than proven their worth to do this.
Winning over infertility can be a painful process. But to win, you absolutely
have to be ready to face pain, hurt, and disappointment. You have to be ready to sacrifice–to make this a top priority.
It is an initiation rite, of sorts, an involuntary one, of course. No one
should have to go through this to have a baby and no one would voluntarily choose this road. Nonetheless, it is a reality for some of us, and it will prepare you for motherhood in a grand and inspiring way that someday you may even feel thankful to have experienced.
It is a long road and an unfair one, but at the end of the road, you could be
holding the baby of your dreams, just as the same as someone who made love one night and woke up pregnant the next morning.
And then nothing at all will matter but your baby.