Thursday, March 21, 2013

Once and infertile, always an infertile

 First of all, welcome to any readers that might venture here from IComLeavWe!  Thank you for reading and commenting!  I'm Melissa, also know as Mel (especially in the online IF community).  I've been writing here for (holy crap, I just checked and I missed my blogversary!) seven years. This started out as just a place for random thoughts, very lighthearted and probably pretty boring!  Over the years, I've documented my life as a young (ish) married average woman in the Midwest, to a new mom, and more recently I wrote of my struggles to conceive my second child.  After over a year and a half of unexplained infertility that included an early miscarriage, I gave birth to my second son.  Now I continue to write about the joys of parenting my two amazing boys, Tyler and AJ and other random things, including current project--working on a book of infertility stories.

Now on to today's post!

The other day, I was reading a blog that I was linked to from another blog I read faithfully.  The post can be found here and it really struck a chord with me.  She is in the early stages of pregnancy after having struggled with infertility for several years. She talks about an encounter with her boss, who has just told her that another of their coworkers had just announced that she was pregnant after a struggle with infertility. She commented that it seemed as if starting work there triggered fertility trouble. Her boss pointed out that she was now pregnant, as if the fact that she had achieved pregnancy erased what she had been through trying to get there.  Read the full post for the whole story. 

I left this comment:
Once an infertile, always an infertile.  Even when you reach that goal and get that take home baby, you can never forget what you've been through, how it felt.  And that dark time isn't diminished, even by the joy of the birth of the baby you longed for.  There are so many different "degrees" of infertility, everyone has a story, but even with all the happy endings, we all still know a pain that can never be understood by anyone else but another infertile. No one can take the journey away from you. It's made you who you are.

I really feel that way. A few weeks ago, while jotting down an intro for my chapter in my book, I wrote that I had some reservations about including my own journey. After all, I had a child before I came up against infertility. I "only" struggled with infertility for 19 months. I "only" had one early miscarriage. And now I have my second healthy baby.

But you know what I realized? There is no such thing as a little bit infertile or a small loss. I will never forget that part of my life and I am a different person for having experienced it.  Even if I never try for another child I still remember what that felt like.  I realize that I am "lucky" in terms of infertility.  It can be so much worse.  That's why I want to write the book.  But what has driven me to want to write it all goes back to my own struggle. I never would have heard and read so many stories and met so many incredibly strong women if I hadn't gone though it.  I love my kids in a different way.  It has made me appreciate my time with them even more.

We all have the same goal.  Some of us reach the finish line and some don't.  I wish it wasn't that way.  But the lucky ones weren't always lucky and we've all felt the pain associated with IF.  It's not something that we could leave behind.  And, though it seems strange, I don't think I would want to.


Rebecca said...

Hi from ICLW. Very true, there is no such thing as a little bit infertile.

Stasy said...

Returning your visit. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

This post is beautiful and you're right. There's no such thing as a little infertile or a small loss. Infertility is a war, no matter how "short" the battle. Every loss is devastating and heartbreaking.

Wishing on a Snowflake said...

Hi from ICLW. I agree with your comments in your post. There is no comparison between one woman's pain and another because it's so intricately defined by what they've been through. There's no small loss. All of it is painful beyond words.

Stephanie K said...

Congrats on finally achieving your goals of motherhood. As a young-ish married woman also in the Midwest I am happy to see a true success story.

mylovelosslife said...

Hi from ICLW...I completely agree that we will never forget about our infertility.

A Crack In Everything said...

Hi, and thanks for stopping by! Your book project sounds really interesting. I'll look forward to hearing more.

In the single month that I've been around this blog world, reading others' stories has been a lifeline. Even though the details vary, the feelings and thoughts are familiar.

These are such big struggles: how to balance working toward a goal with finding some enjoyment in the present, how to go on without clinging to false hope...

Once we've been through these things, they can't help but leave us with some scars (and, if we're lucky, with some tools) -- no matter the outcome.

Mrs. E said...

Hi from ICLW, and thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm excited to follow your story and get the perspective of someone else who has dealt with secondary infertility.

I agree that "once an infertile, always an infertile." I was kind of hoping that after I had my IVF twins, I'd stop feeling like an infertile. Dealing with secondary infertility obviously made that a bit impossible, but then I realized that my infertility isn't necessarily something I need to hide from. It's part of who I am, and as you said, it's brought me to where I am today.

Looking forward to getting to know you better :)

S.I.F. said...

It definitely stays with you... those weeks, months, years of not knowing if you will ever get what comes so easily to so many others. Even when you get it, the pain and hurt still remains - tucked down deep inside, where it never really goes away.

Frozen OJ said...

Happy ICLW! I completely agree that resolving your infertility does not erase what you've been through. Even if the war's over and you've moved on and are generally happy, the scars will always be there.

Jess said...

Returning your visit. Very well said!!! Infertility never leaves you. Unfortunately.

Feel free to email me at if you want more info on my story. I would be more than happy to share whatever you need. :)

Jules said...

I can relate. Even almost 4rs after becoming a mother, my 5.5yrs of TTC still scars me. I'm bitter & twisted. The pain of pregnancy announcement still hurt. I know I should let IF define me, but it's now apart of me & how I came to be a mother.