When you’re struggling with infertility, babies enter your mind countless times a day. And not just in the jealousy of seeing a new mom pushing a stroller, or the countless pregnancy announcements on Facebook. Your whole future seems blurry and full of what ifs. The size of your family quietly creeps into daily decisions.
Should I buy these new jeans? No, because I might be pregnant next month.
My car is dying. But do we need a car for 1 car seat or 3?
I want to take a family vacation, but will I finally be pregnant?
That stroller can expand to a double, and even a triple with a roller board, but do I dare invest in an expensive stroller.
Do we get a bigger house now, or wait till I’m actually pregnant?
And then one day, your family is complete. Either by choice, or by hitting the bottom of your bank account, or by wanting to end the tornado of torment known as infertility. One day, you realize that all of the what ifs are over. You have what you’re going to have. The endless spinning of thoughts and what ifs comes to a halt.
Maybe you were finally blessed with one baby and you’re so grateful that you don’t want to do it all again. Maybe you transferred your frozen embryos and it didn’t work. Maybe that last round of Clomid made you so crazy that your husband pulled the plug. Or maybe that last treatment worked and you’ve reached your dream family.
Depending on how you reach your end, you will be filled with emotions. Happy that you have a mini me to love on for eternity. Devastated that what you pictured may never come to fruition. Peace that you can concentrate your energy on the adventures before you instead of the what ifs. Or perhaps a bit empty in the realization that there is nothing to fill that space that was taken up by the hurt and longing.
The day you stop trying to expand your family, that label of infertile loses its power over you. You can be in control of your life instead of letting infertility control you. The constant spinning that revolves around ovulation and doctor appointments disappears.
Infertility will break you down. It will rip your heart into a million pieces. It will chew you up, spit you out and leave you to rot in the sun. But it will also teach you that you are stronger than you ever thought you could be. It will give you compassion for those who struggle. It will teach you patience. It will teach you to be your own advocate. It will show you who your true supporters are in life.
If you are in the center of the storm, know that it will not last forever. And if you’ve survived the storm, embrace your scarred heart and the new person you’ve become.