Rebecca shares with honesty her personal experience of the difficult journey of infertility.
“There is a problem here. There’s a good chance you will have difficulty having children.”
At the doctor’s words my heart sank to the pit of my stomach, fear gripped me and tears started to well up. It seemed so ironic to me that in my teens I had pontificated with my friends, “I don’t know if I do want to have children.” How stupid it sounded now. I really, really did want children and now it might not happen.
I didn’t tell many people – I didn’t want to be another piece of ‘news’ on the grapevine. I decided I wouldn’t tell anyone unless they wanted the information in order to support me and help me as I grieved. Grief – now that’s interesting – I find not many people give me credit for experiencing grief. How can you grieve for something you’ve never had? I am grieving for something I’ve never had; for lost hopes and dreams.
I find that my grief is cyclical on a monthly basis – not surprisingly! Calendars and counting become a way of life, making sure you make love during the critical time limit – Very romantic!
I really welcome people who are brave enough to ask me how it’s going. I do have a handful of friends who will. I do think they are brave because they don’t know if they’ll have me in floods of tears or not. However, it’s much braver for me (I think!) to bear this pain month in month out than it is for them to – just once – risk reaching out to me.
Pregnancy announcements are hard. I have experienced at least two women who denied pregnancy when they were being sick, etc. and then, at the magic three months, they announce it. Their prerogative of course, but for me it felt like a betrayal. A good friend who was pregnant did it like this – she told me first and then wrote me a lovely letter expressing her sadness at my situation and her hopes and prayers for me. That was really appreciated.
At times it is difficult for me to feel excited at future plans that might be happening at work or in other areas of life – it just doesn’t seem as important as having a child.
I suppose one benefit is that I now feel I am much more empathetic towards other people’s pain and to those who don’t fit the mould. It has helped me to see the world in a more compassionate way, and I stop and think now before I speak.
(Names have been changed for confidentiality.)
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