This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. I’ve debated writing a post on it for many reasons. Mainly, I don’t feel like I fit into the typical infertile category (as if there is such a thing). Because A has CF, I knew even before we were married that IVF would likely be our only option for biological children. In a strange way, I feel like I deserved to struggle because I knew what I was getting myself into. I brought this on myself. I was lucky enough to have insurance that covered the majority of the costs associated with infertility treatments and I was fortunate to come out on the winning end of infertility - twice. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t struggle. In fact, I still do.
Our first failed IVF is still clear and present in my mind. The pain. The uncertainty. The fear. It was the first time I realized that it was quite possible I would never be a mom. Ironically, I believe that pain and uncertainty has made me a better mom. I appreciate my boys more because of the adversity I faced.
I still struggle when friends announce pregnancies and share photos of new babies. Even though I have my boys, the process to get them was difficult and with each announcement comes the reminder of that difficulty. Even tougher, each announcement brings the reminder that I likely will not have any more children despite my heart's desire. And all the while, it’s seemingly so darn easy for others to have an entire brood... multiple children, one right after another.
In those brief moments of sadness, I say a prayer and ask for strength. I allow myself to take a step back and separate myself from the fertile world as needed. Sometimes avoiding Facebook posts and pictures for a short time is all it takes and then I’m back to feeling like myself. And I always, always remind myself that not one person has it all. That while friends may have an easy time expanding their family, they are undoubtedly struggling with something else. And though their struggles may look different from mine, they are struggling nonetheless. We all are.