You “survived” infertility, so now what?
Infertility is ridiculously painful, and so you got through it by clinging to your fellow sisters, and forging incredibly close bonds over shared experiences. You know, those people who will never tell you to “Just relax” or ask you “Why don’t you have kids yet?” You felt heard, understood, and unconditionally accepted.
Now you’re pregnant or a mom, and some of your sisters are not. What do you do? Where do you belong?
- I do not want to rub my immense joy in to my sisters’ faces, because my heart still breaks for their continued battle with infertility. I want to continue supporting them, loving them, and praying for them…but do they still want me around them? Or is the sight of my growing belly or my baby pictures too painful?
- I do not fit in with people who got pregnant easily, because there is just something missing. It is hard to listen to other people complain about parenting when the cries of those with empty arms has been my freaking battle anthem. I do not feel 100% understood like I did before…
So…am I infertile? Am I a parent? Where do I go?
Well, here is a good place to start. The Grace Haven grew from this very idea, that we can be both infertile while also embracing motherhood. #webeatinfertility is not helping anything in the long run when it comes to knowing where we belong. I completely understand why people want to use it, and by all means, shout from the rooftops when you finally get that positive pregnancy test. You earned it! But, did we really BEAT infertility? I know I didn’t. God used science to NEGATE my infertility, but I am still 100% infertile.
The questions of “So when are you going to try for baby #3?” still sting. I still have to brace myself any time someone tells me they are pregnant, because I am still mourning the fact that I will never be pregnant again. I loved being pregnant, and mine ended early and in a very traumatic way. Letting my leftover eggs go, because we could not afford the lab fees to keep them, felt like having a hysterectomy in my twenties. None of this felt like I “beat” anything. Also, I do not want to forget my infertility, nor do I forget the woman who are still fighting it.
The one piece of advice that I got during my IVF cycle that was actually helpful was this:
Infertility will make you a better Mom.
I am here to tell you that YES, it absolutely does. I have fought SO many battles, but the one battle I do not have to fight is to remain GRATEFUL as a mom. All it takes is a quick glance at the room I used to stab myself with needles in to get a complete refresh of my patience reserves. Being a parent after infertility means your story won’t look like most others, embrace it. I know I am.
So, whether you’re still in the fight or you finally have your miracle baby…this is a place for YOU. The Grace Haven is where the pain of infertility overflows into grateful parenting.