Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Infertility - Does the pain ever end?

Its been a little while since I've touched on anything infertility related, but it has been on my mind recently and I thought it was time to circle back and reflect on a resounding theme that ran through my head while in the thick of things with infertility.  I often sat and wondered when it was all done, when we had our resolution would the pain go away? 

I am so happy to say our infertility resolution has come to us in the form of 2 of the most amazing miracles.  THEY make me so happy every day and to be honest sometimes its hard to even remember the pain and sadness of infertility.  Like it was some horrible dream and mostly I try to keep it that way not because it wasn't significant or real but because it was one of the most horrible things I have ever gone through.  We are so lucky that after having our son through IVF we were blessed with a miracle baby #2 naturally.  I know that isn't the case for everyone.  I am thankful for that blessing every single day.

So what is the real aftermath.  One of the most difficult things about infertility is how isolating it can be.  Relationships are strained.  Things like attending baby showers, and being involved in the lives of friends/family who are newly pregnant or new mothers becomes impossible.  Sometimes in order to function as a human being you have to protect your sanity and say, I need to step back, I need to protect myself.  I know it came to a point for me when I thought I might lose every single one of my friends.  I think I came close.  I wasn't myself, I wasn't able to function as a normal human being because my mind could only focus on one thing alone and that was figuring out my next step, waiting on another 2 week wait, hoping, crying and the truth is I was socially paralyzed by infertility.

A couple years in I started going to therapy and started on an anti depressant and while it helped it only made me numb to all the emotions I was feeling.  Then in early 2013 we underwent IVF and got our miracle.  I was pregnant!  All of a sudden everyone wanted to be there for me again because being pregnant is normal.  I didn't have time to process everything that happened because over halfway through my pregnancy my dad passed away suddenly.  A whole new train of emotion, sadness and coping.  Then our son was born and honestly I believe something you are never truly prepared for is having a newborn.  Something you wanted so badly is suddenly so much harder than you could have ever imagined and all you want to do is be happy but you are so tired and while I didn't realize it until having my second child I believe I struggled with post partum depression. 
9 months later I was pregnant again with our second and the hormones and emotional roller coaster continues.  It is different, it isn't sadness but I still feel there wasn't much time to process how I was really feeling "post infertility". 

So here I am.  My second baby is 15 months and while I could have written this post about a year ago I didn't know how things might shake out.  One of my strongest friendships I had through out my struggle with infertility came to a grinding halt.  While I knew it was happening with the above craziness going on I didn't have time to stop and think about it.  In the end I was told it was my selfishness and jealousy that ended it.  Sigh, was I selfish and jealous and probably a million things, yea I probably was.  Did I have a pretty darn good reason for the way I acted.  Yes I think I did.  It makes you question every thing that happened, every deep emotion that was shared to that trusted friend.  Why wasn't something said.  Could it have been worked out?  I don't know the answer.

Life happens and people change.  I have reconnected with many of the people I thought would be lost forever by the strains infertility put on our relationship.  Many are now stronger on the other side and I couldn't be happier.  I realize now and can see from their perspective that as much as I had to self preserve they did too.  Infertility is confusing and emotional.  Sometimes even I struggle to find the right things to say to friends that I have who have/are struggling with infertility now.  I guess the answer to my original question of "does the pain of infertility ever end" my answer is no it only changes.  The only thing you can do is communicate and be open to the perspective of those you want to keep close.  You may not always agree with them and they may not always agree with you, but if you truly do care about someone keep the door open that though you may not be able to be close right now it doesn't have to mean you won't be close again in the future and you may need that relationship in the future.

Julie

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