Yesterday, on Instagram, I posted this:
“infertility can be such a lonely journey. there’s so much that happens behind-the-scenes that nobody talks about.
people don’t talk about it because these things are heavy. they’re awkward. they’re uncomfortable. they’re uncharted waters. and it leaves the infertile lonely & feeling like they’re the only one. i’m here to tell you, you’re not alone. you’re not the only one. i’ve been there & i get it. i’m in your corner & i’m cheering you on. i’m here to listen & here to help. please don’t feel like you are the only one going through this.”
I mean every word of that. Infertility is SO hard.
I didn’t think much of it until I received a comment that said, “It just feels so unfair.” And then I received another message from a girl who talked about how we need to share the good, the bad and the ugly of infertility because people just don’t get it.
Two years ago, I would have been like YEAH!!!! BURN THEIR HOUSE DOWN. TELL THEM THEY’RE DUMB AND INSENSITIVE FOR ASKING QUESTIONS. SHOW THEM YOUR MEDICAL BILLS AND BANK ACCOUNTS. SHOW THEM THE NEEDLES WE HAVE TO INJECT OURSELVES WITH. SHOW THEM THE TEARS. BRING OUT THE PITCHFORKS!!!! (okay, that’s a slight over exaggeration, but I was definitely all about being bitter and angry)
But today. Today, I say NO to all of that. And here’s why:
Infertility IS hard. Infertility CAN cause financial strain. Infertility CAN feel unfair. Infertility CAN cause you to feel bitter, angry, depressed and anxious.
But it doesn’t have to.
I understand ALL of those feelings. I really do. I have felt them all. (Even at the same time sometimes!! It happens.) But just because you are feeling something or something is happening doesn’t mean that it is everybody’s business OR that everyone needs to be educated on every little thing that may be happening.
Some days, it DOES feel unfair. That’s just honest to goodness truth. But I’m gonna let you in on a little secret: everyone has hard things. Life is FULL of unfair circumstances and situations. Nobody is immune to trials. We all have them and we all have to learn how to overcome them or learn how to continue in our daily lives with them. I’m reminded every single day that I do not have babies. That’s just a fact of my life. I wake up every morning around 7:00am with a full night’s sleep. To a mom THAT may feel unfair. (Because honestly, when was the last time they had a full night’s sleep?) I also wake up next to Parker every morning. To someone who is unmarried but wanting to get married THAT may feel unfair. What I’m getting at here is that frankly, life just isn’t fair for anyone.
Sometimes our struggles are internal because they are supposed to help US grow. They are supposed to help US be more compassionate. They are supposed to help US become better humans. And then once we know better, we need to do better.
At some point in the last three years (I honestly don’t remember when), I realized that I was a bitter, angry, tiny little human. I didn’t pray. I hated going to church. I didn’t want to talk to anybody. I cried daily. I couldn’t remember when the last time I didn’t have a headache was. I would get SO upset when ANYONE posted ANYTHING about pregnancy or motherhood. All of the Facebook Groups and people I followed on Instagram about Infertility only magnified, encouraged and validated my behaviors and feelings. I would get so offended any time Parker would try to help me be happy. As you can tell, I was real joy to be around. And then one day, after snapping at Parker and going to our bedroom to sit in my bitterness, it was brought to my attention that I really did not like the person I was becoming. I realized that I needed to change my tune from “you’re a terrible person because you just don’t get it,” to “hey, you’ve probably never experienced this before, let me help you.”
I decided that I was going to try to make a big change and shift in my behaviors and emotions. I decided that I would congratulate people on their pregnancies-- like REALLY, truly and genuinely congratulate them. I decided that I would write out my negative feelings in my journal or on my phone and then leave them there. I decided that I would educate people on what is actually happening and what the processes are instead of acting like they should just know, when in reality, sometimes I don’t even know. I decided that I would post things that anybody could read (including the boys that I served my church mission with) and not feel weird (aka no needles, no shots, no talk of ALLLLLLL the happenings of my doctor appointments because, ew. gross.). And most importantly, I decided that I needed to enjoy my journey and make my journey enjoyable. For myself. For Parker. And for those around me.
Before I finish. I AM NOT PERFECT AT THIS. I don’t feel like an inspiration. I don’t feel adequate. But I do feel passionate about this. And because I feel passionate about this, I’ve chosen to act on my decisions. Every day, I have to recommit to being happy and choosing to be happy. Some days are better than others. But I’m trying. And that’s what counts. All I know is that I don’t want to look back on this phase of life and think, “Gosh, I was just too happy. I wish I would have been more sad.”