Where Infertility Dropped Me Off

Sometimes I’m not quite sure where infertility left me. It’s like I was in this car, on this horrible, terrifying ride, and as it careened this way and that, I was flung from the passenger seat and left in the dust.

Of course I am thrilled to be out of the car and to find that I have escaped relatively unscathed, but I’m not quite sure where I am, or even how I’m doing. I’m still kind of in shock, and I’m realizing that it will take time to figure what, if any, damage was sustained, and where I ended up when I fell.

It’s weird. Sometimes I think I’m absolutely fine, it’s like it never even happened. My not-very-good friend from high school (that I see maybe three times a year) is due in March and I’m finding myself really excited about her baby. I’m giving her all my gender neutral clothes and lots of other baby gear, helping her build her registry and consulting on her baby shower (her mom and sister are throwing it). I am continually surprised by my interest in her pregnancy–especially since she flat out told me she got pregnant on the first try (why would you tell that to someone you KNOW had issues?!). I don’t really get why I’m okay immersing myself in this friend’s pregnancy when in the past I’ve avoiding the pregnancies of fertiles like the plague.

And then there are other moments where a simple sentence will send me reeling. It may be something I read in a blog post, or something I see on Facebook but all of the sudden the pain comes rushing back, and I feel like I’m drowning in how awful it feels. Sometimes I find myself holding my breath, like I’m literally underwater, unable to breathe.

The weirdest thing is I’m never sure what is going to set me off. Sometimes I see a pregnant belly and it hardly registers. Other times I see one and I’m paralyzed with fear for the woman, for what she may lose. Sometimes I see a baby bump and I feel wistful, wishing it were me. Other times I’m relieved that those days are forever behind me, that I never have to worry about pregnancy loss again.

Pregnancy announcements, birth stories, breastfeeding experiences… sometimes I respond to them in ways that surprise me. I guess I just wonder if that will always be the case. Will there always be those tender spaces that take my breath away and leave me reeling? Or will I eventually heal and one day realize that all these topics are as mundane to me as talk of the weather or traffic patterns? At this point I guess I just can’t know. I’ll have to wait and see.

Do your responses to certain subjects surprise you? Do you feel you know where infertility dropped you off?

9 responses

  1. Time heals,truly. That said, the occasional thing/comment still hurts, out of the blue. But less often and with less intensity. And less. And less. And less.

  2. At this point, more than three years after the birth of our second (and last) baby, all the old triggers barely even register. I find my “laydar” is keener, though – I’m quicker to sense when someone might be having or have had struggles building their family – and I find myself sharing the story of our struggle more often with people, whereas in the midst of it I was extremely reticent. But I also remember how raw it still was 3 years ago, and the crazy roller-coaster mix of emotions that you are describing.

  3. This is an interesting way of putting it. I feel the same way, some things still set me off and other things cause no reaction at all. I do think, though, that with time there will be fewer triggers. I almost never have things trigger me now, but every once in awhile I’m surprised that something will set me off.

  4. I feel the same way. About a week after Callen was born, a friend of mine had her baby. I seriously was so jealous, and I had my own newborn!! Ugh. I hate what infertility has done to me, it’s like it’s robbed me of my ability to be happy for other pregnant women. The only ones I’m truly happy for are the ones in our IF community, or the ones I know has strugged IRL. I wonder if that will ever change, even when I’m done building my family?

  5. I haven’t been “dropped off” yet, but I do feel I’m in a strange sort of limbo, no longer trying to get pregnant or even thinking about number two. I’m just trying to enjoy this pregnancy without forgetting how much of a struggle it was to get here. I still find it difficult sometimes to relate to moms or other pregnant women, just because I know they didn’t struggle. And sometimes I’m perfectly happy to gush about how amazing this pregnancy has been so far, something I never thought I’d do.

  6. Yes, like everyone else, I relate. Certain things at certain times still get me…maybe that’s just how it is with major negative events in life (including grief, from what I understand). Time does make those punch in the gut moments fewer and further between, but that hurt, that scar, is still there and still aches when the wind blows a certain way…

  7. I haven’t yet been dropped off… Or maybe I have. I won’t know until we’ve had success or failure with our frosties later this year (EEK!).

    It has gotten easier, but I still get very shaken when people talk about how easy it was to get pregnant. Especially when they know what we go through to have babies. I hope this subsides soon. But it is better than it was. I no longer want to murder them. 🙂

  8. That fourth paragraph is so, so accurate and really sums up how I feel as well. Sometimes I feel like I’ve moved on, but then something will take me back to that pain and anguish. It’s so dumb, but when I saw that Gwen Stefani was expecting at age 44, I started sobbing. I kept thinking, “How can that be?” Why, dear lord, do I care?!?

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