There are times when I’m catapulted back in time, right back into the midst of my infertility. One thing is for sure, as much as I’m “on the other side” now, I will never forget the pain and the hurt of the seven years it took to get to where I am now.
When something as simple as reading a Facebook update of a friend still in the trenches, throws me back in time, remembering that pain can sometimes literally take my breath away. I have a friend, who I’ve never met, she and her husband are still trying to start their family after many years of marriage and of enduring infertility. She posted an update:
“That question: ‘Do you have children?’ My response depends on who is asking and how I happen to be feeling. There are so many ways to answer and then you have to try move the conversation from there. So I think maybe it is a good idea to get a really exotic pet (sorry my budgie Bella!) It would be a great diversion. I could reply in a flash: ‘No, no children, but we have a 6m Burmese python!’ Bingo! Change of topic!”
Reading that update, my heart broke for her. Cos I remembered so well how depending on my mood or how fragile I was when asked I would have a different answer. My answers ranged from “no not yet, we’re just enjoying being married for now…” to “Um no. *with very quick break of eye contact to stop the convo right there and then” to “we’re hoping to have one soon” to “it’s not that easy for everyone *with aggressive stance and tone*” to “it’s not that easy for everyone *with eyes filling with tears*” to “soon God willing”… The answers and scenario’s were endless.
As each year passed, it got harder and harder to keep up a positive facade in the face of such an innocent question. It was harder to explain that we’d been married a “long” time in other people’s minds with no children in our home. But also as time passed and every year came and went, I learnt to be open about our struggles. To really hear other couples who used the same deviant tactics to “that question”. To try be brave enough to let them know that they were NOT alone by sharing our story.
It’s been 14 months since I became a mother. 23 months since I fell pregnant through my 6th IVF. I’ve been healed in many ways. I’ve worked through many of my demons.
Thing is… I’ve realised that 7 years of pain and hurt do not just disappear. 7 years of our fabric will never be far removed from the joy we feel since we’ve been blessed enough to become this wonderful thing called a family. Because those 7 years, they are a vital part of the fabric of our family. Without those years, we wouldn’t be the people we are today.
Often it takes a simple reminder of what it took to get here.
To my friends who are still battling to “cross over”, you are never far from my thoughts and my prayers. My greatest wish is for your hearts to be healed and for you to know the joy of a family of your own – however that family gets created.
Nope. I will never forget what it took to get here.