Have you ever struggled with anything? Like REALLY struggled? You probably have because no one is perfect.
If you've never had a struggle, get ready. It's coming.
In the ABOUT ME section, I talk a little bit about our struggle to have children. This past week was National Infertility Awareness Week... and I don't know where I fit in anymore.
Let's do a flashback to 2007. I'll set the mood with a popular song from 2007.
At the time, we were truly struggling through fertility treatments and aching for a baby. Luckily, we were able to have a sweet girl after an IVF cycle. Years later, there were more treatments, miscarriages and the loss of our frozen embryos. Part of that journey was my healthy lifestyle change. To me, health was so much more than just a goal weight. It was a means through which I dealt with pain and empowered my body to respond better to treatments.
We were lucky enough to have a successful treatment and a second little girl. We were so surprised that most people thought that she was unplanned.
Our hearts were full but I felt awful inside. I had identified so much with the infertile community that now I felt like I was a complete fraud because I had two successful pregnancies. My sweet husband is amazing. His experience and his grief is different. He loved and supported me. But I reach out to other women because women can understand in a different way.
Flash forward to today:
I'm almost 34 weeks pregnant with a little boy and we are elated! My girls prayed with us to have another baby and they saw how grateful we were to grow our family. Unfortunately for me, the feelings of being a fraud have increased.
Friends AND family members have all made comments that we can no longer say that we have a hard time conceiving since this pregnancy did not use medical intervention this time. We are met with "Well, you get to have as many kids as you want. You wouldn't understand." or "Aren't you just the fertile Myrtle?"
To some degree, I agree. I don't understand every woman's experience with family planning. I can't even say that I completely understand MY OWN experience. But it's sad that I've lost friends, my relationships with certain family members have become strained and I was kicked out of Facebook groups for infertile women.
I felt confused because I still feel the pain of the failed treatments, the mounting medical expenses, the negative pregnancy tests and being told that my baby did not survive.
It doesn't go away. It doesn't dull with time. I mourn for those babies and they are often on my mind. In the end, I have made peace with one truth:
Infertility has greatly impacted my life and no one can take that away from me. It has helped shape so many parts of my life.
I cry for the women that are still struggling to have ONE baby. I pray for the couples that are enduring arduous adoption processes. I truly ache for the families who are left with empty arms.
Once again, I love empowering other women because I know that women can give you special understanding. We must stick together. We must support each other.
Here are some of my favorite articles about the subject: