What does it feel like to be infertile? I know that I am preaching to the choir here, but there may be some that read this that have never experienced infertility and may learn something from this post.
Infertility is like a cancer. No, it will not kill you, but you are constantly looking for a cure for it, trying to stay a step ahead of it. Each year that you do not conceive your chances of conception get less and less until time has run out and you are not longer able to have a child. And by that time you may be too old to adopt.
Infertility alienates you. No matter how good your attitude is or how well you love to hold a friend's baby, you are still on the outside looking in. You cannot participate in pastpartum discussions, late night feedings, nursing issues, or sleep schedules. You have no birth story of your own to tell. You just sit there with a smile on your face while dying inside, knowing that you have not experienced that one thing that sets a woman apart from a man.
Infertility makes you feel empty. Each day, whether you want to or not, you feel as though something is missing. No baby waking you up at night. No baby kisses. No pitter patter of little feet.
Infertility brings self doubt. Why not you? Why do drug addicts and child abusers have multiple children but you cannot have even one? What about you is so bad that God will not grant you this one desire? A natural desire that you never asked for, by the way.
Infertility changes who you are. I was once an outgoing, confidant young woman. I am now a shy, introverted 33 year old trying mydarndest not to become an angry, bitter old woman.
Infertility causes you to live life on the defensive. Each time you meet a new person you must prepare for the inevitable "Do you have any children?" questions. Or if it is a person that you have not seen in awhile the question may be followed with more probing questions. You are never able to relax and enjoy meeting new people.
Infertility dictates your activities. You have to schedule vacations and trips around your fertile time. And if you do fertility treatments the planning gets worse. It also dictates when you have sex. Spontaneity is gone!
Infertility is intrusive. Most women have a yearly exam where their goods are bared for all to see, and then again during pregnancy. But infertility is much different. More probing. Doctors, technicians, specialists, etc will all see you lady bits. You have to answer questions about your sex life, your periods, your cramps, and even your cervical mucous. Nothing is sacred!
Infertility morphs you into a hybrid if you are fortunate enough to become pregnant. You are no longer "infertile" yet you do not fit in the fertile gals either. Some infertiles distance themselves to protect themselves and fertiles assume that you are "cured" and that infertility is no longer a part of who you are. Yet infertility leaves scars that never heal.
Infertility can also do some good as well. It can teach you compassion for others. Infertility also teaches us patience. Both are good things to learn, though I am sure most of wish that we could have learned these lessons some other way. A less painful way.