“Thankful for infertility? How in the…? Really, who in their right mind is thankful for something THIS heartbreaking?”
It’s been awhile since my last post. I have determined I suck at consistency but with school, work, doctors appointments for my husband, my dad and myself, life gets crazy. Sitting down to write a thoughtful and often times emotionally draining post takes a lot of time, time I don’t always have. I am trying to get better at prioritizing the time I do have though. Hopefully in the near future you will see a lot more of me, a lot more often. Anyways, I’ve digressed, that’s not what I wanted this post to be about.
“I find something to be positive about and to be thankful for”
Now that Thanksgiving is behind us and we are headed into the Christmas season; emotions are high. The holiday season is one of the hardest times of the year for me on this journey to motherhood. I try to find comfort in many things; friends, traditions, baking, gift giving and more. Often, the last few months of the year end in lots of tears and a heavy heart despite all my efforts to fill my world with joy. I find myself waking up everyday excited for the future and by the end of the night I am sad and unsure about this journey. I question how much longer I can do this? How much longer we can do this? How in the hell do people do this for 10+ years!? In spite of the doubt and the heartache I am able to turn it around and I find something to be positive about and to be thankful for. I am starting to get involved in the TTC (trying to conceive) and infertility communities. Social media is a wonderful thing and it has connected me to a ton of ladies who are also on this journey. Recently I’ve started seeing “thankful for infertility because….” posts and they got me thinking. Thankful for infertility? How in the…? Really, who in their right mind is thankful for something THIS heartbreaking? Well, to tell you the truth; I am! Yesterday, on Thanksgiving, I ran across a blog post about making it through the holiday season while struggling with infertility. The author talked about these thankful posts quite a bit. She focused on how the women who post these are now on the other side, they’ve made it through the heartache and they are walking through life as a mother, instead of being childless. While many of us in the throes of infertility are far from thankful there are plenty of things we can take from this journey, while we are still on it, and be thankful for.
“Dealing with infertility myself has given me a reason to be vocal about an issue that affects so many people but is so taboo amongst our culture. “
I started to run through everything I could possibly be thankful for and I was shocked at how much positivity has come from this heartbreaking journey. Now, I can’t pinpoint one single thing I am the most thankful for so my list is in no specific order.
I am thankful for infertility because:
- Of the friendships I have gained: Throughout this journey I have grown close to a handful of wonderful ladies. If it weren’t for my struggle with fertility I wouldn’t have the friends I have right now. Being open on social media has allowed me to rekindle friendships with high school friends and even some old best friends. Not all of them are on this journey, but they encourage me through the turmoil.
- I have helped people: I started being open about our journey to parenthood shortly after our wedding nearly two years ago. Now, I was never quiet about our struggle I just didn’t post about it in a public manner. Since I began being transparent I have had so many ladies reach out and tell me about their private struggles. I have been thanked by so many friends and strangers for my honesty. I have had people reach out and be open about their struggles when they haven’t told anyone about their journey. If it weren’t for infertility these ladies would likely still be holding in the pain they carry.
- I have a platform: Infertility has allowed me to spread awareness about a very common issue. 1 in 8 couples have trouble conceiving. It’s likely someone you know and are very close to is suffering silently. Dealing with infertility myself has given me a reason to be vocal about an issue that affects so many people but is so taboo amongst our culture.
- It’s taught me about my body and my health conditions : Before we began TTC, I thought I knew all there was to know about being a woman. Ha! Was I wrong. I now have a deeper understanding of the role hormones play in everyday life. I understand my PCOS far more than I ever have and because of my infertility I uncovered my Hashimoto’s. Infertility has allowed me and forced me to take control of my health and the well-being of my family.
- It’s showed me a side of my husband I never would have known: A lot of times we hear about how awful infertility is on a marriage or relationship. For me, infertility has strengthened our marriage. Think about it, going through tough times is, well, tough. You can either get through it together or fall apart. My husband understands the pain I am in constantly and he has been my rock throughout it all. I get to see a side of him that I would never have seen if it weren’t for this journey. I know that in the face of pain my husband will help me through it. I know I can count on my husband emotionally in different ways. My husband also knows that I am here for him and he sees me in a different way because I navigate daily life all while being heartbroken. My husband and I communicate on an emotional level that wouldn’t be possible without infertility.
- I appreciate my future pregnancy and child: Obviously, I have never experienced pregnancy or being a mother. Longing for something and doing everything humanly possible to make the dream come true, really makes you appreciate it that much more. I know that once it’s our turn, we will cherish every.single.moment.
- It’s taught me to be thankful: Even when the days, weeks and months drag on. Even when my heart breaks into a million pieces with every failed pregnancy test. Even when I feel like it will never be “our turn”, I am thankful. I can find a silver lining through the tears and my infertility has given me this. Being able to find hope and positivity in sorrow is something that I wasn’t able to do before.
“Living with the pain is something we have to do if we want to become parents but if we can be thankful for what it has given us in this very moment it may make it a little easier to bear.”
These are just a FEW of the many reasons I am thankful for my infertility. Sure, I could walk this journey in anger and sadness but what good is that? I don’t say these things to make it seem like I’ve got it all figured out or that I am happy about any of it, because I don’t and I’m not. I share this so maybe, if you’re reading this, you can look at your journey a little differently. We don’t have to cross over to the other side to appreciate infertility. Living with the pain is something we have to do if we want to become parents but if we can be thankful for what it has given us in this very moment it may make it a little easier to bear. If you aren’t thankful for your journey to motherhood just yet, don’t worry about it! One day you’ll look back on this time and your heart will be filled with all of the positivity that came from the sorrow.
Recently I had a moment, I was struggling with the unknown and I was just plain sad. A really amazing friend told me “you’re one month closer to meeting your baby”. This hit home and it helped me continue on. Now, as we enter the Christmas season I keep telling myself, “I’m one thanksgiving and one Christmas closer to meeting our baby”.