On Being Grateful- My Struggle with Infertility

I woke up yesterday morning to the sound of my baby chatting to herself in her crib. I pulled her into our bed and breathed her in, feeling so thankful for her presence in my life. Two years ago, I doubted this moment would be possible.
Mother’s Day is a wonderful holiday. It encourages us to celebrate and acknowledge those women who raised us, love us fiercely, and constantly put our wants and needs above their own. I’ve always wanted to be a mother and feel so lucky to join this tribe. But for so many women, Mother’s Day can be tough. Relationships may be strained, some have lost a mom too soon, or, like me, struggle with infertility.
I haven’t shared this information widely and many of my friends aren’t aware that I had a difficult time getting pregnant. I couldn’t talk about my infertility while I was in it. I was too emotional. Too raw. I felt that if I admitted I couldn’t get pregnant, it wouldn’t happen. So month after month went by. I watched one, two, seven friends get pregnant or have their children in the time I was trying. Every single time I heard their good news, I was crushed. It’s an odd emotion, to be so happy for a friend but also be jealous, angry, and frustrated. Because it isn’t you.
There is such a feeling of failure around infertility. What have I done wrong? Did I wait too long to try? Why won’t my body do what it should? It’s hard not to blame yourself, because, honestly, who else are you going to blame? It’s exhausting. Draining. And the waiting, waiting, waiting every month hoping for a positive sign, for your good news, is heartbreaking.
Thankfully I have a husband that supported me through the emotional downspin and we were able to find a doctor that diagnosed me and began interventions, which presents its own challenges. Early morning doctors appointments. Numerous blood draws and vaginal ultrasounds. Shot after shot after shot. Thousands of dollars in bills not covered by insurance. Waiting and hoping and more tears than I care to remember. The fear is in the “what if?”. What if I can never get pregnant? What if we run out of money? What if I will never be a mother?
Just when I felt like it would never happen, when I was exhausted and tired and needed to take a break, I saw that positive sign on a pregnancy test. I took one after another thinking that there had to be a problem. A mix-up. I held my breath through the blood test at the doctors the following day. And through the six week ultrasound.  And the eight week ultrasound. And every major milestone after that until I held my perfect and healthy baby girl in my arms.
I count my blessings each and every day for this little miracle. I try to live in the moment and not think about the process I will likely have to go through to give her a sibling. But yesterday, today and every day, I’m empathetic to those women who are in the waiting phase. The longing phase. The why me phase. And I wish them the hope and patience to continue on with their journey. Because we all deserve the incredible, deep and oh so big love that motherhood brings.
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