Infertility is an ugly word, and it made me an ugly person...
For two years my life was consumed by ovulation tracking, mucous monitoring, blood tests, ultrasounds, hormones and planned intercourse.
I had no control over the final outcome, yet it was controlling every aspect of my life. Eventually, I became unrecognisable … a scared, broken version of my former self. I withdrew from the people who loved me most, and I felt anger towards people I had never met. But I disliked myself the most.
Infertility made me inadequate.
I’ll never forget the moment I found out I was infertile. I knew it was coming, so I wasn’t surprised or shocked. But I immediately felt flawed. Look up ‘infertile’ in the dictionary and you will find words such as ‘barren’, ‘childless’ and ‘unfruitful’. There was no denying or sugar coating it, I had failed. No matter how long I persisted or how hard I worked for it, I had no control and I wasn’t enough. Infertility had won, and I had lost.
Infertility made me lonely.
I needed someone to tell me it was going to be okay, that this wasn’t fair and that life is cruel sometimes. But no one had the words that I needed to hear. Instead, they told me ‘it will happen when the time is right’ and to ‘relax and stop trying so hard’. I slowly surrendered to the idea that no one could relate to my suffering. And although I sat waiting at the fertility specialist in a room full of other infertile women, I had never felt more alone.
Infertility made me a bitch.
At some point in this process, the constant disappointment took its toll and I got angry. I was sick of hearing people complaining about being pregnant. I was tired of seeing baby bumps everywhere I looked. The world was against me and was constantly reminding me just how ‘childless’ I was. Everyone else had what I wanted but couldn’t have, and I was pissed off. I didn’t want to be a grown up anymore, I wanted to throw a tantrum and stomp my feet until I got what I wanted. I knew I was being ridiculous, but I couldn’t help myself. I had turned into a person I didn’t like, and I hated that infertility had made me that way.
But ultimately, infertility made me, me. I look back now with tears streaming down my face and I don’t recognise that person, but I want to give her a hug and tell her that everything will be okay. Because in the end, it was.
Inadequacy made me a fighter, loneliness made me stronger, and being a bitch made me survive. That ugly word no longer defines me, but it helped shape the person that I am today. And she is happy. Infertility is by far the hardest thing I have ever experienced, but it is my story, and I will be forever grateful.