Tuesday, May 19, 2015

CIAW - I am 1 in 6

Back in April I participated in National Infertility Awareness Week and going along with the theme of "You Are Not Alone", I shared stories from different women about their infertility journey. Well this week is Canadian Infertility Awareness Week and I am participating! I'm all for helping raise awareness so be prepared for some infertility related posts all week.

Did you know that 1 in 6 Canadian couples struggle with infertility and need to seek treatment in order to build their families? That is a pretty high number, if you think about it. That number means that someone you know could be struggling with infertility, whether you are aware of it or not.

I never in my wildest dreams thought that this would be our story. No one really thinks that they will struggle to get pregnant or stay pregnant. No one wants to be on this road.

It will be five years next month since we started trying and in that time frame we have suffered three early losses, have been seeing a fertility clinic for a year and half, and have gone through three treatment cycles. These have been the hardest five years of my life but I am still here and still fighting.

I am now going to copy and paste some stuff that I wrote during NIAW. I was planning on writing something new but I just couldn't put it into better words than I already have, so I apologize for those who have already read this. It's worth another read though.

Infertility and losses have affected me so deeply, I don't really know how to put it into words.

It makes you feel broken, like your body has failed you. You see everyone else getting pregnant and having babies and you begin to wonder what the heck is wrong with you. Something that seems so easy for others, seems impossible for you. You become bitter and jealous, hating all pregnant people or people with kids. Pregnancy announcements bring heartache and despair. Going out in public, where you might run into baby bumps or children, becomes a huge fear and anxiety. Facebook is no longer safe. Church is no longer safe. Grocery shopping is no longer safe. It feels like everyone is moving ahead of you, winning at the race to have children. People you know who got married after you started trying have now had multiple children. Friends move into different stages of life and you are left behind. Family get togethers are painful, watching all the kids run around and knowing that you should have your own in that mix. Holidays are hard. Birthdays are hard. Every.single.day.is.hard. 

It puts a ton of strain on your marriage. Men and women grieve differently and deal with infertility and losses differently. You fight more with your spouse. You disagree about how to move forward, how much to spend, what treatments to try. You place blame where it shouldn't be placed. You feel guilty for not being able to give your spouse a child. You become consumed by stress. Sex is no longer fun and spontaneous, but a chore that needs to be done at a certain time.   

It kills your finances. Pregnancy tests cost money. Junk food costs money. Treatments cost a lot of money. You become angry that you have to spend money to just try and get pregnant. You feel bitter that others get babies for free and you have to pay thousands of dollars and still have empty arms. You fight with your spouse about money.

Infertility changes things. It has changed me in ways I never thought imaginable. In some ways, I am a better person for going through this. I am more sensitive and caring, I have matured, I have made some amazing friendships, I appreciate the little things more, I have become a new "me". But it has also made me a more angry, bitter, jealous, jaded person. I judge others more quickly, I cut people out of my life, I have no patience for pregnant people, I avoid babies and children. Some days, I am okay with my story and what my life looks like. I am okay with who I have become and how I am now able to help others going through similar struggles. I like the new me, probably better than the old me. But other days, I find the grief and pain suffocating. The thought of having to feel this way for the rest of my life is daunting, not to mention depressing. Some days I don't want this to be my story, I don't want to face this every day, I don't want to struggle against all these feelings until I die. It just isn't fair.

So this is my story and I am sharing it with the world, to help raise awareness for infertility and to let others know that they are not alone. You hear that? You are not alone.

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