Sunday, October 31, 2010

How does it feel to be infertile?

I've never been asked by a fertile person how it feels to be infertile.  No infertile person has ever had to ask how it feels.  However, I have often found myself wondering if I could explain to a fertile person how infertility feels.

It's so abstract.  I won't die from this disease.  I've not lost any limbs.  I don't have any visible scars.  In my own case I've not lost anything tangible really.  I've lost clusters of cells, even my one miscarriage was a blighted ovum; a non baby.

The only way I can describe how being infertile feels is to equate it to what I imagine it would be like to love a child...

Infertility feels like loving a child...but the exact opposite.

I imagine that when a child is born the parents feel overwhelming feelings of joy, pride, happiness, and love.  I'm sure it is indescribable.  I'm sure it is emotionally debilitating, makes you reevaluate your life, makes you change your life for the better.

Infertility has made me feel that way too...but the exact opposite.

I imagine that when you are a parent the love you have for your child permeates your life in all sorts of little ways.  I'm sure that sometimes that love catches you off guard in little moments.  You remember your love when you see a picture, hear a comment, or smell a scent.  I imagine that love for a child is like a pleasant whisper throughout the day.

Infertility has made me feel that way too...but the exact opposite.

I'm sure that everyday as a parent is not good.  Just as everyday without children is not bad.

However, if a fertile person ever thinks to ask me how it feels to be infertile; if a fertile person ever wants to understand; I would tell them to think of all the intense love they have for their child, all the little ways that being a parent makes them happy.  I imagine the intensity of feeling is the same.

But where they have love I have bitterness.
But where they have hope I have despair.
But where they have peace I have heartbreak.

And just as a parent will always be a parent.  I will always be infertile.

54 comments:

Kelly said...

This is a great post. You've put into words what so many of us are thinking and feeling but aren't able to articulate. Thank you.

Trying to be a better person today than I was yesterday. said...

I totally agree with Kelly. Great post. I feel this way often.

Melissa @Suger Coat It said...

A wonderful articulate post. Heartbreaking and a little close to home. But Beautiful none the less.

Mo and Will said...

well said. I completely agree.

Augusta said...

Wow! That's exactly it. What a great metaphor. You've expressed that so well and captured the intensity of how it feels with exquisite accuracy. Thank you for giving voice to our experience by writing this post.

Baby bump bound said...

Aaah... can we post this EVERYWHERE??? Wear this on T-shirts, attatch it to planes and hot-air balloons? Create sandwich boards and pass out fliers?

This is a GREAT post!!

Infertiles unite! Oh how I hate our predicament we are all in!

Mo and Will said...

you know, megan, thinking about this post title, it seems to call for one of your wonderful video takes on things. Those always have such a way of packing the emotional punch and getting the point across. Could be posted on YouTube and elsewhere to raise awareness. The pain of infertility is such an underrecognized reality. Like you said, no one really ever even bothers to ask.

nurslouisa said...

Heartbreaking sums it up well. I think I would add all consuming ( like parenthood) IF always is with you. I ache for you after reading this post and wish I could give you a hug. Please take good care of yourself and keep posting.

the misfit said...

This is brilliant. I have never thought of it this way, but now that I read your words, it is exactly right. If any fertile person ever asks me how it feels to be infertile (not that I expect this will ever happen), I am going to send them this post. Thank you.

areyoukiddingme said...

Incredibly moving, Megan. I wish I could take away all the bitterness, despair and heartbreak.

foxy said...

Megan - You are brilliant. This is a brilliant description.The best. It says the things that can not be described, because they are felt so deeply. Would it be okay if I repost this? I want to share it with my support people - because I think that it will help them understand. After reading this I can't imagine how any parent won't understand. You are brilliant - this post is really really incredible.

Thanks you Megan.
~Foxy

tishi said...

I feel like being infertile is a little like being the only kid not picked for a school team. Then having to go to school everyday with all those kids as they talk about how great their team is.

hopelesslyttc said...

Hi Megan,
I just read this where Foxy reposted it on her blog - Someday.
You really have managed to put into words some of the feelings that us Infertiles have to deal with - your post is spot on!
All that's missing from this is the "pride at being responsible for bringing a new life into the world" versus "loathing at having a body that doesn't do what it's supposed to coupled with not being man enough to get your wife pregnant"...
Super post and guess I'll be spending a few hours going back through your previous posts now I've found you, to see what other pearls you have here.

Miss Ruby said...

The truth and the rawness that comes along with it always make for painful yet beautiful words - which is exactly what this post is.

x

Calmly Chaotic said...

Great post! I just found it through Foxy's blog. I look forward to reading more about your journey!

B. said...

Too true, and so well spoken. I'd like to give you a hug. A verbal response just doesn't do this justice.

loribeth said...

Tishi's comment really hit home for me. I was never any good at sports, & I was always picked last for teams. Being infertile feels EXACTLY the same way as that did.

Great post! Made me think.

LaceFace said...

You said it all.

strongblonde said...

very well said.

i described it the other day as emotional torture. :(

Project Baby said...

What a great post. So moving!

Cherbear said...

so. very. true. Sad, but true

Keya said...

Here from Foxy's blog. Beautifully put!! Thanks for this.

hope4joy said...

Great post. Thank you for saying it better then I could.

BB said...

This is a beautiful post! Sums up pretty much everything that a fertile will never understand! Can I repost this on my blog!

WannabeMommy said...

Such a beautifully poignant, bitter-sweet post. Thanks for bringing the perfect words to what we feel.

Alison said...

Well written Meg! Thanks for the outward expression of what we feel inside!

Melissa G said...

Bleh, so true... So true.

Hugs.

msfitzita said...

This is possibly one of the best blog posts I've ever read. Ever. About anything.

Kathleen said...

this is fantastic. i may have to link to your blog if you don't mind. this is truly what it feels like.

Lily said...

Well said. Thank you from all of us who have felt it, are feeling it now or don't even know yet what it is they are feeling. You helped us all put it into words.

Lily - The Infertile Mind

Desiree said...

You have articulated all that I, that "WE" your infertile sisters and brothers feel. Infertility has consumed so much of my life that I not only feel the pain but I can also touch it, taste it.
So thank you, thank you, thank you.

callmemama said...

What a truly amazing post. So dead on...

Searching said...

VERY well said.

Journeywoman said...

So VERY well said.

Hugs.

Infertile Farmer said...

As everyone said, this post is just AMAZING! You are such a talented writer! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!

cgd said...

Amazing post, I just found your blog and feel so grateful. This a wonderful post. thank you for caputuring what we all go through so well.

jodie38 said...

Oh my God. Amazing post, felt like I'd been punched after reading it. It rings so very, awfully true.

Thank you for sharing this....

HS @ Our Debt Blog said...

Have you tried a surrogate mother???????? I saw cycle 3 IVF below, why not outsource the pregnancy?

HS

rebecca said...

Wow, what an incredibly powerful post that really gets to the meat of how so many of us feel in IF land. I couldn't agree more with what you said at the end, I feel so bitter now when I hear others talk about pregnancy and babies. Thank you for sharing and for summing up the feelings that most of us live.

thecrazycatwoman said...

YES! I've had exactly the same thoughts but there's no way I could articulate them as well as you. This is a sad, true and beautiful post. But I wonder, even with your perfect description, if a fertile person reading or hearing this could really understand? The despair and bitterness that we feel is probably as abstract to a fertile as the love that they feel - we can almost imagine it - kind of - but not quite.

All of the Bitter, None of the Betty said...

This is a fantastic post. Thanks for posting it, I feel the exact same way.

Rebecca said...

Beautiful. Just beautiful.

Exactly how I feel every day of my life.

Rachell said...

I am a mother thru adoption. My son just turned 4. I'm not sure how other infertile-adopted moms feel, and even though my son is my world, somehow everyday I am always reminded that I am still an infertile. I will never be able to give him the sibling that he desires and deserves from my body. Every part of me silently grieves that I am an infertile.
You said it all.

Amber said...

megan - Wow your posts are always so right on. Infertility is with us everyday and I am reminded of it in so many ways. I hope you are having more good days without children then bad days without children.

Rebecca said...

Yeah, that's it.

Jennifer said...

You described it perfectly.

Infertility Monster said...

you said this so well, thank you.

SLESE1014 said...

very well said....thanks for posting this...I might just have to copy it and paste it to my blog giving you full credit of course...it's beautifully done.

Infertile Farmer said...

Hey Megan! just wanted you to know I was thinking of you. Also, I left you a blog award. You are an amazingly talented lady and just wanted to take a moment to recognize you!

Amy said...

So true. It is so hard to put into words, but you did a great job. Thanks for putting the words in all our mouths.

A Work In Progress said...

I loved this post after 6 years of ttc....your words are the words that I have been feeling.

carene said...

I just found your words...and can write now that I've stopped crying. The loneliness I've felt has lifted, thanks to you. I've been dumped twice because of infertility (and by men who supposedly had no interest in having children). One of them cheated on me and impregnated the woman...then married her. His daughter, from 1st marriage, had just graduated from college.
Currently I'm in a relationship with a man who is wonderful, except that he would never consider marrying because of my infertility.
My family (parents, sibs, cousins, etc.) assumed for years that I didn't want children. I married at 24, and my ex husband gave me chlamydia and caused my infertility. It was not purposeful...he didn't know and neither did I. By the time I was treated it was too late. He remarried within a year of our divorce and had 3 kids last I heard. I don't want to be bitter, it's so hard not to, though.

I know there are treatments and such, but I didn't even realize I was infertile until I was with a man I wanted to have a child with. He left me, in great part because I couldn't get pregnant.

I'm now 45 and one of the blessings of my age is most people have stopped asking when I'm going to have a baby. I look young for my age, though, and still get such questions. It never fails to amaze me that people ask such personal questions. Sometimes I answer "I...oh, no, sorry (teary eyed)...it's just...I can't. God hasn't blessed me and I try to accept his will" (more tears) then "please, excuse me...where is the ladies room?"

Ok, maybe it's not nice of me but "DAMN"! And sometimes, that's exactly how I feel.And if the above response makes the jackass who asked me feel like a pile of dung...well, GOOD. Maybe they'll think twice before they ask someone such a personal question again.

Most of the time, though, I just make light of it...and usually change the subject by saying how much I love being an Aunt, bragging about my beautiful, smart nieces and adorable nephew. Which is true...I love them so much, and am grateful for their wonderful selves. I also have a Godson, who is amazing, and for whom I am also tremendously grateful.

You are the first person I have ever heard say how I truly feel inside. I have felt so terribly alone in my grief; not one of my friends has faced this. And not one has ever seemed to understand even a tiny part of my feelings, or even tried to. "IVF, adoption, fostering, etc."...they don't get it.

Now at 45, I've accepted that I will never have a child of my own. But the inner sadness, the bitterness, continues. Thanks to your words, the loneliness has abated. Bless you, and thank you.

Andrea said...

wow, very well said. Thank you.

Ashley Sue said...

Wow. Wow. That is SO poignant, and so beautiful, and so as close as possible that words will ever come to describing it. Wow. Words often fail us... but truth flowed through you.

Thank you SO much for writing this, sharing this, giving this.

Hugs, love, prayers ~

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