When you live inside of an infertile body, you begin to notice things.
You notice how downright difficult it is to get pregnant. Really, the chances of getting pregnant each month are insanely low. Now throw in some unknown fertility issues and add a few digits to the “optimal pregnancy age” and you are left, well… defeated, each and every month.
You notice the bumps. You know those dreams where you’re the only one? You know what I’m talking about — everyone has turned into Zombies, and you’re left as the only living human on the planet. Just replace zombies for baby bumps and boom! There you go. That’s what it feels like to live inside of an infertile body. Each new week brings forth another bump on someone else (always someone else), while your belly remains stagnant and oh, so stubbornly flat.
You notice the awkward pregnancy announcements – the eyes drawn downward, the mincing of words, the classic “it’ll happen for you soon” comments. I get it. It’s awkward. But, really, I want to celebrate with you.
You notice the empty promises. No gluten, no dairy, no sugar, no caffeine. Yep, that’ll fix your fertility issues. Lies, all lies, I tell you! Still, you forge ahead with these crazy diets because of the guilt. Oh, the guilt that ensues when you finally break down and take a bite of your husband’s ice cream cone. You’re suddenly sure that you’ve ruined any chance of conception for that month. A rigid diet is Fertility 101, and you’ve just broken the cardinal rule. Then that day comes when you find that you are still barren, and you curse that stupid ice cream cone for ruining it all for you.
You notice you’ve reached the age. You can’t stop it. The gray hairs start to surface, and wait, what? You have wrinkles now? And so you just resign yourself to tears because you never wanted to start motherhood this late in life.
You notice that you are still… here. And you wonder if you’ll be here, stuck in this place, forever. If you’ll always be the couple you can count on as a solid “party of 2” to events, or the crazy ones who will whip out pictures of their dog while those around you share “oohs and aahs” at their new human family additions. It freaks you out, really — the possibility that you might not ever have children of your own. It is heart-wrenching and too painful to think about, so let’s move on…
You notice the patterns. Your head says it isn’t so, but you’re heart – oh, that ever hopeful heart of yours – says maybe. And so you live in the maybe. And, come to think of it, you felt a little nauseous this morning so, yes, this must be it. You’re sure this time, THIS is the month… until it isn’t. And then your self-righteous brain reminds you that you’re such a sucker, and the pattern repeats itself the following month.
You notice the miracle of life. This you notice more than anything because each time you are faced with a negative pregnancy test, you are reminded that this whole baby thing isn’t up to you anyway. You know this because you’ve done everything right… for years. You take the correct vitamins, you eat the recommended foods, you cutback on your workouts, yet still… no baby. And you find a part of this oddly refreshing because you know that there is a plan behind it all. So you wait, and you hope, and you pray for your miracle because you know it’s coming… eventually. And then you smile to yourself with joyful anticipation in your heart because, deep down, you know that someday, you will be somebody’s mother.