I have the TimeHop app on my phone. I love when it brings up old photos from back in the day that make me feel super old. Recently, a few photos have popped up from this time last year that reminded me of my absolute lowest point with infertility.
September was not a good month for me last year. Last year a new coworker shared with me that she was pregnant. I tried to tell her our situation so she would stop sharing details but she continued talking. I hate crying in public so I had to excuse myself and take my lunch early to get away. As soon as I got out of the building and in my car, I broke down.
I was at my lowest point of frustration and bitterness. I wasn’t myself. I was angry and short tempered and just wanted to isolate myself. I was trying to grasp the very real possibility that we would soon have to seek help from a fertility specialist and I was not dealing with it well.
Flash forward to a few weeks later when I found out one of my best friends was expecting her second child, after trying for a couple months. It was one of the hardest things, to try to play off my tears as happiness for them and not sadness for myself. I’m sure if you ask her, I didn’t do it very well. 😀 After spending time with them that day, I came home and had the worst breakdown to date. I was inconsolable and in absolute hysterics. It was my lowest point. I was devastated that it wasn’t us and that we were rapidly approaching our deadline to seek treatment. It just solidified that it should’ve happened for us already. It shouldn’t be taking as long as it was and the fact that it was, meant something was wrong.
I didn’t like the person I was last fall. I am usually the person who is so happy for other people’s happiness, always supportive. But at that point, it just couldn’t be me. I was so consumed with my own sadness, I couldn’t feel anything for anyone else.
Many of us who struggle with infertility go on to have children via a variety of different means but infertility is something that always stays with you. I know someone who had a similar struggle as me and went on to have three kids naturally. However, when she knew I was struggling, she could instantly relate to every feeling I was experiencing. She still remembered her bitterness and feeling awful for it, so many years after overcoming infertility herself. It changes your viewpoint. It changed me. I went from using the phrase “when we have children” to “if we have children” because I learned that it was not a definite. My whole life I knew I would be a mother. I HAD to have children. I WANTED to have children. I knew it was in my life plan and yet, infertility changed all that. It took the positivity away. It changed all of these things that I saw as a definite for my future into “ifs”.
It’s been a year since that low point. Within that year, we sought treatment, did fertility testing, did fertility treatments (medications, injections, IUI), got pregnant, and miscarried. I am in a much better place now, even after the heartbreaking year we have experienced, than I was then. But no matter how much we have moved on from that time and moved past our loss, the feelings I felt during my lowest point will always stay with me. I can still feel them as if they were yesterday and not something I experienced a year ago. Infertility is not just a moment in your life that you can eventually “get past”, it is a turning point in your life that permanently changes you.