I recently came across this post, entitled Ten Words that Describe Infertility. It really struck a chord, and got me thinking. Infertility is something that many couples struggle with, but it is something that none of us struggle with in the same way. We all feel, see, and experience infertility differently. There are SO many words that could describe infertility, and each person you speak to may list a different set of ten words than the next. That’s because we are all so different, with one thing in common: infertility.
I decided to come up with my own list of ten infertility words. I came up with a list of
1. Lonely. Infertility makes you feel isolated, because you think that no one else understands your pain. You feel like everyone you see is pregnant, all your friends have children already, and you are alone in your fight. It often feels like even your husband does not understand the depth of your heartache.
2. Hope. Every cycle after a fertility treatment, you have two weeks of hope. Of wishing, of praying, of believing that this is going to be the time it works.
3. Despair. Then that two-week wait ends, and you are in utter despair again.
4. Frustration. With every medication you take, ever doctor’s appointment you go to and from, with every pregnant woman or new mom you see at Target. When is it going to be your turn?
5. Inadequate. Other women can have children, and you can’t. This somehow makes you feel less than woman. It definitely makes you feel less attractive in every way.
6. Awkward. It takes fingers on both of your hands to count how many people have given you a shot in the rear. Your doctor has given you trans-vaginal ultrasound after trans-vaginal ultrasound, with nurses, student interns, and/or your husband or mother in the room. Only a couple of years ago, you were embarrassed for you husband to see you naked, but suddenly modesty is out the window, and you feel exposed, vulnerable, ugly, and awkward.
7. Stressed. If you have PCOS, you are stressed about whether every morsel you put into your mouth is helpful to your body and hormones. Even if you don’t have PCOS you are stressed about the doctor’s appointments that run your life, the bills that flood your mailbox, whether you are going to start your next cycle on your own, and what treatment protocol you are going to implement when you begin therapy for your next fertility treatment. And did I mention the bills? And what about being stressed about how time seems to be flying by, and you still are not pregnant yet? The list could go on…
9. Sad. Sometimes there is just no other word for the way you feel. Indescribably sad. Even on good, happy days, there is a part of you that feels sad.
10. Waiting. You feel like your whole life is on hold, hinging on this one thing: a child whom you’ve never met.
11. Empty. You never knew you could miss someone and long for someone so deeply who you’ve never even seen before. There is an empty spot in your heart reserved just for them, and it aches a little more with each passing month.
12. Dependent. You feel 100% dependent on God. For wisdom. For strength to get through each day. For a joyful spirit in spite of your pain. For a way to touch others through your experience. For a way to exude His light instead of your pain.
13. Selfish. You often wonder if you are selfish to want a child so badly, and if you are doing the right thing by trying so dad-gum hard. Couldn’t your money be better spent elsewhere? And your time and emotions? But then you realize that, no, they could not be spent on anything better. You feel selfish because when you try to pray for others, you can barely focus, because your mind and heart are consumed with your struggle against infertility. Not only has it overcome your personal life, but it’s also overcome your spiritual life.
This is my list. I cycle through each of these emotions multiple times every day. But I lie down each night knowing that God is in control. Knowing that my life and future are in His hands, and knowing that the lives and futures of our children are in His hands as well.
“You can see in the dark, for it is not dark in your eyes.
For you the night is just as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are the same to your eyes.
For you shaped me inside and out.
You knit me together in my mother’s womb long before I took my first breath.
I will offer you my grateful heart, for I am your unique creation, filled with wonder and awe.
You have approached even the smallest details with excellence;
Your works are wonderful;
I carry this knowledge deep within my soul.”
-Psalm 139:12-14, The Voice