I refuse to be silent any more.
Have you ever been through a crisis and felt utterly spent? And utterly alone? I began to feel that way when we discovered we were going to have to deal with the dreaded "I" word. Infertility. Such a big, ugly, angry word. That was several years ago. And then it seemed like everyone around me was having babies. Everyone around me certainly expected me to have a baby. It got so bad that the other mothers, especially the other grandmothers, around me would stare at my tummy every time they saw me, convinced that they could be the first to tell when I was expecting. I got to the point that every time I walked down the hall at the office I would cover my stomach with whatever papers I had with me so that the Tummy Inspectors couldn't see. Once, the Chief Tummy Inspector cornered me and asked me if I was pregnant. That was a bad day, because I wasn't pregnant at all. Just gaining weight out of sheer misery.
Perhaps it was true that I was actually surounded by nothing but the Fertile, because that's simply the life-stage at which I found myself. Perhaps it was just my perception because I was hyper-sensitive. Either way, it was miserable. I felt like I had no one to talk to. And when I finally did open up with my friends and family, no one knew what to say. Everyone - and I do mean everyone - stuck their foot in their mouth. Repeatedly. It got to the point that I wanted to avoid everyone. And I did, for a while. Fortunately, my friends care enough about me that they refused to let me isolate myself.
Now, several years later and after successfully navigating invitro-fertilization, I have a beautiful, bouncing baby boy. And with him came perspective. And with him came a measure of peace. Not complete peace. Hardly. One of my good friends just had her second baby (got pregnant without even trying) and I don't think I'll even be able to go and see them. No, peace is still a looong way off. But somehow, I am determined not to be silent any more. I am determined to speak my mind - gently, hopefully - about what this experience has been like. And what it is still like to live as an Infertile among the Fertile. Hopefully the fact that I am speaking out will embolden others to do so. Hopefully the fact that I am speaking out will educate other people so they can better help their family and friends experiencing infertility. Hopefully the fact that I am speaking out will bring with it another measure of peace.
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