In my last post I mentioned how my years of infertility has changed me. And how, in almost all aspects, the changes were for the better.
I’ve spent some time thinking about all those changes, some of them seemingly trivial and some of them are truly note worthy. I wanted to document a few of them that come to mind especially after Gwen’s comment:
Mmm, I often hear people say that infertility has made them a better person. Sometimes I hear the same about baby loss too. The truth is that sometimes being dealt a shit hand brings out the worst in you and not the best.
I agree 100% with that statement. While I was in the trenches, it most certainly did bring out the worst in me. It made very self focused. It brought out elements of jealousy and envy. It played on my insecurities and made me feel unworthy. It made me loose faith, I almost gave up on hope too. It filled me with self pity. It left my heart and my spirit completley broken and in tatters. It made me judgmental, most especially of “breeders”. It negatively affected every single aspect of my life.
But then Ava was born and slowly my my heart and my spirit began to heal. And slowly, I was able to acknowledge, claim and ultimately move on from all the negative things I’ve mentioned above. I think that is perhaps one of the reason’s that I find it difficult to participate in online support forums now, because I am able to see all those negative emotions that so many of my hurting IF sisters, who are still in the trenches, are having to deal with. It’s not an easy place to find oneself. It’s not an easy place to be, it’s not an easy place to deal with.
But with healing and with being able to set myself free from those negative feelings, something else has happened. I’ve been able to see the positive things that infertility has made me and not be so focused on the negative.
I am so much braver than I ever was pre-infertility. I’m not afraid to stand up for myself and to fight, even if it is just for me. This has had far reaching effects and I believe this new found bravery has made me a better person, a better friend, a better daughter, a better mother and a better employee. I’m no longer fearful of speaking up for myself.
I’m no longer afraid of needles. I don’t get anxious when needing a blood test, I happily administer injections for myself, my family and my friends, without so much as my heart skipping a beat. Dr’s visits don’t make me anxious, don’t make my heart race, don’t make the palms of my hands sweat any more.
I’ve faced both physical and emotional pain and while it was difficult and at times I thought I may be sucked under by its power I survived. This has given me a huge amount of confidence in myself and in my abilities in all aspects of my life, both personally and professionally.
I’ve learned to let go of a lot of the control I tried to maintain in my life. I’ve learned that some things simply are beyond our control. I’ve learned that I can only do my best, give the best of myself and the rest is up to God. That sometimes in life, the answer simply is no or not now. I’ve found acceptance in learning to go with the flow a little, to not have such rigid expectancy and that sometimes plans change and often its for the better.
I’m more mature and more understanding in my dealings with others. I’ve learned that previously where I believed it was my way or the highway, that often there isn’t a right or wrong answer in a situation, we all just find the answers that best suite us.
Gwen’s other question, on the previous post in question was this:
The other question is whether the personal growth was worth the sacrifice.
And I love these questions, I think it’s important to spend time thinking about and contemplating the important questions in life, of which, this is certainly one (thanks Gwen) and I’d have to say my answer is this:
No, the personal growth was not worth the sacrifice. Baring in mind mind that my journey wasn’t just an infertility journey, it was also a pregnancy loss journey. Seven pregnancies lost. Seven souls lost. Seven could-have-been living, breathing children. No amount of personal growth is worth that loss.
Sometimes in life, we are faced with difficult situations that we’d rather not face, not have to deal with but what a waste it would have been to go through all of that and not find personal growth.
If I had to go through my 7+ years of infertility and pregnancy loss, if there was no way around it, no way out of it, then I’d rather have learned something than have learned nothing. Then I’d rather have had the personal growth than come out the other side of an intensive struggle having learned nothing about myself or having grown in anyway – that would be the ultimate tragedy!