There are three things I know for certain about my IF journey:
1. W and I have a bond made of steel, there is no way we would have survived this if it weren’t for our 100% commitment and dedication to each other. Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t all been coming up roses, there have been some really tough times. But I think its things all IF couples go through. Because this journey is such an individual experience for each one of us, we all experience it differently and I think men and women also experience IF differently. Its a huge learning curve and we all pass through the various phases at different rates which also makes the journey difficult to cope with when you’re one part of a couple. The early years of our infertility I never ever want to go back to ever again, in fact I’d rather not have to relive any of it, but particularly the early years. My first miscarriage was such a shock that I cried for almost 3 weeks every single day, I know W used to come home from work and find me lying on the couch crying and I could see it really started to get to him, like when will this end. Also, having to experience the pregnancies of all our friends and the loss of friendships as they all graduated to fully fledged adults and parents while were were still the wannabe’s was really tough for both of us. I used to get really sad and depressed and W used to get really frustrated. The last year has been far easier, but I think this is for a number of reasons. Somewhere along the line, I came to a place of acceptance, don’t ask me how I accepted it, but somehow I managed to come to terms with my IF and accept that no amount of crying or asking why me was ever going to change it. That has made a HUGE difference to my emotional state, instead of being depressed about it on a daily basis, I get twinges of sadness every now and again, but for the most part I’m a pretty well adjusted, happy individual. The second thing that has made this year easier is that W and I no longer have any friends left from our pre IF years. They’ve all gone on to have one and two children and we no longer fit in there and slowly slowly the relationships fizzled out. So we are now always surrounded by childless and IF couples at social gatherings and this has made my IF far easier to cope with. Of course this is not a permanent solution but I guess time will tell how this will pan out. My Hartjie (for those who don’t speak Afrikaans, this means My Heart) I want you to know how much I love you and how grateful I am to have you love and support me through this difficult path we’ve been placed on.
2. I would not have survived this journey if it weren’t for the love of my IF sisters, both online and IRL friends. I’m a girls girl, I need girlfriends and love spend time with girlfriends. Surrounding myself with these women has helped me feel like my IF has some kind of a purpose, that I can love, understand and support somebody so broken and so hurt and so misunderstood has helped me tremendously, it has helped me to feel that my own pain and hurt was not for nothing. I’ve met some of the bravest, strongest, most loving and supportive women through my IF walk. I am forever changed by their presence in my life and I hope vice versa. They are my soft place to land, on the days where I’m hurting and sad, they are the people who pick me up, comfort me and help give me the strength to keep pushing ahead on the days when I feel I can’t anymore. C – you are the bravest woman I know, I do not know how you have gotten through the last 11 years, when I think about what the loss fo your twins must have been like my heart breaks for both you and T. Elize – a kindred spirit, your friendship has meant the world to me, a friend in a time when I had almost none and somebody I can have such great fun with. Dumbass Sam – my twin, I’m praying really hard to hear good news about your melted popsicles today, your unwavering faith has been a beacon of light for me, you are a truly living example and I commend you. Super M – for finding purpose and passion amongst all the pain and for Fertiliare that has been a source of comfort and hope for so man infertiles. For all my online IF sisters, please don’t think that because you were not mentioned here that your impact on my life as not been as great, there are just too many amazing women to mention all of you personally.
3. That not everything about IF is negative. IF has had some truly positive impacts on my life, it has changed me for the better, I belive and for that I would not exchange places with anybody else. It has made me braver, stronger and more compassionate than I ever thought possible. It has taught me the true strength of my spirit, it has shown me that real determination can get me through any situation no matter how scary or painful it may be. It has helped me over come a lot of fear in my life and although it has had a negative effect on my self esteem on the one side, it has also had a positive effect. It has also taught me that should I be fortunate enough to have a child or two of my own, they will be such lucky children to be raised by such a brave, strong mother with great lessons to teach them about life and that the miracle of having them in my life will be like nothing any fertile woman could ever experience. IF has shaped me as an adult and has taught me lessons that some people never learn in a life time. It has emotionally matured me.
So weird I landed up with so much to say, when I logged onto my blog this morning I was actually not planning on posting anything as I felt I had nothing to say. Then I receive one message of support from one of my IF sisters and I was hit by how fortunate I am to have all these amazing people in my life and to be having this experience and that I should be grateful for it and learn from it or else it would all have been for nothing.