Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | April 30, 2010

what if

After reading Mel’s weekly round up, I was guilted into posting. As she says, “If you have time to read, you have time to post.” Which, is probably true, although I will likely be forgoing my one chance at a shower today if I write this while Birdie naps. People of my town, if you see me and I smell bad, it’s because I care about National Infertility Awareness Week.

The “what if” I chose is this:

What if despite my ultimate success I never let go of the resentment at and jealousy of the women who got to do this the “normal” way and who never experienced pregnancy loss (from Betty M).

I feel a little bad, because I have Birdie here now and I am so thankful. I really have no right to complain. Infertility has been such a huge part of my identity though, and even though I have been “successful”, I am still infertile.  I am still bitter about happy, oblivious pregnant women. I still dread pregnancy announcements and baby showers, although less so than before Birdie.  I am already having panicky thoughts about what will happen when (if?) we try to conceive again. How will we afford treatment? Will we need IVF this time? I thought that having a baby would fix everything. It has been wonderful, amazing, exhausting, and incredible, but it hasn’t wiped away the history or the pain. At the core, I am still a bitter infertile woman.

I don’t have any mom friends locally. I’m afraid that I will never fit in with “normal” moms. I always thought that I would find some kind of mother’s group and finally meet some people here in this town I have moved to, but no.  There is a breastfeeding support group and a post partum depression support group through the hospital that I keep meaning to try to go to, hoping that I can find some sort of community. I keep putting it off, partly because I remember how different I felt in our childbirth class. It was fairly clear that no one else in our childbirth class struggled with infertility, and during the classes I felt something similar to rage, that THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND. They just don’t understand how lucky they were, and how hard it is for some people. They don’t understand the anxiety. We could still lose this baby. They don’t understand why I do want plenty of monitoring and am fine with getting an IV, in case something goes wrong with the delivery. I felt like such a freak, alone and bitter.

However, infertility has made me appreciate the miracle of Birdie even more. It gives me strength to get through the sleep deprivation and times when she is a bit of a pill. Every time I drive past my fertility clinic, I am flooded with relief that I don’t have to make the daily trek there for ultrasounds and bloodwork anymore. But, I still haven’t shared with many people what we went through to have her. Several of my very close friends have no idea that we did fertility treatments. I keep waiting for a good time to tell them, and I want to do it in person, but I’m a little worried that they will be mad or hurt that I kept such a huge secret from them. I need to tell them though. In the spirit of NIAW, I am resolving to share our experience with more people in our real life.

If you have just stumbled upon this blog entry and would like to know more about infertility, please go here to read more about basic infertility issues. Go here to read about the background of National Infertility Awareness Week.

I am supposed to end this with a positive what if now. What if all of my blogging friends got their dream come true and had successful pregnancies and healthy babies? What if insurance covered fertility treatments for all of us and we didn’t have to take out loans and go into massive debt just to build our families? What if fertile people got just a little glimpse into our challenges and had compassion and understanding for what infertile people go through?



  1. I am right there with you, feeling like I don’t fit in with “normal” moms. I went to a moms group during my maternity leave, and found that I couldn’t shake the feeling of being an outsider. I hope that you develop a good group of mom friends as Bird grows up, and that telling your IRL peeps about your fertility treatments opens some minds.

  2. I know just how you feel. It’s a weird transition going from IF to parenthood, no matter how grateful you feel. I wish you lived near me — we’d form our own little mothers group of people who so get it!

  3. I am isolated too. And when we were filling out the baby book there was a section for Mom’s Hobbies. And I didn’t have any because for three years getting pregnant was my hobby. There is a new mom with a baby two months older than Peter across the street, but I have not gone over to say hi. Because what if she is one of THEM?

  4. “What if fertile people got just a little glimpse into our challenges and had compassion and understanding for what infertile people go through?”

    …but how will fertile people be able to do this unless infertile people open up about their experiences? Tell your friends about what you went through. Talking about it is the only way to increase awareness.

  5. i get you. i want to be able to tell people. there’s just the stigma attached. and i dont know if i’m ready to deal with that, you know? “she had to do ivf! gasp”.

    i would like to know what it feels like to be normal!

    if you make it to this side of the state we could meet up 🙂 you can see how crazy it is with two little ones!


  6. I never feel like part of the crowd, mostly because I am a big mouth and am very vocal about how the boys were concieved, I figure the more I talk about the IF, the more I share the hurt, the less i feel of it.

    so, I completely understand how you feel. How grateful you are for your daughter, how much you look at her and can’t believe that after all you went through she’s here. That’s so normal.

    thanks for sharing this and congratulations on your Birdie!!!! May your what ifs….start to hurt less in the years to come.

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