Another month, another negative pregnancy test. Another month my heart felt distressed. Infertility had the audacity to strike again and it was ruthless, disrespectful and bold. It gave hope, only to cackle with laughter and then rip it to shreds.
It forced me to question myself over and over again. What am I doing wrong? I am young, healthy and doing everything “right.” I have an animated and active four-year-old daughter, so shouldn’t it be easy?
I thought back to my first bout with infertility. It took me on a wild ride and I barely held on. I remember the joy my husband and I felt when we learned I was pregnant. I couldn’t contain the news and immediately told my mom and best friend. Then I rushed to Target to take in all the baby clothes, an array of colors, joyfully feeling their softness against my skin.
Was it going to be a girl? A boy? Twins? Gasp! I just couldn’t wait.
Then it happened.
We were visiting a friend and just finished a delicious meal. I watched as their kids played in the living room. The sound of giggles and laughter gave me an overwhelming sense of peace and joy. I smiled and couldn’t wait to do the same with my own.
Suddenly, I felt a sharp painful cramp in my side and the urge to use the bathroom. I excused myself just as my friend was in the middle of telling a joke. Everyone was laughing and didn’t notice as I silently slipped away.
As I walked to the bathroom, I knew in my gut that something was wrong. Sadly, my worst fears came true. There was blood. I had lost our baby.
Infertility is not only about getting pregnant. It’s also about staying pregnant.
Infertility: 1 Me: 0. But who’s keeping score?
After this experience, I fell into a rut. Infertility ran my life for the next two years, constantly screaming into my ear that I wasn’t worthy. I wasn’t good enough. I was on the verge of giving up.
Then it reached its breaking point.
I became pregnant again and infertility reluctantly withdrew its claws, but not without a fight. I ended up in the hospital multiple times, suffered from severe hyperemesis, pre-eclampsia, took medications and had to be watched closely by my doctor. By the grace of God we were blessed with a healthy baby girl. And it was so worth it!
Infertility: 1 Me: 1
We were on our way to growing a big family, a dream I’ve had since I was a little girl. I wanted to start on our second right away. Siblings that would get to grow up together and be the best of friends. I thought all my infertility problems were over since it was proven I could conceive and actually stay pregnant.
Nope. Wrong again.
Infertility reared its ugly head once more, and came back even more powerful and stronger than before. It was hungry and ready to devour any ounce of hope we had left. Its obsessive thirst for grief was electrifying and just couldn’t let go. Happiness is its trigger and its curse.
Secondary infertility affects approximately three million women in the United States and is just as heartbreaking.
Each month when my period comes, a little piece of me dies inside. All I can think of is another beautiful baby lost. To cope, I decided to sit down and write infertility a letter:
You have quite the nerve. Your mission is to imprison families by taking away their joy. Happiness is a disease to you and survival requires pain. You thrive off the tears of hopefuls who yearn to have a family. You laugh at the barren and chuckle at loss.
I actually feel sorry for you.
To live in a world where darkness is your only friend breaks my heart. To experience happiness and love, are the most beautiful gifts you can ever have. It is a shining light on the darkest of days and calming during a storm. It’s being embraced by someone you love and comforted by the affection (or innocence or laughter) of a child.
Who hurt you?
What traumatic experience gave you the audacity to antagonize millions of people across the globe?
I will tell you this, we will not be broken. We will still love and we will still hope. Humanity is relentlessly resourceful and has invented ways to bless many families with children when they face a roadblock along the traditional way.
We will not be broken and we will overcome.
So yes, another month with another negative pregnancy test. But I know that one day my heart will rest and we will be blessed. There is beauty in every sunrise.
The audacity of infertility will come undone.