Looking through infertility glasses...
Updated: Apr 5
How infertility changed my perspective
Most little girls growing up assume they will have children of their own. It is the unspoken rule of when you are married and have children rather than if you are married and have children.
For most of my life I did not want children.
It could have been my rebellion against assumptions.
Or my spirit knowing my body could not support such actions.
Or my crazy childhood being the only reference I had to raising children.
I think it also had to do with being a competitive gymnast and professional dancer my whole life.
Boobs were the enemy! So children... forget about it.
But after meeting my husband and falling head over heels, I began to shift my mindset.
I suddenly thought of myself as a woman. I was a partner to another human, and I wanted the bond of sharing a child.
I knew it might be difficult.
At 15, I suspected I had endometriosis. My mother had it and I naively informed my obgyn that I thought I had endo.
Even though endometriosis rarely can be detected without exploratory laparoscopic surgery, the doc said "Nah, don't worry about it."
So, I didn't.
At age 18, a very large endometrial cyst burst, I bled internally and had emergency surgery. That started my life with endometriosis. I joked every doctor and their mother had seen my girl parts.
I was what the doctors called "past stage four". Whatever that means.
I had 5 surgeries to clean up my body in the hopes to have "quality of life"- not even thinking about childbirth.
I didn't realize that the surgeries were causing more problems. Endometriosis is scar tissue. It feels like spiderwebs made of razor blades, but in essence, it is scar tissue.
So after every surgery, I got worse.
Eventually they took both my fallopian tubes and talked of hysterectomy. I was never told the extent of my issue but I knew I could not give into a hysterectomy.
It wasn't until my husband and I found an endo specialist in New York and paid out of pocket to have a cutting edge (pardon the pun) surgery- that I felt any relief.
My bladder, bowels, reproductive organs and muscle tissue were adhered together in a ball.
The doctor was shocked I was still going to the bathroom and that I wasn't addicted to pain meds.
After a 6 hour surgery, my guts were separated and put back in their rightful place.
All the while, I was convinced my uterus was fine and would hold a baby.
After going through hell, and coming out the other end, I wanted a child.
We went to every infertility doctor within a 50 mile radius. They all said the same thing.
"We can put a baby inside, it just won't be your egg."
That was my first hit. I had to mourn the fact that my genes would not live on. But knowing my family history, I was accepting.
Josh and I would use a donated egg and his sperm for our child.
We were excited and pretty confident it would work.
Long story short...It didn't work and it crushed us. Looking back it doesn't make sense that we were so confident it would work. We assumed our lives would be a certain way.
Now two people had to mourn the loss of what they thought their life would be.
I couldn't accept this for quite a while.
I had always felt a strong connection to my body.
I felt it was possible.
I needed to try again.
Have another chance.
Try another doctor. I didn't want to give up.
After a while, you forget what you are even fighting for because you fight for so long.
One day I let go.
I let go of all the assumptions I had about my life. All the dreams I thought I had. All the guilt I carried for not be able to carry, and I let it go.
Josh and I are the parents of a beautiful boy that never lived inside my belly and we never felt robbed or gypped. We went through war together. Our relationship grew. We have been gifted with a life that we never thought could exist.
This long winded story is really a reminder that I foolishly assume life a certain way. We all do. We picture our existence and we hold strong to that picture.
Life has it's own ideas.
My perspective on the world right now, through these glasses...
Right now, I hate the way the world is going.
I hate the way I feel.
I hate that I am made to live like this. Masked up, away from family and friends.
But I have felt this before.
I could scream "it's not fair" into the ethers but I have tried that and it doesn't work.
I have to let go of what I thought the future held. The future for all of us. For humanity.
Mourn the loss and let it go.
By letting go, I am open to receive bigger things.
Bigger than my assumptions.