Sometimes, it’s in a good way, and other times, it is just plain bad. But even in the darkest moments of infertility, TTC moms are still changed in a good way. It took years and years of TTC, and then trying to keep a pregnancy, before Yvonne admitted to herself that, in this journey, there was something good that had come out of it. It might not have been in the form of the baby she wanted, but infertility had left some good marks on her.
For five years, she battled, and in fact is still battling, infertility. Hers is a case of unexplained infertility. Investigations carried out on both her and her husband came out well; there were no issues stopping them from getting pregnant, they were just not getting pregnant…and then they got pregnant that first time, but it had ended in a miscarriage. Oh! What a heart break that was. It was so bad, Yvonne wished she had not known the joys of carrying a baby in her body. The pain broke her and her husband. Here was their baby, and then it was snatched from them, before they had a chance to fight for it. She shared her experience with me, about the good things that had come from her TTC journey, which include the following:
1. Self-awareness and knowing your own limits
In all her life, there had been nothing that ensured she became self-aware like her fertility journey had done. Every minute detail of her life; her reproductive system, her nuances, her obvious traits, are all now see through a microscope.
One more thing was that she didn’t know she was working with someone else’s timing, as she kept counting the fact that couples who got married around the time they did were already on their third child, but yet she was yet to start. However, she soon learned that her path in life was different. There was no room for comparison. The reality is, while she is struggling to become, and stay, pregnant, everyone else around her seems to get pregnant at the mere mention of sperm. What a powerful reminder that each person’s race is unique, and meant to be run by only you.
It won’t be a simple race. It requires something greater of you. TTC forces you into some deep soul searching, and makes you ask some hard questions about your life; the choices you have made, their impact, or not, on your soul, etc. When she started this journey, she had assumed it would be like everyone else’s: plan to have a baby and go right ahead to have one. Only, it hasn’t been the reality. Understand this…and accept it.
2. You become more hopeful for light at the end of the tunnel
Yvonne found that the only thing that has kept her going all these years is just one thing…hope! It might sound cliché, but the one thing that kept her going after a second-trimester miscarriage, numerous failed IVF cycles, a few first trimester losses, countless tests, injections, pills, suppositories, transvaginal ultrasounds, blood work, and loads of heartache, has been hope. She has often had to find it in the hardest of places, and has had to hold onto it, like her life depends on it, which, in a way, it does. Armed with hope, Yvonne now knows she can get through anything in life. Anything at all.
3. You become a kinder person… empathy personified
Talk about seeing yourself in every person that comes into your life. With her TTC experience, Yvonne has come to realise that everyone has a struggle in life, and that she has no business adding to it, or making it harder for the person to go through that struggle.
As bad as your story and struggles are, there is (sadly) always someone else who’s having it worse, even when you don’t think it could get worse. And it doesn’t have to just be about infertility. It applies to any type of struggle. Realizing what it’s like to live though pain and heartbreak of any kind forces you to look at the world a little more softly. While it is very easy for your loss to turn you into a shrew, it can also make your heart more open to the struggles of others, and makes you kinder too.
4. Oh, you do become a warrior!
Infertility is scary, and uncertain, and dark. It only takes a fighting heart; a warrior’s never-say-die attitude, to get through it. And that is because there is no other way. Yvonne never knew it, but it made her stronger and braver than she ever imagined she could be, perhaps even more than she even wanted to be.
That warrior’s heart will see you push through disappointments. Through negative pregnancy test after negative pregnancy test. Through failed cycle after failed cycle. You will probably cry at the first sight of that witch, but you will march through those days ready to begin again.
You will see, and feel, the remains of what should have been your baby pass through your body, but like a true warrior, you will pick up the pieces of your life and move on to the next conquest, ready to start all over again. You know why?
Because you are a warrior now, and that’s what warriors do.
They fight and keep fighting!
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