Guest Contributor: Emotions of Infertility

This is a guest post from Patricia, about her journey through infertility.

My husband and I started our adoption journey last April and are currently waiting to sign off on our home study report. Many adoption journeys start with an infertility journey, and I would like to take the time to share mine. It is not easy for me to do, even though it has been part of my life for quite some time.

My journey started way back in 1996 when, at 11 years old, I was diagnosed with Wilm’s Tumor- a form of kidney cancer. Surgeries, chemotherapy, and blood transfusions were to become part of my world for 6 months. During this time, childhood cancer was more of a death sentence than a survival story. In 1998 my cancer relapsed into my lung. At the age of 14, I endured more surgeries, a more aggressive chemotherapy regimen, a stem-cell transplant and radiation.

On my 16th birthday, I was told that I would ‘probably’ never become pregnant. I was to remain on birth control. Well, at 16, that was fine with me. I didn’t want kids anyways. I was raised to think that career came first, children would be low on the list of priorities anyways.

I have to admit that I looked down on those girls who got pregnant in high school. “Their lives are over,” I would think- “they will never be as successful as I will be.” I buried myself in my studies- still scoffing at those who had to quit University to have their children. I thought to myself that they were the ones who should be jealous of me- I could do what I wanted, when I wanted while pursuing my education.

As I got older however, my thoughts changed. I started noticing that those girls who got pregnant in high school now had children that were 10 years old- and that those girls had become happy, fulfilled women. I had noticed that for some reason- everyone I knew was pregnant. To quote “Labor Day” by Joyce Maynard- “Wherever you looked, pregnant women and babies, as if it was an epidemic.” I even felt like the main protagonist- not wanting to even go outside because everywhere I went, someone was pregnant or had kids. I remember standing in line at the vet’s office, and having to listen to two women complaining about being pregnant- one of them wishing that she was infertile. It took everything I had not to: a) yell at them for being insensitive; or b) run out of the vet’s office a hot crying mess; or c) have a panic attack in my car.

I noticed that I am 30 years old and had never held a baby.

I noticed that other girls who went through cancer and treatments- same as myself- get pregnant. I would like to admit that this doesn’t bother me- but I would be lying to myself. It does bother me. It is not fair. I battled and survived, I have had much taken from me- and yet having a baby is one thing I cannot experience. I can admit that I still haven’t worked out how to become ‘not bitter,’ for now- it’s still not fair.

I know that I have not yet “gotten over” my myriad feelings about being infertile. I probably never will, because I don’t think that an infertility journey is ever “over.” I just take it one day at a time.

4 thoughts on “Guest Contributor: Emotions of Infertility

  1. Thank you for sharing! I’ve had been on the infertility journey for over 6 years now and we just finished our homestudy a few months ago and are now waiting. The cause of my infertility is different from yours but I can totally relate to some of the things you said. I too am very career focused and I thought I had done everything right, We waited until we had finished college, had a career and financially secure, and now this! But I’m not giving up! I’m meant to be a Mom and so are you.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing. I am going on year 7, of infertility. Mine is “unknown” so I just fall into the PCOS category. It’s so hurtful and frustrating. I can say the cloud of bitterness does subside, but every now and then the pain and hurt cloud revisit. From hearing someone over speaking ignorantly, or all of your friends being pregnant, or spending the day at the zoo with every mom and baby in the city.
    It never seems to go away. We are waiting to sign our home assessment as well, and I am hoping that we could touch base later on when it’s over and gloat about how lucky we are to be adoptive parents, and how everyone else is jealous of us because our journey is extra special!
    I am so happy to know there are other people who can relate, and I wish we could all drink wine together.

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