The infertility journey is so personal, but I’ve learned that sharing my heart and my story helps others not feel so hidden behind the pain of reproduction loss. As the stages of grief come and go and more time passes, the closer I get to the acceptance stage as I near 40 years old.
My body has been through so much in six years and no medical professional can truly prepare you for the mental “after effects” of a total hysterectomy/bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy at 33. Physically, I knew I had to make that decision because it was quality of life at that point. The pain and bleeding was so bad due to the severe endometriosis and adenomyosis. I also knew I was infertile. However, I was not prepared for how infertility would affect me mentally and emotionally afterwards.
Infertility comes with a deep pain that brings up feelings of unworthiness. I would ask myself:
And I’d tell myself:
“I’m not good enough.”
“I am broken.”
“I don’t deserve this.”
“I failed as a woman.”
No one can truly prepare you for these feelings. How do you properly grieve something that was never yours to begin with? Whether I wanted children or I didn’t, having the choice taken away from me was an emotional dark cycle behind closed doors. From seeing everyone’s lives go on, people not including you because you’re not part of the “mom” group, hearing a child’s laughter, pregnancy announcements, to an ex-husband that never wanted to try to understand or show compassion was all so painful. It took time and a lot of personal soul care to learn to let go and release the pain I was carrying. Connecting back to my true self, shifting and believing new thoughts of: “I am already whole and complete – child or not” helped.
Then throwing your body into full menopause at 33…well, it’s not normal. It took about three years to finally feel “evened out” from the constant switching of hormone dosages, not throwing up from the intense hot flashes/nausea, actually enjoying intimacy without vaginal valium, accepting my new body image changes, bladder therapy, pelvic therapy, and more. With all the support tools, six years later my heart is in a positive healing space. I’ve chosen to continue the path of giving time, love, and grace to my heart and mental health by sharing my story, advocating, and offering all my love to other women on this journey. Every year on February 26th, I always tell myself: “I’m so proud of you.”
To my fellow infertile ladies: I see you, I hear you, and I’m always here for you – because I am you. The journey continues, and it’s not easy at times, but honor every emotion and always be kind to yourself. #WeCanAll offer support by continuing to share stories, educating others, and supporting other women diagnosed with infertility by listening, supporting, and showing compassion.
Christina P., NH
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