Infertility changed me. Infertility made me who I am today.
I walked into my fertility clinic in 2015. I just knew walking into that waiting room coated with beautiful portraits of newborn babies on the walls and smiling faces greeting me at the front desk that we were about to get pregnant. I was happy. I was confident. I was excited. I was hopeful.
We had no idea what we were in for.
There were times in the past six years of trying to conceive that I did not like who infertility caused me to be, along with all of the emotions that came with it.
I was angry at my body. Angry that as a woman, my body was made to do what it was not doing.
I was hurt when yet another baby announcement appeared on my social media timeline and wasn’t mine. I was happy for them, but the pain of feeling like I would never have that same joy hit me hard.
I was disappointed when a cycle didn’t work or had to be postponed because my body wasn’t doing what I needed it to.
I was sad when I would consistently get the dreaded call that I was NOT pregnant that month or when I would test early, resulting in me crying in the bathroom when two lines didn’t appear.
I was distraught when those two lines slowly became one as I watched my babies slip away from my body.
I was alone, or so I felt, when I didn’t get calls or check-ins from friends and family to see how we were doing after a miscarriage. However, when we told people that we were pregnant not too long before that, everyone praised us and wanted to be involved.
But infertility gave me strength:
- The strength to put a smile on my face when others celebrated their growing families which gave me the best coping mechanisms to process my emotions in a healthy way.
- The strength to advocate for myself in times when no one would listen, which gave me a voice.
- The strength to get out of bed when I felt like I couldn’t go on as I was filling my body with hormones, which taught me resilience.
- The strength to grieve when our embryos fell through my body, which allowed my husband and I to support one another and grow closer.
- The strength to understand and deal with insurance, knowing how lucky we were to be able to have it, and sitting in between cycles when we were waiting for them to be approved, which gave me patience.
- And now the strength to honor my story and speak for others going through their journeys but have not found their strength yet.
As I walked out of that same waiting room on my graduation day and said goodbye to the family that I spent most of my time with the past six years, and as I embark on a whole new journey with my rainbow baby girl in my arms, I realize that were so many other rainbows in the middle of my storm that I didn’t even realize, and I appreciate them so much more.
Infertility will always be a part of me. I know I will not be able to carry any more children, but I just keep reminding myself that #WeCanAll find our own rainbow, no matter what it looks like.
-Danielle M, St Louis MO
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