I think about this from time to time. How nice it would be to be fertile. To look over at my husband and say, “let’s have a baby.” Plan everything out and get a positive pregnancy test, just like that. Just like it’s supposed to be. Just like it should be, right?
I think about this a lot. Especially when I hear other women planning their families. They’ll talk about when they want to have kids, how many they want, and when they’re going to start trying. And I can’t help but think about my own conversations that I’ve had in the past. Similar conversations. Conversations that occurred, where in my mind, I was fertile. And let me tell you, it WAS nice. Fertility was an absolute dream.
I remember telling a friend that I wanted to start having children by 29-30, which is exactly around the time we started trying. I don’t regret waiting until I was 29. I wasn’t ready for children in my early 20s. Some women are and I wasn’t one of them. But I always figured if I was going to have them, I would have them in my 30s. That always sounded and felt right to me. And since I only met my husband when I was 27, it looked like it was going to work out that way. But as we know, things did not go as planned.
I hope this post doesn’t come off as bitter. That is not it’s intention. I have just been thinking about how quickly a person can change. I was talking to a friend a few weeks ago and I was telling her about how much my perspective on everything has changed, and how I feel like I am a completely different person now. And it’s 100% true. Infertility changes you. It changes how you see yourself and how you see the world around you. A veil is definitely lifted and you’re suddenly faced with problems that most people are never faced with, and will never understand how you feel.
I have lost friends through this experience. People have said I’ve changed, or that I’m boring now. And while deep down I know I should tell those people to suck it, those comments force you to really look at yourself and how you’ve changed and how infertility has shaped the person you are. Because it does change you. It changes you SO much. And I’m not sorry about that and I’m not going to apologize for it either. We’re supposed to change. People are supposed to feel things and allow those things to change them.
I think fertile women think we’re overreacting at times. That we’re too negative or that we let ourselves dwell on things too much. That we should just, gulp, relax. I think that mindset is a privilege fertile women are afforded and infertile women are denied. So, instead of criticizing a friend/sister/co-worker/cousin about how she is handling her infertility, appreciate yours instead. Appreciate the simplicity of it all. Appreciate how natural it came to you. How lucky you are to have experienced something some of us never will.
Don’t criticize what you don’t understand. Appreciate what you already have.