Why hello National Infertility Awareness Week 2015. You've come quickly this year. For the first time I am posting all of my statuses and facts having a four month old baby in my arms. What an incredible difference a year makes. Last year NIAW began on Easter Sunday...and that was also the day we found out Bunny was on her way. I was scared shitless last year. I was waiting for the other shoe to fall. My ass was so incredibly pained from the PIO shots that I could hardly stand to put clothes on.
This year is so very different. But yet it's exactly the same. As a slight joke (?) my body decided to give me my first postpartum period to kick off NIAW. Is it a true ppp? Not sure. But it is a sure sign I am not one of those women who gets pregnant immediately after giving birth. Shocker I know. Lord knows we tried.
I have to be honest and disclose that I'm sitting here typing this in tears.
Tears that I have a baby. I am a mother. I'm somehow on the other side. But it's still not over.
Tears that I am still an infertile. I always will be. Bunny doesn't erase those 6.5 years. God knows she is worth all of it. But they still happened. I can't forget them. I can't gloss over them. They are still who I am. Who I've been. In a large part, they shaped my identity. Hi, I'm Rachael. I'm infertile. Nice to meet you. Laugh if you must but what is one of the first questions you are asked when you meet someone new? Do you have any kids. And my answer was always the brutally honest truth. No. I'm infertile.
I didn't always handle myself with grace, tact, confidence, strength. I fell apart time after time.
But I'm here with a baby and yet I still battle the demons. Who am I? What is my identity? I no longer work outside the home. So I lost that professional title I worked my ass off to get. I lost the infertile title to those who don't get the IF world.
A new sadness happens all too frequently. I grieve Bunny getting older and hitting milestones. This might sound completely ridiculous to the non-IF world. I reached out to my IF community and told them how I was feeling and a resounding majority felt the exact same way. About 5 of us in particular gave birth within a month of each other and we found we all are going through this same sadness.
You see, to someone who gets pregnant accidentally or someone who gets pregnant on the first try, they have trouble understanding how an infertile can watch that miracle baby (or babies) reach a new milestone and have it make them sad. For me, it's having a loud booming voice in my head telling me that this might be the last size 3 piece of clothing I put on her. Or the last time I hold her bottle for her. Or the last time she falls asleep with her perfect, tiny hand grasping only one finger. She could very well be my last four month old baby I ever hold. Every second is timeless. Every moment is priceless. Every single morning I wake up thinking about how much I love that miracle sleeping in her rock n play next to us. Our love for her and our fierce understanding of how incredibly lucky we are has no bounds.
Infertility doesn't end if and when you get a baby to keep. It is a haunting foe that never really loosens its grip. Some are able to ignore it better than others. For me I can't ignore it. That's not who I am. I battle the IF demons and I also battle other personal issues almost on a daily basis now. But that is for another day, another post (which who knows when I will have time to write, apologies in advance). Just know it is nothing to do with my marriage. That is one area that is happily solid.
To all of my infertile friends - you are still my family. I am still one of you and always will be here by your side. I will never forget the battle, the scars, the pain. I will never stop fighting nor will I ever leave you to suffer in silence. You are not alone. As I said in one fb status:
1 in 8, Mother or not, I'm still 1 in 8.