Oh, how I grieve for you. I spent a lot of time in denial. I was isolated. I spent a lot of time feeling angry. I was angry at you for leaving, and angry at my friends who frolicked in the knowledge their fertility was still with them. I spent a lot of time feeling sad. I was sad I couldn’t be where I wanted to be in my life plan. I am working on accepting. Not everybody who is grieving reaches acceptance. I hope I can. I want to reach a place where I can be thankful for the time we had.
There are two things I am grieving. It only occurred to me recently, and I can’t believe it has taken this long to realise that the grief of infertility is two-fold. I grieve for the child we have yet to conceive, and the possible ones that never managed to hold on to even be validated with a pregnancy test. I have known this throughout the journey, but what suddenly became clear to me, is that I grieve for my lost fertility.
I have found it difficult to accept that we are not fertile or not very fertile anyway. I’m starting out on the road to recovering from that, hence my last post titled ‘Accepting’. I found it humiliating to go from someone in the fertile gang, to being cast out in the dark. Alone. Infertile. Slowly, but surely, as my eyes adjust to the dark and I accept where I am, I see you. I see that I am not alone.
With lost fertility, comes a feeling of failure. That something has left me before I’m ready to be done with it. Stupid me. Did I let it go? If feels typical that I have to endure this. The story of life seems to be a series of almosts. Nearly theres. If I’d just tried a bit harders. The reality is my life story is one of success. Sure, I could have got further with certain things at certain times, but this is a criticism that only I make. I know I do pretty well. But my lost fertility is my biggest almost. My biggest nearly there. My loudest “If I just try a bit harder.” Jeez, I’m really not good with feeling a sense of failure!
My family is almost complete. One more child, and I will happily hand over my fertility. I feel greedy. I feel like I’m pushing my luck asking for more, so I put in this aside: after this one, I won’t ask for anymore, I promise! I feel like we have had so many ‘nearly there’ pregnancies, only to start spotting heavily and then get my period. I have asked myself 21 times to try a little bit harder, but never tried hard enough (the proof is in the pudding as they say, and there has been no pudding).
I assumed I would have another child. I assumed it would be easy. Much time has been focused on this image I once believed to be concrete. Set in stone. That image involved me pregnant, naturally, with an average sibling age gap. I need to let this image go, and replace it with something more fluid. I need to be open to other possibilities. Whether we use it or not, I need to open my mind to the fact we may need help to become pregnant naturally, and that is OK. Not creating life the traditional way has no impact on us as parents. I need to open my mind to a sibling age gap of any length, and that too, is OK. I need to open my mind to the fact we may never overcome this whatever assistance we take, and that having another biological child is not going to happen. Ouch! I can feel a little tear pricking my left eye, and the burning in my throat. I’m not OK with that yet. But this is stage two.
Stage 1: Accept
Stage 2: Open your mind to different life paths.