Trade?

July 20, 2008

Writing the Fitter Happier post, I thought of the following question and decided to pull it out into a separate post:

Would I trade the past six and a half years of infertility heartache for a kindergarten-age child?

The answer: Of course. As much as I value the wisdom that this experience has brought me, just as I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, I would happily un-wish it on myself. I hate it. I reflect on the time before I started TTC and recall being carefree and blissful; that is a whitewashing of the truth, but infertility has certainly been a burden on my soul.

At the same time, though, I have to stop and appreciate the good things infertility has given me.

  • Interactions with amazing people, both those dealing with their own infertility and those who have sought to help me with mine.
  • No more anxiety when getting injections, even from myself. A doctor once told me that he has never in his career seen a patient so calm when he stuck a needle in their eyelid.
  • Greater understanding of my body.
  • Awareness of an underlying sub-clinical thyroid condition which is not problematic now but may become an issue in the future.
  • Much more empathy than I had before for everyone who experiences infertility, pregnancy loss, loss of a child, etc.
  • The end to my delusion that I have control over what happens in my life. The Yiddish proverb, “We plan; God laughs” makes so much more sense now.

That’s all I have for now. I will keep trying to add to the list of infertility’s gifts at the same time as I pursue my main goal of That Elusive Baby.

If anyone would like to share some gifts that infertility has bestowed, feel free to comment. You can even suggest sarcastic gifts, such as:

  • A focus for my insomnia.
  • A source of topics to read about on the internet when I am awake at 4 a.m.
  • Urges to scowl at babies on the street.
  • Crying fits after spending time with my friends’ children.
  • Resentment for everyone who gets pregnant on the first try.
  • Double resentment for everyone who gets pregnant without trying.
  • A use for the extra $30,000 burning a hole in my pocket.

The sarcastic list is a lot easier than the earnest list.

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One Response to “Trade?”

  1. Star Says:

    I understand why you would trade your experience for a child: IF sucks, there’s no way around it. I think that having been through it and also getting the family you want would be the best of both worlds. You get the character-building aspects (especially the empathy, which is key), but can let go of most of the bitterness and anger. Since you already have the former, I hope you get the latter very soon.


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