“Sometimes it’s hard to see the rainbow when there’s been endless days of rain.” ― Christina Greer
I am well aware that life works in weird, unfair, and mysterious ways. I just never thought that it could be quite as unfair as I have come to realize. Nothing can prepare you for when life rushes through and knocks your feet out from under you.
Six months ago I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and was told my chances of being able to carry a healthy baby to term, let alone get pregnant at all, are very slim. My body isn’t ovulating. Like… at all. Which means that my ability to get pregnant, the one thing my body was supposed to be created to do, has passed and is not currently possible. I remember leaving that first doctors appointment after my diagnosis in tears. Actual sobbing, ugly, dry heaving tears. My doctor had promised we would try whatever we could to force my body to get where it needs to be, but I could see the look in his eye that said my chances were slim, even then.
I was heartbroken. Even that feels like it doesn’t do justice to the amount of pain I was feeling. Ever since I was little girl, I had been dreaming about the day I would have a family of my own. All of a sudden, that dream felt like it had been ripped away from me. No matter what anyone said, nothing helped. If anything, I got increasingly more angry the more I talked about it.
Look, I know that I am only 23. I get that. I’ve had more people than I can count tell me “You’re still young. You have plenty of time to get things straightened out.” While that may be true, unless you have gone through this, you don’t understand the kind of pain that comes with infertility.
Yes, I’m young, but I don’t want to spend the next 5 to 10 years doing fertility treatment after hormone injection after medication. I just don’t. And that’s my choice. I don’t want to put that kind of strain on my body. I’ve watched people I love go through fertility treatments, even when they don’t have underlying fertility issues, and it still didn’t work for them for years. I don’t want to get my hopes up that there is a SLIM, very slim, chance that I may get pregnant. But when I do, what then? Do I risk another miscarriage? I don’t even want to think about that.
Stop telling me that I have plenty of time, because I don’t. I am not blessed to have found this out at a young age so that I have time to correct it. This is not a blessing, it’s a curse. I am at the age where everyone is starting to get married and start their families. I watch all of my friends and family announce their pregnancies and reveal the gender of their babies and I am so so unbelievably happy for them. But it never fails that after the happiness has passed, I start to cry. Because, damn it, I want to feel that kind of joy. I want to feel the excitement that comes with finding out you are pregnant and NOT having to worry if you’re going to carry this baby past the first trimester.
I do not want pity, though. And I do not want people to be afraid to share their good news with me. I am HAPPY for you. My heart fills with unbelievable joy when my friends tell me they are expecting. Because, WOW. A baby! That’s incredible! Your whole life is going to change in unbelievable ways and I can not wait to watch that happen.
I’ve had so many people start to talk to me about their pregnancy, or how they are trying for a baby, or how irritated they are with their children, and every time, the same thing happens. There is this moment of panic where they look at me and they think, “fuck. I shouldn’t be talking to her about this.” Please. Do not do that. I want to share in your joy. I want to be excited with you. And even though a piece of my heart breaks, I will dance and celebrate with you. Do not hold back your joy of bringing a life into this world just because you are afraid of how it will make me feel.
I’ve spent the last six months trying to accept that this is my life. Every doctors appointment that I leave in tears, I sit in the car and pray for a few minutes that God will show me what I’m supposed to be doing. Why was this life meant for me? Surely, He has some sort of plan.
I’m still trying to figure out where I go from here. I have a lot of decisions to make now, and none of them are going to be easy. But I am more hopeful now than I was six months ago.
If you want to help someone going through infertility, miscarriage, or infant loss, do NOT tell them that this is part of God’s plan, do NOT tell them that life is unfair, and do NOT tell them that “things will work out eventually.” Fuck that. That is not helpful. That makes us feel like shit. Don’t say it.
And please, do not remind me how young I am. Stop telling me I have plenty of time. I don’t. If anything, I feel like I’m running out of it.