My relationship with infertility is a tumultuous one. Difficult as my road to motherhood was, in the scheme of things, it was relatively short. Six months of trying on our own, seven months of IUIs and success after one round of IVF.
Throughout this struggle to conceive, I, sadly, encountered people that dismissed my struggles because of this brevity- comparing my “short” journey to their own longer ones. But I don’t believe in ranking people’s challenges–whether it comes to creating a family or otherwise. Whether you struggle with infertility for seven months or seven years, it is an impossible pain to want to create a life and, for whatever reason, struggle to do so. But boy, the fight is so worth it.
For me, trying to conceive temporarily changed me: it made me selfish, jealous and irritable when it came to topics surrounding motherhood and children. It tested my strength, my patience, and my marriage. It made me doubt if I had it in me to continue trying to create my family. While trying to conceive temporarily changed me, it ultimately made me a stronger person. My infertility humbled me, no doubt about it. It squashed the myth that I can control everything if I try hard enough. Completely. Which in some ways, is freeing for a control freak like myself. It made me more sympathetic to other women. Not because we all are going through this same struggle, but because I’m more aware that struggles, big and small, are unfortunately prevalent.
I wish I had been more open during my first shot at trying to conceive, but it was too emotionally paralyzing at the time. Nowadays, I find that sharing my journey is immensely cathartic and encouraging, and I find both strength in comfort in how many other women (and men) share my experiences.