I’ve been exploring a few thoughts about life and and infertility lately. Looking back and realising a few uncomfortable truths. Although even though they are uncomforatble I am getting comfortable with them…..becasue they are my truths.

I’ve always wanted to be a mom, there was never any doubt in my mind. My cousin has decided that he doesn’t want to have kids, he may change his mind later……but I have never had these thoughts or doubts, its always been a yes for me, always. When we first went off the pill we weren’t actively trying to fall pregnant, we had a very relaxed attitude to it all. We were just leaving it to chance and I was full of dreams of cuddly cute babies.

When I look back at that time, there really was no way we could afford a baby. We were living in our first house which was tiny, it really had no space for a baby. I also remember that in those days I would allow myself R60 of my salary to spend on myself. Te rest went to debit orders. Things were really tight. I’d treat myself to a movie or some bubble bath, whatever I felt was appropriate.

So why did we carry on trying……Well if I think of it now we didn’t feel that we had a choice. I had my first laparoscope towards the end of that year and I was told that my endometriosis was very bad and I needed to fall pregnant as soon as I could. I was 25, if I look back at my 25 year old self now I really feel I had some growing up to do. I should have been living life, focusing on other things, but I was focusing on getting pregnant because of my diagnosis. I felt very sorry for myself, and the main reaction I got from everyone was….”you are still young it will happen”. On top of all of this my mother-in-law was sick with cancer, which I think fueled my husbands need for a child as well. I will never forget the day she died, we hugged, and one of the first things he said was “She’ll never get to see our baby” It broke my heart.

Honestly, we also did not comprehend what parenthood really meant. Our outlook was very fluffy. We dreamt of cute little babies, sleepless nights never came into our mind. I didn’t have the maturity at that stage to stop smoking and cut down on alcohol. We carried on with our party lifestyle and didn’t give it another thought. While still hoping it would work. I suppose it does happen that way for some people and so I didn’t give it another thought.

When nothing was happening, I decided to get a second opinion. We then discovered that my FSH was very high, and once again the advice from the FS was to get pregnant as soon as we could. The clock was ticking louder now and after our first failed IVF the Donor egg discussion started. Desperation and shock set in and we were left in a very difficult space after our second IVF failed. And still the reaction from everyone was, “you are still young, it will happen” Youth means nothing when you are facing Premature Ovarian Failure and I was very frustrated that noone could see that. I felt the pressure of my diagnosis and never did I stop to think, am I really ready to have a baby? I wonder if we would have given this question more thought if we didn’t feel the clock ticking and our time running out.

And so we went donor…and by this time everyone else was starting to have thier babies, bringing on a new kind of pressure and longing. It all becomes emphasised……”you cant have children”, “why us”, “noone understands” All of this ringing in my ears all of the time, and the anger getting deeper and deeper. The frustration of not being understood. And I think by now we were probably ready to be parents, but it was too late for me. The dream of falling pregnant naturally was over, and now the dream of having my own genetic child too. People who had been around for a while finally started to understand. “You are still young” changed to “you can always adopt”, still not an empathetic response, but what can you expect.

The point I am trying to make;

I realise how infertility threw us into a situation that we weren’t really ready for. We weren’t mature enough for parenthood in the first couple of years. And by the time we were, it was too late. In saying this I am not saying that I am glad that the IVF’s didn’t work. If they had we would have had to mature a little faster and deal with the changes in our lives. Time has not been on our side and the added desperation and panic from my diagnosis didn’t help us to just live.

And so I ask myself, how much living in the moment am I doing now. I don’t want infertility to rule my life, I don’t want to live in limbo until we get the call. I don’t want to be consumed by the where, when and how. But its dam hard isn’t it, because that longing is still there, and I feel it deeper and deeper everytime someone close to me falls pregnant.

I cam across a quote today that really says it all;

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell
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