For two years my life was consumed by ovulation tracking, mucous monitoring, blood tests, ultrasounds, hormones and planned intercourse.
I had no control over the final outcome, yet it was controlling every aspect of my life. Eventually, I became unrecognisable … a scared, broken version of my former self. I withdrew from the people who loved me most, and I felt anger towards people I had never met. But I disliked myself the most.
Infertility made me inadequate. I’ll never forget the moment I found out I was infertile. I knew it was coming, so I wasn’t surprised or shocked. But I immediately felt flawed. Look up ‘infertile’ in the dictionary and you will find words such as ‘barren’, ‘childless’ and ‘unfruitful’. There was no denying or sugar coating it, I had failed. No matter how long I persisted or how hard I worked for it, I had no control and I wasn’t enough. Infertility had won, and I had lost.
Infertility made me lonely. I needed someone to tell me it was going to be okay, that this wasn’t fair and that life is cruel sometimes. But no one had the words that I needed to hear. Instead, they told me ‘it will happen when the time is right’ and to ‘relax and stop trying so hard’. I slowly surrendered to the idea that no one could relate to my suffering. And although I sat waiting at the fertility specialist in a room full of other infertile women, I had never felt more alone.
Infertility made me a bitch. At some point in this process, the constant disappointment took its toll and I got angry. I was sick of hearing people complaining about being pregnant. I was tired of seeing baby bumps everywhere I looked. The world was against me and was constantly reminding me just how ‘childless’ I was. Everyone else had what I wanted but couldn’t have, and I was pissed off. I didn’t want to be a grown up anymore, I wanted to throw a tantrum and stomp my feet until I got what I wanted. I knew I was being ridiculous, but I couldn’t help myself. I had turned into a person I didn’t like, and I hated that infertility had made me that way.
But ultimately, infertility made me, me. I look back now with tears streaming down my face and I don’t recognise that person, but I want to give her a hug and tell her that everything will be okay. Because in the end, it was.
Inadequacy made me a fighter, loneliness made me stronger, and being a bitch made me survive. That ugly word no longer defines me, but it helped shape the person that I am today. And she is happy. Infertility is by far the hardest thing I have ever experienced, but it is my story, and I will be forever grateful.