"Beyond the very extreme of fatigue and distress, we may find amounts of ease and power we never dreamed ourselves to own; sources of strength never taxed at all because we never push through the obstruction."After going out into the city with a fake pregnancy belly on Halloween, it definitely confirmed that I can still make fun of my situation but no longer feel the need to shoot dagger eyes at every pregnant woman or every stroller that zooms by. Now I look at what brand the stroller is for god sakes. The graduation to a healthy pregnancy is slowly but surely moving me from "have not" to "have." In this rather unsettling but happy shift, I try my hardest to think of what comforting words I can say to those who are still in the "have not" section of infertility. What did I so desperately want from people who seemed to "have" what I wanted?
This was never more clear when a friend recently faced yet another mishap after years of IVF losses and even failure with a surrogate. After having decided to finally move to donor egg, her cycle was cancelled the day before retrieval because of a mishap with the donor. Somehow in my naivete, I had believed moving into the extreme sport of surrogacy and donor egg gave you a bit of a shield from bad luck and cluster-fucks. But it doesn't. There are still a world of things that can screw you even when working with other women's bodies.
So as my friend faces the same question we have all faced, "What do I do next?" I so desperately wanted to say some words of comfort that would really comfort. I want to be able to convey to her and anyone else out there that at some point the bad luck will end. At some point all this effort will get you to a solution. When I was struggling with each IVF, it was so easy for me to feel like I was wasting my time. It was so easy to feel like the bad luck would never end even when it ended for other people. I think back and I am not sure any fertile person ever said to me emphatically, "Keep trying." No one in the "haves" club ever said with confidence for me to continue, as I am sure most felt pain to watch me struggle. There was a lot of sympathy, but no rallying for the cause. I think it could have helped to hear once in a while from others a certain confidence that I should keep trying for my family, however it works out. To actually say those words to someone is very powerful.
I know I can't expect others to know how this all feels, but I do in fact know how it feels and I want to be able to say comforting and real words to those struggling through infertility. As the quotation above says, we don't know how much strength we have until we push through that obstruction. So I guess my message to those still trying hard for their baby is don't stop trying. I am saying to you that despite failure, don't stop. Keep finding ways to try, even if it pushes you to where you never thought you could go. Do not give up. Every single person going through infertility has this drive to break through obstructions - you live it everyday, you prove it everyday. So I just wanted to be a reminder of that.