How to Know You’re Infertile: A Helpful Guide

BEST. BLOGGER. EVER. I realize I have been a little too serious and absolutely need to take some writing advice from this awesomeness. Humor here I come.

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chicken.

I’m a big fat chicken. Let’s back up…

Last night hubs and I were planning on attending this new Love and Loss Support group at our old church. It is a support group for couples dealing with loss of a baby, miscarriage, stillbirths, or infertility. My husbands parents sent us the flyer and thought it might be beneficial to us. I was excited at first about the opportunity to come together with other couples dealing with similar issues as we are, but when I got to thinking I pretty much over analyzed the whole thing and freaked myself about before ever getting there. Hence, why I am a chicken.

I felt like my “loss” would not be as big as other couples. I have never been pregnant or carried a baby full term to have it lost or have had a miscarriage or worse.

I felt like we were going to be the only ones suffering from infertility and people were going to judge that we didn’t really understand what loss was.

I was scared that we were going to be breaking up into groups- men and women- and I wouldn’t have my husband there for the support I need.

I was scared to hear sad, sad stories that may frighten me into not ever wanting kids. We forget that getting pregnant is really only the first tiny step. So much more comes after.

I was scared of being categorized.

I was willing to go if my husband was all into it, but he said he wanted to be there to support me and that he wanted to go if I wanted to. Ball in my court. Dang. I wanted him to be like, “Yes Rikki we are going. It will be good for us.” Since I didn’t get that I rationalized with myself all day. Going back and forth, back and forth. I finally decided I wasn’t really that into going… or so I think…

I really have felt stronger and better the last week or so. I feel like I have turned a corner and that each day is getting easier. I haven’t had the gut-punch feeling when I see a pregnant girl or hear an announcement. I haven’t felt that twinge of jealously when I hang around my friends and their kids. I am actually enjoying my childfree existence. I have been activity trying to be positive and participate in things that make me feel good. Writing this blog helps. Exercising and focusing that energy on my body and health helps. Not talking about infertility helps. Being outside helps. I even made it into the baby section at Nordstrom Rack yesterday to pick out some outfits for my new niece {this is a HUGE step people}. I couldn’t bring myself to buy anything, but it was a big step to just go look. In doing all these things I feel like I am well on my way to “recovery”.

If this support group would have fallen into my hands a month ago I would have been all over it. I almost felt that by going it would have set me backwards. I feel like I am doing things to manage my sadness in a positive way. I feel like hubs and I are getting on the right track with each other again. I didn’t want to go to this group and focus on sadness and what is not. I am past that {at the moment}. I know I could have possibly learned other ways to cope, I know my story may have helped another {maybe}, and another’s story may have helped me. I think I was being the judgey one by not giving it a chance or assuming it was going to go a certain way. I know I was trying to talk myself out of going the whole time out of fear… BUT at the moment I am happy {most of the time} where we are…. at least that is what I am telling myself so I don’t seem like such a chicken…

love and loss

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#100happydays

I have been seeing a lot of friends and fellow bloggers posting this #100HappyDays thing lately, so I decided to check it out. Needless to say I am starting today. I think this is a fantastic way to stay positive, thankful, and hopefully happier through this whole infertility mess.

So what is it?

We live in times when super-busy schedules have become something to boast about. While the speed of life increases, there is less and less time to enjoy the moment that you are in. The ability to appreciate the moment, the environment and yourself in it, is the base for the bridge towards long term happiness of any human being.  So what do you do? Every day submit a picture of what made you happy!  It can be anything from a meet-up with a friend to a very tasty cake in the nearby coffee place, from a feeling of being at home after a hard day, to a favor you did to a stranger.

#100happyday challenge is for you – not for anyone else.  It is not a happiness competition or a showing off contest. If you try to please/make others jealous via your pictures – you lose without even starting. Same goes for cheating.
I will be doing a blog post every week with the compellation of my #100happyday pics that I took during the week. You can also follow me on Instagram where I will be posting my 100days:: hairyago_rikki
I challenge you all to do your own #100happydays!
100happydays
Day 1: I am happy to be breathing. I rolled out of bed and took this picture. No makeup. I didn’t brush my teeth. I didn’t brush my hair. Just happy that I am able to get out of bed and take a deep breath… #100happydays
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the dream.

I have never put this down into words and I very rarely talk about it because I believe in the law of attraction and I am also a little superstitious. But here it is because I need to know what you believe…

When hubs and I first started our journey into baby making {about 3 years ago} I had a very vivid dream one night. This dream came to me when I started to figure out we might have a problem conceiving because it had been a year of trying with no success.

//I am walking through what seems like a field. It was a bit hilly with grass and some sparse trees. It is a sunny day maybe a couple cotton ball clouds in the sky. Along this field is a low brick or rock wall, kind of like a fence running along where I am walking. All of a sudden I stop and bend down to pick up a loose rock that looks out of place in the wall, but it turns into a brick. As I pick it up I see that the underside of the brick has a note carved into it. It says: You will never carry your own children. GOD.// That is all. That is the dream.

Freakkkkky right? I really don’t know what to make of this dream. Was this God really talking to me and trying to tell me something? Was God giving me the sign I had been praying for? Or is this the Devil trying to mess with me? Or my mind playing to tricks on me because I was very stressed out at the time about all things fertility? I am a Christian. I am a spiritual. I have talked to God a lot in my life, but God has not ever spoke to me in this way, if this is what it is. I don’t want to believe that this letter or note from God is true. I want to think it was just my dreams playing tricks on me, but a part of me feels that this really may be a sign. I have never stopped thinking about this dream. It is always there in the back of my mind, tapping me whenever we have a failed IUI or Aunt Flow makes her monthly visit.

So do I heed the warning of this dream and make preparations for having children in another way or do I keep on this path of trying to conceive my own baby in my own body? I am at a loss on this one. Is this truly a sign from God?

rock wall

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Today.

Today was the first day in a million years that I saw a pregnant girl and I wasn’t jealous of her. I actually found myself feeling thankful for my flat belly {ok let’s be honest it isn’t really flat and most of the time I might look questionably like I have a baby bump} But anyways, today at the supermarket when I saw her bump wobbling around about to pop, I felt fine, even great that I could sprint in and out of the store grabbing a couple of items without the possibility of a clean up on aisle 5.

I have been working hard on getting my body, mind, and soul back into shape and my work is paying off. One day at a time. Today was a good day.

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I’m Still Human.

It’s funny how people can make you feel less than human about not having children. Like it is a choice that I don’t have kids, or people assume I just don’t want kids because we have been married almost 4 years and don’t have any. Countless times I have had to say through clenched teeth ” no, no kids yet, but we want them.” I do hair for weddings and it seems like I have been getting the question a lot lately about having not having kids. {already society has an ideal of how life’s order should go. date, get engaged, get married, have babies.} What I really want to do is scream at them and say “well since you asked, we have been trying for almost 3 years with no success. I have gobbled countless meds, spread my legs to a handful of different doctors, been pricked with God knows how many needles and I am still here with no baby! Thanks for asking. Oh yeah. I suggest you start trying immediately because who knows how long it will take.”

I have been trying to put into words for months about how society has been making me feel about my “situation”. I could not pinpoint it until I read a couple of articles from fellow bloggers. Then it hit me. It’s perfect. What I am experiencing from society and even close friends is called the “Fertility Privilege”. Privilege is any societal advantage you hold because your skin color, your gender, your sexual identity, your able-bodiedness, your age, your class, your education, your language, or your religion are accepted and prioritized by dominant culture. Privilege means that there are benefits you enjoy – whether consciously or unconsciously, and that part’s really important – because of something about you that society values more than something else. Frequently these are things you were born with, or into.

So, that’s privilege. Now let’s talk about fertility privilege. Breeder privilege? I-can-get-knocked-up-and-carry-a-baby-to-term-and-successfully-push-it-out-of-my-vagina privilege? Or possibly I-can-knock-up-others-so-that-they-carry-and-successfully-deliever privilege? I can only express to you what it feels like to not be privileged in any of these categories. All around us commercials are telling us you aren’t complete until you get married, get a dog, have a baby, and then another. A constant stream of babies smiling and pooping fill my Facebook feed every minute. Friends and family make me feel like I have to have children to complete my life with my significant other. That just being happy in my marriage with our dog isn’t enough. I don’t want a baby to complete my family. I feel complete now. I want children to add to our family. To add to the joy and happiness we already posses with each other. It feels like the norm and the end all be all to happiness and value is baring a child- unless you are incapable of doing so, then those thoughts are what preoccupy your mind for most of the day.

So why are we making it the norm to put infertility on the backburner as if it is not a privilege to be able to birth a child? Why do we act like infertility doesn’t really exist and someday, yes someday, don’t worry you too will have a baby and be “normal”. People are really insensitive. Think about it… if you even had a few friends on Facebook who were severely disabled by missing limbs, you might think twice before you posted daily pics of your arms and how awesome and full of love and mystery and delight they are. You wouldn’t consistently ask that friend with no legs, “Hey did your limb grow back yet? Did you go to that great place and get a mani/pedi?” You might think twice if someone important to you had recently lost a spouse and you really wanted to post all your wedding pictures. Now I am not saying women should not be able to celebrate their children or pregnancies on an open podium, but I am trying to bring to light how things like this never really occur to us when it comes to infertility because fertility is an unexamined privilege.

So what should we do with unexamined privilege? We should examine it, to start with. We should take a look at what we’re putting out in the world and think about how it might effect others– those small, unconscious acts of verbal violence that we deal out without meaning to that make other people feel invisible, invalid, inhuman. We should not examine it and then say, “I have examined my privilege! Now stop being all disenfranchised at me! It’s making me uncomfortable!” We should continue to approach people with humility, empathy, and the firm understanding that we do not know what their experience is, just because we once had a brief moment of the same experience or we know someone who did.

So lets make a pact. Maybe we can all be a little more sensitive, a little more understanding, a little more aware.

Source: schrodingerscatbox {Thanks for being amazing.}

 

 

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