The Sisterhood of Infertility

You will never get pregnant again.

I froze. On stage, the Mary Kay speaker went on with her story about her fertility problems and her family’s decision to adopt. I mentally shook myself and refocused on her. Just because she had struggled didn’t mean I would.

You will never get pregnant again.

I glanced to my side, certain someone had whispered in my ear. But no, my “pink” sisters were enraptured with the speaker, oblivious to my sudden distress. Shaken, I tried to listen to her words again. She was talking about her repeated miscarriages now, and my heart trembled. She is you, don’t you see? You can’t keep a baby now. You’ll never be pregnant again, never feel the flutter of the first kick or the pleasant annoyance of feet in your ribs. Tears welled up in my eyes. I rested my head on my palm, trying to get the voice out of my head. It seemed to draw closer, and whispered, You will never get pregnant again.

I left the speech hardly able to hold the sobs back. Once I got to the bathroom,I couldn’t stop them. It was true, that voice. I’d gotten pregnant the first time hubby and I had done it with #1, and 21 months later I’d had two miscarriages back to back. One of them was a horrible waiting game of “when will it pass.” It shattered my heart and my spirit. I believed the voice whole-heartedly. I dwelled in the belief that my body, my mother vessel, was broken. The time I most loved, despite its trials, that time of blossoming and growing and creating – it was forever gone.

A year later, we decided to test the truth of that voice. I was terrified. As each month rolled around without those two blue lines, my heart broke just a little more. It was useless. I really was broken.

And then, just when I was ready to give up, we got pregnant.

Thankfully, the reality for me was that I believed in my fears. I wasn’t actually infertile, though for many their fears are also their reality. For me, the pain of losing those pregnancies was too much, and I believed my fears rather than risk that kind of pain again.

Today is a new day. Yesterday, I completed the final leg of my journey into egg donation. Hubby and I took a leap of faith and decided to give my eggs to a woman who either didn’t have them or had a problem with hers. After going through those terrible fearful months of feeling broken and then the joy of #2’s pregnancy, I realized that I wanted to be the missing piece for some other woman out there. All it takes is a memory, and I’m right back there. I found the baby cap someone knitted for the second miscarriage, not knowing. That pain is something that might heal, but will always remain. If there is something I can do to heal that in someone else, I will do it.

Yes, they are genetically my children. They are hers in every other way, though. She will carry them. She will feel their first kicks, hear their heartbeat for the first time, and experience their births. She is more their mother than I will ever be (though I will continue to love them as if they were mine, from a silent, invisible distance).

Yes, I’m also fully aware that I may never meet them. I’m ok with that. This mom and dad have moved heaven and earth for their baby. I have no qualms about the massive amount of love they already have for this child.

And yes, I was paid for it. Though the process wasn’t terribly uncomfortable or painful, I’ll be honest: my own pain of loss and the thought of the mother’s are what got me through it. If it had been all about the money, I wouldn’t do it again. Even small needles get annoying after a while, and bruises are not fun to stick through, and salt water shots burn like the dickens.

But I will. I will do it again. I’ll do it as many times as they let me.

Every woman, if she is able, should get to experience the joys, trials, and discomforts of pregnancy. I know what it feels like to think you are broken. To feel like you have entirely failed your feminine purpose. I am more than willing to give my eggs to a woman so she can overcome that feeling.

What’s more, I’m so inexpressibly grateful to her. She and her partner, whoever they may be, are giving life to a child when I won’t and shouldn’t. My husband and I can’t even think about pregnancy right now, though we would welcome it. In our present circumstances, it would be unwise, and we want to make sure that we can actually provide for all of our children. Plus, I am content with my little brood right now. This mom, though, is doing exactly what I cannot do. She is creating life. Those eggs I donated yesterday would never even have had a chance at feeling the sun on their face if it wasn’t for her choice. How can I not be thankful to her? My babies will live because she wanted them and had a place for them.

This isn’t a “pity me” post. It isn’t to brag about how great it is that I’m donating. I just want you to know, whoever you are, that I understand. And if it’s possible, I hope I can be the difference between you hearing that voice of fear and the sound of your baby’s cry. Maybe it won’t be me donating to you, but maybe someone who reads this will decide to donate, and maybe they will be your link to it all. Either way, I know your pain. I am so sorry you have to feel that way. I will do my best to change it.

 

#2 Birth Day

 

 

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2 thoughts on “The Sisterhood of Infertility

  1. What a wonderful thing you are doing. I am really sorry about your miscarriages. I didn’t know or I was in yet another ICU room. I like that you are really trying to understand this, WTG- you have been growing up and it is a blessing that I know you.

    • Thanks, Cheryl. I didn’t tell many people. It was too difficult to talk about at the time, and the reactions I got from many people weren’t exactly encouraging. 🙂 I’ve come to peace with it all, though. 🙂

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