I know what they'll say. They'll say, "See! You just needed to relax." or "I told you it would happen someday." or "Too bad I couldn't give you my own fertility!" or "I'm so glad you don't struggle with infertility anymore!" and so much more. Many will never understand, never see, and never know how wrong and hurtful these words are. We're some of the lucky ones. It only took 4 years, 3 miscarriages, depression, 107 hormone injections, one surgery, two procedures, over 100 suppositories, and several thousand dollars to get our baby. You might ask how I say that we're lucky. We're lucky because we get to have a baby. So many women don't. Even more go through multiple rounds of fertility treatments to get their baby.
We will always have infertility. It doesn't matter if we have all the children our hearts desire. Each of those children will take one surgery, 107 shots, two procedures, over 100 suppositories, and several thousand dollars. At least. If we're lucky.
Our baby doesn't erase years of loss, depression, hopelessness, pain, tears, and crying out to God. Our baby doesn't replace the babies that were lost years before. The twin that was lost, or our eight tiny embryos that just weren't strong enough to make it to our transfer and freezing. Our eight tiny babies. Each and every one of them. They were people. But with our infertility we just couldn't make them strong enough. It's bittersweet, our little one that is in me now. This baby had nine siblings that aren't here. Just like the three before them. This is infertility. There aren't blessings in infertility. There are blessings in spite of infertility.
What our baby does do is fill us with a love and joy and gratefulness that I never knew possible. When I look at that ultrasound my heart actually skips. For years I lived never knowing if I would ever have an ultrasound photo hanging on my fridge. If I would ever have a bump or see that coveted stretch mark on my belly, or if the baby clothes I bought for friends would ever hang in my own home. If life would ever grow inside of me. And against all odds, it does. I'm so in love I can hardly stand it. There will be hard days, I know. We've longed for them for years.
I will never be able to say enough of the blessing of science. I praise God every day that He gave people the knowledge and skill to design the technology it takes to remove my eggs from my body and fertilize them under a microscope. To grow our tiny people in a petri dish 104 miles away. To give them a better chance at thriving than they ever could have had inside of me, and then five days later putting them back, where we wait to see if the impossible [for me] has happened.
I feel like I'm trespassing here in the world of pregnant women. The world of fertility. I don't belong. I've stood on tiptoes for years, peering over the fence to see what it's like. I'm here, but my heart is still with my sisters. The ones left behind. The ones who have walked with me for years and still they wait. My sisters who are happier for me than anyone else could ever be, because they know the pain first hand. This post will hurt them. My pregnancy, my baby, my joy, it will hurt. It's a guilty kind of hurt (though it shouldn't be), because you can't understand why you're so happy for your friend, but so utterly broken for yourself. I know because I've been there, and while I have this precious one now, in many ways I will never leave. The baby in my belly, soon in my arms, will not dull the pain of the next pregnancy announcement or baby shower or birth. They will always remind me of my struggle. Past and future, because I know this struggle doesn't end. But to every single one of my babies, the one who made it and the ones who didn't; you were worth it.