I can never ever forget where I came from that got me to this point.

Jealously that almost ruined my best friendship.

Anger and bitterness that drove people away.

Friendships lost because the hole in my heart was too big to manage.

Nearly alienating my only sister because of one comment.

Almost losing my marriage and my own life to a medical treatment because I was so desperate for a baby.

If I didn’t have my archives to go back and read I may be able to think about the past five years differently. I know a lot of you had hope for me, you knew this would happen for me when I didn’t. There were even a few of you who sent me “I told you so’s.

There are also those of you who have come forward to admit that you stopped reading my words because you felt guilty for having what I longed for so badly.

There have also been some who have pegged all of your hopes on me. “IF YOU CAN DO IT SO CAN I!” or “WHY YOU AND NOT ME?”

And then there are those of you who have lost much longed for babies. I can’t even pretend to know the pain associated with such a loss, I only know the fear, and the fear on its own is crippling.

When a painful five year journey ends in an instant, and suddenly your entire life is about to change in less than 36 weeks? Five years doesn’t seem like such a long time.

I know I was guilty of turning my back on my friends who became pregnant when I couldn’t. I am so deeply remorseful for this. I was so busy licking my own wounds that I lashed out at those who didn’t deserve it. I can’t thank God enough for giving me the last year to realize my mistakes, rectify some of them and come to peace with what may or may not be in store for me.

I feel like a hypocrite writing the following words when I know that I was guilty of doing the same thing. As soon as I announced my pregnancy I could feel a two handed shove, the kind that whips your head back, shoving me out of the classification of infertile and into unfamiliar territory.

I’m not sure I can ever take my rightful place among the other side. It took way too much to get here to ever take this pregnancy for granted. I mingle with the other side. Make jokes about cravings and poop. But I can’t ever truly turn away from that other group, the one I was a part of for so long, the one I spoke up for and the one that supported me when I couldn’t support myself anymore. I feel as though when I look back at them, their backs are all turned to me. “Traitor” they mumble.

But…but! You guys! I get it! I know how you feel!”

They turn for a moment, look at my swollen belly, roll their eyes and turn away.

Maybe I know their mannerisms so well because I did the same thing for so long.

It’s lonely out here in the middle. There’s very few people out here with me. Or maybe there’s more of you, we just haven’t talked about it yet.

I don’t want to be the story someone tells to an infertile friend, “Well there’s this blog I read, she tried for years…surgery…hormone treatments…she had finally given up and then WHAMMY! it happened!

I know how it feels to be on the receiving end of that conversation. I know how to mechanically smile and nod in response, not letting on to how frustrated and hurt I am inside.

I am so deliriously happy that I sometimes forget that there are women around me at the grocery store or online that are giving me the same dirty look I’ve given so many women in the past. If I were to catch one of them and hear their story and try to relate I wouldn’t be taken as a credible source, simply because the stars aligned and I was fertile for one magic moment.

I don’t know why this has been so hard for me to write about. Maybe it’s because I can still feel the shove to my back while the sting is still on my hands from shoving others.

I don’t have an answer.

But I know I’ll never forget. Especially since I’ll never quite belong here or there.

Comments

  1. I look at people the same way just in a different situation, I’m not married and when I see those young girls who are getting engaged in college and planning the wedding for after graduation I roll my eyes. I’ve graduated from college twice and have 2 degrees and still no ring on my hand or even a relationship to put a ring on my hand. So even though that’s completely different than all the infertility after reading your post I realized that I make those same looks and get mad just for a different reason. It made me realize that I need to change that, Thank You!

  2. what you wrote is what i’ve felt, but unable to put into words. my husband and i were told we wouldnt have children without IVF, and even the chances of that working were very slim. after trying for 4 years, we got pregnant on our own. and now he’s 10 weeks old. it is so strange to be infertile one day and wake up the next only to find out there is LIFE growing inside.
    i still carry those infertile feelings in my heart. ive never forgotten what it felt like to not have my babe here. i find it hard to relate to moms with babies my age. it seems they like to complain about how little sleep they are getting, how “bad” their baby is, etc. or on the other side: brag about how good their baby is and trying to compare theirs to others’.
    i can not complain, nor do i want to compare and/or judge! i love every single minute of my new life. there’s no way id trade it for anything.
    and while everyone loves a sweet baby, it hurts the infertile friends, even though they tell me that my story has given them hope.
    it’s a rough spot to be in, that middle. if only it were as good as middle of an oreo 😉
    by the way; i occasionally read, but have never commented to congratulate you on your miracle growing inside of you!

  3. thank you for your honesty. that is why i love your blog- you’re always honest. i’m not in the middle yet, but i hope that one day i am. anyone who has experienced infertility that ends well knows how you’re feeling. those who were/are infertile will never forget the pain that is assocatied with it, and that’s what matters. infertility can teach us to be a little more compassionate and understanding and kind to those around us who experience suffering.

  4. Awwww, Casey.

    It has been nearly a year since Saeryn arrived to “cure” me of secondary infertility. And I am still “in the middle”.

    I will tell you this-I have never taken one single moment for granted. I have never forgotten how it hurt to be on the other side. I have never really stepped over that invisible line which separates then from now.

    And I pray, all the time, for my sisters in waiting.

    Big squishy hugs, Casey.

  5. thank you for this. I’m there in the middle with you. my miracle babies are going to be 6 next month. and while i haven’t yet gone back to the land of the infertile, one decision could send me back there in an instant. it’s the decision i’ve been putting off for a year now because i’m not sure i have it in me to do it again. i was there for 6 years the first time, and now 6 years later, it still seems like it was yesterday. once you’ve been there, you never forget.

  6. I have a question: I do not mean to belittle anyone’s pain at all, as I have never personally struggled with infertility or anything of the sort.
    But, it seems that, not all, but quite a few people have posted on here saying “I’m in the no man’s land too!” or, “I’ve had the same or similar experiences!” In my mind, that makes it seem like it’s not so much of a no man’s land. There are lots of other women (some hurting, some not) in the same place as you to support you.
    Obviously I have no idea what this is like, and I am sorry for your pain, I’d just like to understand a little bit better why you all think nobody else is like you when it seems that, though you are not a majority, you still have tons of loving sisters in the middle supporting you.

    Casey Reply:

    @Lila,

    I’ve been thinking about how to answer your question, and the best I comparison I can think of is there are just certain things that are hard to admit when society says you should feel a different way.

    Society says that anyone who gets pregnant after wanting and waiting for it so long should be thrilled, because yay! You’re pregnant.

    But that isn’t always true. And there are people waiting in line to tell you “how dare you be ungrateful when you’ve waited so long and there’s other women who can’t even get pregnant!”

    So many women stay quiet because they don’t want to be scolded for admitting to having a hard time when they got (supposedly) everything they wanted.

    I think the same is true for new parents.

    Babies are blessings, no lie. But sometimes being the mom to a new baby is hard. And it’s really hard to admit that sometimes because it seems as though everyone else has it together and there are so many people who want babies and how can one complain that it’s hard when there’s a hundred other women who would take your place in a heartbeat?

    Which is also why a lot of women don’t seek help for PPD.

    Does that answer your question?

    I still remember in Junior High I was absolutely sure I was the only girl who sweat in her armpits, that is until one friend (Elizabeth) had the guts to say “I hate sweating through the pits of my shirt.”

    I wasn’t the only one! But I wasn’t about to be the first to admit it.

    Since then I’ve been the first to admit a lot of things, because I know I’m not alone, I just need other women to be brave enough to speak up.

  7. @Proud,
    Proud,

    I too have felt as you do and have been tempted in the past to make the same arguments you have. Know that you are not alone. Although you may be berated for your comments, know you are not the only one to feel the way you do. I remember feeling as though I had to get those same feelings off my chest.

    I know the pain of being hopelessly infertile and going to an infertility support group online, (or a blog) only to have ladies sharing their efforts of trying to conceive and getting their damn “BFP!!!” I have been in your shoes (or ones the same style), I know what it feels like to HATE when women who had a hard time conceiving or couldn’t conceive a second or third child, lumped themselves into your personal hell. I know it feels like an insult to the pain you are going through. I clearly remember thinking, “They have a child, or at least are able to try, they have NO idea what true infertility feels like.”

    But…

    Like others have said, pain is pain. Yes, we are jealous of those who experience it only for a few years of “trying”, because we know we will never be relieved from it, but everyone who is suffering from infertility is hurting. I believe that some situations are “harder” or “sadder”, but they all suck and they all hurt. Nothing productive, including making yourself feel better, comes from comparing pain levels.

    I have come to a point in my life where I have been able to store my “infertility pain” in quiet place in my heart. Only rarely does it escape to that ripping and searing pain that I am too familiar with. I hope that you too can find a quiet place in your heart, and until you do, know that you are not alone. There are other hopelessly infertile women out there who understand your pain. I know it seems as if it will never let up, and you don’t give a crap how you make other people feel, because they can’t feel half as bad as you feel right now. I know that feeling.

    To everyone else, give her a break. I’m sure we’ve all had lows and hopefully we remember them well enough to know that we would all try desperately to make ourselves feel a little bit better. For “Proud” to express her frustration may be painful for others, but if it is one of her attempts to feel better, let it go. Don’t take it personally, she hurts. Hell, we all hurt.

  8. I totally get it. My battle with infertility was not as painful as yours. It was shorter too. But now, after I’ve managed 2 kids- the first after 2 years and fertility treatments and the second on it’s own, one of my best friends is struggling to get pregnant. It’s so hard. I know that she looks at me and my babies and wishes she had it. And she’s going to be a great Mom. I just wish there was MORE I could do to help her.

  9. I’m glad I came back. I don’t know what made me.

    I had stopped about a year ago, maybe 1 1/2, b/c of what you wrote here.

    I dont’ know what else to say, but I remember what you’re posting about today.

    I’m glad it’s over…

    I know it’s hard to say these things . I really do.

  10. @S, The truth is when friends let me in on the news early and way before they made their big announcement it always allowed me enough time to work through their announcement on my own before I had people running up to me (or avoiding me) at church or wherever squealing with excitement about the latest announcement.
    I know when I found out I told my family and closest friends first, then I quietly let the people know who would have a more difficult time with the news be it from infertility, sterility or miscarriage. Then I announced it to the general public about four weeks later.
    It’s worked for me. I just know it hurts the worst when I was the last person to know from close friends, or when I heard it from other people.
    Hope that helps. (And congratulations!)

  11. I actually understand this feeling.

    When I was pregnant with my son, I felt like a traitor to the infertile/adoption world. I was that person everyone hated because, unless you knew the truth (ten solid months of fertility treatments and a baby that almost wasn’t) it looked like we were “pregnant after adopting!”

    Ugh. Gag.

    Either people seem to be one or the other; you’re either fertile or you’re not. I’m not really either. Well, at least with medical intervention.

    When I was pregnant I would see and talk to people who would have that look. You know, “I would give anything to have what you have.”

    I always wanted to grab them and say, “I get it. I really get it. I don’t deserve this any more or less than you do and I wish I could share. I don’t want to make you hurt and I’m so sorry.”

    The biggest moment of feeling horrible about it was that I was one of three obviously pregnant women in the two table radius of a woman who cried into her taco salad after she looked at us.

    I don’t belong on either side. I feel like I have no right to talk about the pain of infertility and I have no right to pretend I’m a fertile. I wasn’t comfortable uttering an unkind word about my pregnancy despite being on so many meds, being so sick and almost losing my baby more times than I’d like to think. I was on bed-rest with a two year old in my house and couldn’t make a peep.

    I didn’t want to be THAT woman.

    But I’m not on either side.

    Infertility still hurts, even when you have two kids.

  12. @Proud,

    Proud, I am sorry for your circumstances. I truly am. But your line of thinking implies that any women who struggles for any period with the inability to conceive can not call herself infertile.

    I went to an infertility specialist because my dr told me i was infertile, after passing all the infertility tests and being told that my 34yo reproductive system looked like it belonged to a 50yo. So 3 yrs of nothing & 2 yrs of medical fertility voodoo (IVF) i became pregnant. (now I’m in the middle)

    But the definition of infertile is ‘unable to reproduce’. There is no timetable or additional circumstances attached to the word. No one group of women can own a word and exclude others from identifying with it as well.

    However, your emotions seem fresh and raw and heart-wrenching. I can not begin to know your pain, as I am now in the middle with Casey too. I can only pray that in time, you will find some solace and be able to see yourself beyond this affliction label. You are more than your diagnosis. You are a woman meant to do wonderful and glorious things in this life. (punch me now, but i believe it)

  13. I. love. you.

    bravo.

  14. I didn’t read all the comments. Sorry! But I just had to put in my two cents. Some of us never have the stars align when it comes to fertility. I’ve been married 11 years, every moment of those 11 years has been one when we thought it “might” work out. It hasn’t.

    But, I have SEVEN kids. We adopted seven of the most wonderful kids on the planet. This isn’t for everyone, I know that. I wasn’t brave enough to try the IVF, the Lupron, the endoscopy. We said “screw it” and went out and waited for someone else to make the tough choice that would ultimately bless us.

    My point in saying this is not to discourage anyone from getting pregnant through any of the aforementioned means, it’s all up to you how you want to proceed. I’m just saying that sometimes you have to end the misery for yourself by finding an alternative path. You didn’t need to, I don’t begrudge you that for one second.

    We all find a way, and while the pain never goes away, it fades a little when you look at that baby, no matter how it got into your arms.

    CONGRATS!

  15. Nice job on a thoughtful, heart-felt, honest and hard post.

    I have a huge, painful lump in my throat just thinking this/ typing it but if I were pregnant ( Dear God…) that I would have to let that happy flag fly high. Your dream cam true. Relish that and don’t let misplaced guilt diminish any of it.

    I extend my most sincere, best wishes to your family. You are having a baby… A tiny little human being will join your family soon. Savor every moment.

  16. Casey, your heart is unbelievably tender and compassionate. So many would never admit to these feelings, but you do, and that is why people are drawn to your light and life. I can’t express my deep admiration of you adequately, but know that I think you’re the shiz, sweet friend. I heart you more than you could know.

  17. These kind of posts always choke me up.
    My medical history deems me infertile. I CANNOT get pregnant the old fashion way. I was beyond lucky (of course luck had nothing to do with it as it was all G-D) to become pregnant with my girls on my first round of IVF.
    I felt like a traitor to my IF sisters. I mean, my blog started off as an IF blog!
    And even while pregnant, I looked at other pg women with jealousy bec I had to go through so much just to become pg..
    And then.. I almost lost them at 6 months.
    And then they came at 30 weeks.
    And so I never had a normal pregnancy. I lost the joy of being that big old pg woman.
    I suffered from PTSD & PPD and didnt tell anyone because I was supposed to be over the moon- I mean, I finally had the children I always wanted. But it doesnt work that way.

    And now, 3 years later, and 2 additional rounds of ivf.. with one miscarriage… and I wonder.. am I still considered infertile?
    This really is the middle.
    I am not considered infertile to those who cannot have children.
    But by all means, I consider myself infertile. I cant have children when i WANT to have children.
    The right to choose is out of my hands.
    Do I know if I will ever become pg again? No.
    Do I hope I will? Of course.
    Does it feel like a punch to the gut EVERY.SINGLE.TIME that I see a pregnant woman? ALWAYS.
    But i think that women who become pg after dealing with infertility.. in any way, shape or form.. will always be in the middle.
    I think we should just all support each other no matter what. because it is a club that no one wants to be in.
    I am so. so. so happy for you.
    I really truly am.

  18. I still wonder what I am. Am I infertile? I have one child and twins on the way. But am I fertile? It’s a virtual impossibility for me to get pregnant without medical invention.
    It is a kind of limbo. I know there are plenty of friends of mine that I wish could join me in this limbo. And I still can’t entirely relate to women who don’t have to “work” for their pregnancies. And I’m still a little jealous that they just decided to have a baby one day and one or two months later, it just happens. No shots, no sperm in a cup, no bleeding bank account, and no worries about it working.
    But- that’s just life. It just happens to be different for everyone. It’s unfair, but it can also strengthen and improve us or make us ugly and bitter if we let it.

  19. I didn’t read all the comments. Sorry! But I just had to put in my two cents. Some of us never have the stars align when it comes to fertility. I’ve been married 11 years, every moment of those 11 years has been one when we thought it “might” work out. It hasn’t. But, I have SEVEN kids. We adopted seven of the most wonderful kids on the planet. This isn’t for everyone, I know that. I wasn’t brave enough to try the IVF, the Lupron, the endoscopy. We said “screw it” and went out and waited for someone else to make the tough choice that would ultimately bless us. My point in saying this is not to discourage anyone from getting pregnant through any of the aforementioned means, it’s all up to you how you want to proceed. I’m just saying that sometimes you have to end the misery for yourself by finding an alternative path. You didn’t need to, I don’t begrudge you that for one second. We all find a way, and while the pain never goes away, it fades a little when you look at that baby, no matter how it got into your arms. CONGRATS!

  20. as someone waaay on the other side (we celebrate sterility!), i know how much you ached for this and i am familiar with the hurt …so i, for one, didn’t turn my back, but was honestly happy for you.

    enjoy your happily ever after–you are living it right now, gurrrrrl!

    xoxo

  21. Casey- oh I know exactly how you feel. We dealt with only 18 months of infertility before finally conceiving Sarah. Now it has been 3 years… 3 long years or hoping and praying. Finally in Nov. I got confirmation I was pregnant….. two short weeks later I miscarried. This past month has been so hard for me. The pain is unreal and now I see women getting pregnant and announcing almost weekly and it stings. Yesterday a friend from HS said she was pregnant with #2, but then PM me saying she didn’t know I was online and had wanted to tell me herself…. well she could have told me first before announcing on FB.
    While I am so excited for my friends, I am bitter because I truly feel like they take it for granted. They have no idea what a miracle a baby really is.

    Fist you have less than 5% chance of actually getting pregnant in any given cycle, and then 1 in 5 pregnancies end in a miscarriage…. Babies are miracles from God.

    I am so excited for you Casey, I have read about your posts over the past few years and know how much you wanted this. I hope I get to join you on the other side soon, but I wont be on the infertile side with my back to you… instead I’ll be rooting for you and knowing my turn will come too.

  22. oh and I want to add, I can’t get pregnant on my own… but luckily for me, clomid has worked.

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  1. […] was so much rejoicing and so much happiness, but as she writes so poignantly about infertility in this blog post – “I can never forget where I came from that got me to this […]