On the Other Side of the Infertility Chasm
Hellllloooooo! Yes. Still here happily on the other side of the infertility chasm.
Won’t bore you with details, but the past several weeks have been busier than usual. A bit like drinking from a fire hydrant. Absorbing a great deal in all spheres of life. While I may be very behind on social media and blog reading, the women in our global sisterhood are never far from my thinking.
In fact, you’re a calming presence, a daily reminder that we’ve mastered the skills needed to face both change and challenges large and small — so thank you for that!
Very Well After Infertility
The latest examples of your wisdom, grit and wisdom are evident in this important new article recently published on Very Well
Some of you shared insights with author and health writer Rachel Gurevich about what goes into building a new life after infertility. I had a chance to participate in the information gathering and facilitate some of the answers and stories submitted. A consistent thread in the responses was the heart and strength required to recover from the trauma of failed IVF cycles. Also clearly conveyed were the emotional somersaults involved in coming to terms with lives different than ones we once envisioned. Among the lessons in the piece:
“Sometimes, people feel it’s a betrayal of their loss to be happy childfree after infertility. They (mistakenly) believe that to enjoy their life without children implies they didn’t ‘want’ them as much as they did. You can simultaneously enjoy your childfree life and mourn the life you once imagined. Both can be true.”
Yes. Then there’s the added difficulty in helping others understand that our children remain very much alive in our hearts. This idea is particularly confounding for those who didn’t walk in our shoes. After reading the Very Well article I was reminded of a few older blog posts — one in 2009 touched on “feeling disloyal after grieving — what a total kick in the head that was.” And then managing through guilt. More in this post from 2007 (10 years ago!): A New Childfree Chapter (Guilt Not Included). In it, I acknowledged that one of the biggest difficulties I faced was the fear:
“that by allowing myself to accept a childfree life that it would mean that I didn’t work hard enough for my embryos, that I didn’t want or love my children, that I had somehow failed them. That my children didn’t matter as much as someone else’s children.”
There’s No “Life After Infertility” Road Map
Because there’s no road map, I’m always happy to meet new bloggers like Lindsay who fearlessly forge new trails. A fellow Michigan native, she is as strong and sensitive as they come. She started her own support group when she couldn’t find one locally to help her following her IVF rounds. We had a chance to speak by phone recently as part of some new research and writing I’m doing.
Lindsay and many other inspiring women who volunteered their stories in recent weeks underscore that crossing the infertility chasm takes a special fortitude. Blazing new paths may not be what we set out to do, but we ARE doing it.
Welcome your thoughts and comments as always…