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Once an Infertile, Always an Infertile

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a blog by Alec, May 19, 2011

I struggled over what to write this week until a phone call with JK earlier today. She mentioned that she saw another pregnant woman at her office today, and I could hear the vitriol in her voice.

During our infertility struggle, seeing a pregnant woman touched off a tailspin in JK that broke my heart to see. Having made it to the other side, I figured she would now be OK with seeing pregnant women.

I figured wrong.

In other writing, I've said that infertility rips a woman apart on the inside. And I don't mean her flesh. It's that other, harder to describe thing — the heart, the soul, chi, balance, yin/yang, anima — whatever you like.

If that thing is ripped apart by infertility, then it follows that there may be scarring.

Oh, some women break through infertility and never look back, as evidenced by the countless IF-turned-to-mommy bloggers. Maybe it's easier to forget.

But I notice JK still reading the IF bloggers, and then I hear the sickness in her voice over seeing a pregnant woman, and I realize that she cannot forget.

I am a Wannabe Dad, turned into a dad after a long odyssey. I've tried to take every sadness, every laugh, and every hurt of our journey and package them up for the Wannabe Dads that come after me. I believe I've healed. I don't hurt anymore, but I remember hurting.

So I had assumed it would be the same for my wife.

This is another lesson for Wannabe Dads, one that I've learned only today. Your wife may never get past the pain of being infertile. Even when your kids do finally arrive, the shadow of your struggle will remain.

Is it all bad? I think not. The memory of infertility will make you more appreciative of the chance you've been given. You'll be better moms and dads for it.

But I am saddened to think that my beloved JK may forever relive the pain of infertility. I hope the reality turns out otherwise, and the scars heal.

Wannabe Dads, please be prepared for this possibility. Strange as it seems, infertility may not end with the arrival of a baby.

As my rotator cuff will tell you, some scars remain for a lifetime.

Comments (1)

I feel for JK. I'm a mom, finally, and wouldn't change the past if I could. I love love love our child. But something inside me can't let go of pregnancy. Every time I see a new pregnant woman at work, or hear of a friend's news, it still kills me.

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