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Infertility's Lasting Impression
a blog by Shana Kurz, May 22, 2012
When I was going through fertility treatments, I had a friend’s bachelorette party one weekend. Leading up to the weekend there were a flurry of emails about our plans and excitement, but one email knocked the wind out of me. It was from one of my closest friends remarking how she couldn’t make the party because she was pregnant so “have a drink for me!”
How I wished I could sit home pregnant and not drink. I wanted to be in her shoes more than anything, and it was crippling to feel those words. It turned that weekend into another chore I had to endure because I wasn’t able to get pregnant. I would dream about a time when I couldn’t drink, or when I’m early in my pregnancy and drinking grape juice instead of wine because I didn’t want anyone to suspect I was pregnant yet. Wanting so badly to be on the inside of pregnancy jokes, like my friend’s, rather then offended.
I wanted to be just like my friend, pregnant and funny, with a twist of “wish I could drink.” But when I finally got pregnant, I couldn’t be that pregnant women, I had been through too much. I wasn’t naïve and cute. I had endured surgeries and fear. And then within 20 weeks of my pregnancy I became a high-risk patient because of pre-term labor. Not only did I need the help of many doctors to become pregnant, I also needed many doctors to stay pregnant, to deliver my twin boys — and then more doctors to help keep them alive.
But my infertility made me strong, a confident women who knows tough times. It made me compassionate when I talk with someone who is struggling. I may not know everyone else’s pain, but I understand pain. I don’t pity people, or think “poor soul." I think of all of the unique experiences, outpourings of love and support that will come their way. I learned to push through hard times, focus on what is important and enjoy life when it does go my way. I also have learned the feeling of peace that comes from good health for my family and me.
Infertility has changed the type of parent and person I have become and will continue to be. I didn’t dream about my son being a baseball star or learning to ski before his peers. I dreamt about my family, a baby in my arms. A happy baby because he has loving parents who spent years trying to have him. The experience of infertility stays a part of you, and can miraculously be called upon when you need perspective for yourself and others. I can still get mad and downright cranky, but I also know how to see my way through to the next moment with hope and determination, because I’ve overcome.