I am having a hard time with this label. To be a bit more specific, I have a hard time putting myself under this label when I know so many other people that have been through so much more and have suffered much longer than myself. Do I deserve to say that we're struggling with infertility? Have I earned my stripes?
When I write about our IF journey here, or talk about our situation with the 2 friends that know about it, sometimes I honestly feel like I'm talking about someone else’s life. I don't think of J and I as 'struggling with infertility', but we are. It's been a year, we've not conceived, I've been diagnosed with PCOS... It's like the first year struggles are hazing for the exclusive IF Club.
Maybe it is my denial that intellectually understands these concepts and is emotionally conscious of when they apply to other people, but cannot apply them to myself? It's not that I'm feeling above others and their suffering, but sometimes I feel guilty talking about my own strife when others have suffered so much more than me and J.
Those women who've gone years or even decades without ever conceiving, who have been able to conceive but had the heartbreak of not carrying their baby to term... those women have truly seen the suffering and heartbreak that I think most folks immediately attribute to IF, and that sometimes makes me feel like I've got not a problem in the world. That we haven't suffered enough to call what we are going through infertility. That we haven’t ‘earned our stripes’. I suppose there is a good and a bad side to that. It makes me appreciate that my situation could be more severe (knock on wood) and to be thankful for the things that I do have. On the flip side, am I doing myself damage to not acknowledge my own unique situation? Perhaps I am suffering from avoidance right along with infertility?
Don't get me wrong. This year has been HARD. It has been emotionally draining. It has forced to look at my life and evaluate everything in my world. My hopes have been up and been dashed more times than I can count. I've dealt with every aspect of the emotional spectrum. Joy at the start of this journey with the man I love, jealousy of what other have, shame that I haven't been able to give my husband what he deserves or the grandchild my mother so desires, disappointment at yet another late period/negative test/early period/ negative opks, etc, and probably the biggest for me is frustration - there isn't a damn thing I can do about any of it.
Most of what has gotten me through is my amazing husband and the equally wonderful women I have come to know and love on the internet. They get it. It does bring me comfort to know I'm not the only one out there that feels like this really cannot be my life I'm talking about.