It took 18 cycles to get pregnant that first time, and when I finally did it was because I had been seeing a talented RE and I'd spent a lot of money on drugs and learned how to inject them into my midsection. I was initially pregnant with twins and after seeing a pair of fluttery heartbeats and celebrating our good fortune, one of the babies died three weeks later. Many months after that, Claire was born to two of the most grateful and thankful people to ever to walk this planet.
There. That wasn't so hard to say, was it?
It becomes easier to tell people in real life, the more distance I put between now and then. Then, and for a long time afterward, I seemed to be so defined by my experience with infertility. It slapped me in the face everywhere I looked. It taunted me and tortured every conscious moment. Even after I got pregnant and had a baby and then got pregnant again, it seemed to put a stinging spin on an endless series of mundane conversations and thoughts.
It's not that I was embarrassed by it, it just felt like the kind of topic that wasn't meant for dinner party conversation. It felt like something so intensely personal that it was inappropriate to talk about out loud. Talking about an inability to create life seemed just as depressing and awkward as talking about death: nobody knows what to say, the air gets thick and people shift their eyes upward. It was so private and felt so obviously public: the married couple with no baby.
As more time passes, I'm less defined by it and simply see it as one of the hard times in our life that we overcame. I'm defined today by different experiences and circumstances. Infertility, with all of its labels and notions and stigma, is something that I went through a long time ago. It's not who I am any more and it doesn't color my daily thoughts. It's not holding me back or ruining my life or making me cry every night. Not any more and probably not ever again. It is such a relief to know this truth.
After almost five years, I am over it. I'm over the feelings of failure and guilt and depression and frustration. I'll always be sensitive on the topic but I'm just DONE feeling negatively about it. I am not defined by this shitty THING any more. I even feel mildy triumphant on the topic these days: I beat it and kicked it to the curb and even though it will always be a part of me, I WIN.
I can finally talk about it in an even and neutral tone with zero risk of bursting into tears. The words flow effortlessly from my mouth, like I'm talking about my favorite recipe for pasta. If you had told me in 2006 that I'd be talking this way, I would have smacked you.
The reason I wrote all of this, beside wanting to talk about it for advocacy and awareness reasons, was to say that if anyone ever wants to talk about pasta, now or many years from now, I'm here if you need someone to listen.
There. Something positive that came from something negative. That wasn't so hard to do, was it?