You guys, in case you’ve forgotten, infertility really sucks. It’s changed me. It’s changed my personality. And sometimes, I don’t like those changes. At all.
In some ways, infertility has made me more compassionate and understanding. It’s made me realize that we all have things going on that may not necessarily be known, but that affect us. If someone is acting rude or absent minded or just seems a bit “off”, for the most part now I don’t take it personally and just realize that as I am going through an issue, he or she may also be facing something private. Infertility has helped me give people the benefit of the doubt.
In other ways, it’s really turned me into a one upping bitch (I hate that term but there is really no other way to describe it!). You see, at first I didn’t see the seriousness of my situation. I told a couple friends about my diagnosis, but I still had so much false hope that things would work out and everything would be fine. Just like many people who don’t have an intimate relationship with infertility, I thought, this is 2013 (at the time). There are so many advances in fertility treatments! I got this! I was so naive. I did to myself what so many people do to me now – minimized my situation.
Fast forward to almost three years of shots, scans, blood work, and procedures. I have come to realize that no, I don’t got this. I don’t got this at all. Nevertheless, like many other diseases, infertility can’t be seen, which leads many people to think I live a charmed life. I have a wonderful partner (soon to be husband!) and I have a good job. I have time to devote to hobbies. I look outwardly healthy. What in the world must I know about problems! My life is perfect! People feel very free to let me know this, and often!
And here is where the bitchiness comes in. At first, I would just kind of smile and say everyone has issues and no one lives a perfect life. The more time has passed however, the harder it has become to just leave it at that. I am tired of my problems being diminished. I’m tired of people thinking because I am single and childless that whatever I have going on in my life is not important. Being 36 years old, many people I know are parents. I have gotten to the point where it feels like parents are the only group of people for which it is socially acceptable to complain. People without kids, sorry! Your problems pale in comparison! I mean I get that parenting has got to be the toughest job second to none. People need to vent. I totally understand this. But sorry parents, you don’t have the monopoly on problems. Especially when you planned on having these children. (side rant: If a couple is not using any form or birth control and the woman falls pregnant, I consider that a planned pregnancy. I have a friend who was absolutely gob smacked when she found out she was pregnant earlier this year, despite the fact that she never used any form of birth control. No, that’s not how it works. Be surprised when you’re not using protection and you DON’T fall pregnant. That’s when you know you have an issue.)
And then the one upping starts. If someone starts complaining to me, about their children or about anything really, I feel the need to interject with some complaint of my own, just to show that actually no, my life is NOT perfect. Or if a friend who knows about my infertility complains about her shoe size going up after pregnancy, I feel the need to say well at least you have your child, I wouldn’t mind going up a shoe size or a dress size! Yes, that actually happened. It makes me feel absolutely monstrous. Who am I?!
I realized that I was turning into a self pitying monster when I started planning my wedding. I actually got to the point where even though this positive thing was going on I always felt the need to remind people of my infertility, as if to say I’m having a good time now but this boulder is still on my plate. Which it is, and it is something that is always with me. But why did I feel the need to MENTION it, and multiple times?! I couldn’t go on like that. It was awful!
Infertility was turning me into someone I didn’t like very much. Now, I am trying to find a balance. If someone asks me about having children or points out that I am getting a bit long in the tooth (thanks for noticing!), or how lucky I am that I don’t have any bratty kids, I am honest. I don’t go into specifics, but I do say I have some fertility issues and children may not be a possibility for me. However when people come to me with their own problems, I am keeping it about them. I have always been a person that people would come to when they need to vent, and I want to continue being that person. Of course I still have my moments of pity and I do stand up for myself more now than I used to, but I think that’s ok. I’ve realized that although I’m powerless to my diagnosis, I do have power over my own actions. Screw you infertility, although you are a complete asshole I don’t have to be one.
So to conclude – life is tough. Instead of not enjoying good moments because of my condition, I am trying to enjoy the good moments EVEN MORE. No one likes a one upper. Especially not a bitchy one 😉