I wasn't sure I was going to post on infertility or not this week. It's a tough subject for me, and I'm finding myself in an odd spot, emotionally speaking, right now.
This year, the topic is mythbusting: what myth about infertility isn't true? And I think my myth to bust is that once you have a child, your infertility journey is behind you - that it's no longer painful, and that you're no longer infertile.
Sitting with Acorn getting him wound down for bed last night, I was reminded of how blessed we are. Where did this amazingly cute, funny, stubborn, happy little boy come from? Five years of trying to get pregnant, followed by the last 3 years of medical drama, and yet here we are, with Acorn thriving, and Leaf on the way, and apparently thriving as well.
As I mentioned last year, having a baby doesn't undo the past though - doesn't change that infertility label. Just as Acorn coming home didn't make him magically into a kid who'd never seen the inside of the NICU, and just as having his trach out won't make him have never had it, infertility is something you carry with you forever.
Having a baby (or even 2) doesn't change the emotional strain. It doesn't change the immediate reaction to some of the dumb things people say. It doesn't eliminate the gut reaction to some situations that makes you think, "wait, so people like that just happen to get pregnant and treat their kids like yesterday's garbage, but we had to go through all this?" It doesn't change the worry about whether or not you might have another child - no matter how many children you have, the question of whether there will be another, and what you'll have to do to create that child will always be in the back of your mind.
Having a child makes baby showers a little easier - but not much. I've skipped 3 in the last 3 years because I just can't do it.
Having a baby means instead of bleeding to death from a thousand cuts, I've got some painful scars, a lot of healing cuts that get ripped open again from time to time, and a few gaping wounds still to be patched up. It still hurts like hell though,
RESOLVE offers this page for basic understanding of infertility: http://www.resolve.org/infertility101
National Infertility Awareness Week® (NIAW): http://www.resolve.org/takecharge