Day: July 26, 2012

On Infertility and Friendship

I was married in December of 2008, in a lovely ceremony in a historic chapel, surrounded by the people I love.

Standing by my side were five bridesmaids: old friends, cherished friends, childhood friends, best friends, family.

Between those five women, they currently have eight children, and one more on the way.

I am still trying.

And it hurts that I will never catch up.

I love these girls.  They are the people with whom I’ve grown up, learned, made mistakes, got into mischief, and experienced life.  They are the people I can count on through anything.

I have known my best friend since we were six years old.  We played Barbies together, and built forts in the woods together.  We got boy-crazy together (…well, she did; I had Coke-bottle glasses until I was fifteen, so it took me a bit longer.).  We dreamed together, graduated together, went off to separate colleges, fell in love, grieved losses, and in all that time managed to keep us together.

She was married just three months before I was, and we were each other’s maids-of-honor.  We have a close relationship to this day, and I know that we always will.

Six months after her wedding, she was pregnant.  I was thrilled, and expected that I’d be right behind her on the baby train.

I wasn’t.

I’m still not.

By the time her daughter was born in January of 2010, I was ready for my time to come.  By the time another great friend’s daughter was born in August of 2010, I was ready.  By the time another beautiful bridesmaid had her third child in December of 2010, I was ready.

By the time the last two of my bridesmaids came to me with their expectant news in 2011, I was beyond ready.

I was getting bitter.  With life, with my circumstances, but not with my friends.

Infertility has definitely had an impact on some of my relationships.

It’s a tough to pinpoint when exactly, but this journey – and life in general, I think – has caused some of my friendships to fray at the edges a bit.  The cloth is still intact and capable of standing the test of time, but we occasionally need to reestablish our boundaries to keep the integrity of the relationship.

Don’t misunderstand; I love these girls, and I love these children.  They are my nieces and nephews and godchildren.  I would do anything for any of them.

It’s a confusing and difficult thing to explain to people how this grief, this process, has changed me as a person, and thus changed the dynamic of some of my closest, most important relationships.

I think a big part of the occasional tension is just general getting-older-and-on-with-our-own-lives growing pains.

We have all started our adult lives with spouses and significant others, and moved to all corners of the state.  We all have jobs, and lives, and families, and in-laws, and vacations, and chores, and bills, and other relationships to manage.

Within all of that chaos, there are children.

For them.

Children take time, and effort, and pretty much every minute of your entire life from the time they are conceived.  I get that.  I get that my friends would have less time to talk to me about my life, let alone my sad and pathetic infertility, let alone manage any other friendships, because they have their own families to attend.

And this is where it gets hard, and a little depressing, to define:  Sometimes it feels like we don’t have anything in common any more, aside from the fact that we have history.

I know this isn’t entirely true.  These girls care about me.  I care about them.  We will always have bonds that transcend whatever life throws our way.

Our struggles bring us together and make us stronger.  …Even if they are hard to understand and relate to on occasion.

There has been more than one instance where I’ve had to back out of plans because of blood work/ultrasounds/insemination/other infertility drama, and it’s never easy to explain.

I know that I only feel that way because infertility has become so much of my daily life; I try not to let it define me, but there are some days that I feel like just that:  an Infertile.

And nothing else.

Yes, they all know what is going on with me, and they all understand.

Well…  In a way, they understand.

In the way that they want the best for me, and hope and pray that I will get what they all have, but not in a way where they’ve been through this.  Not in a way where they’ve known this kind of desperation, or loss, or grief, or all-encompassing, nauseating sadness.

…Not in a way that I would ever want any of them to know firsthand.

Now, on the flip side, I have other relationships that have been formed, renewed and strengthened due entirely to this infertility journey.

In that way, I feel fortunate.  I am able to relate to a whole new group of people, and I am able to share what I am going through with others who may not understand.

I can bring some enlightenment to the Fertile masses by sharing my story, and that’s something special, I think.

I have grown apart from some, and closer to others.

Wax and wane.

Sunshine and rain.

Life goes on, and we all go on with it.

I am thankful for the great friendships I have, and am thankful for all that they have endured.  I know that they will survive through this trial, and probably through many others as the years go by.

I may never be able to properly explain the impact infertility has had on my friendships.  I only hope that I can continue to count on this core group of ladies to support me in this, and guide me in whatever form of motherhood comes my way in the future.

Because it will.

And I will need them even more when it does.

Originally posted on Just Stop Trying and It Will Happen…:
I used to be funnier. I used to be happy.  All the time.  I was one of those… I used to laugh and smile and joke. I used to skip and jump in puddles and stop to smell the flowers. I used to be sweet.…

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A safe space where I discuss the racing thoughts in my head, personal struggles, and day-to-day activities while struggling with mental health and mood disorder issues. My personal goal is to reduce the stigma that comes with mental health and mood disorders, by talking more about it.