I am an infertility counselor, but I am also a woman that suffered from infertility and experienced five years of the most rigorous, up-to-date medical treatments available plus sprinkles of alternative medicine such as reproductive acupuncture and Maya abdominal massage.
You were conceived on Friday morning, February 22, 2013. The following Wednesday, your dad found out that his mother, your grandmother, had gone into a coma. The same day, you were transferred inside of my womb at 1:00pm.
Returning from the horrid 8-hour emergency room visit, I sleep deeply for several hours with pain meds in full effect; my body no longer under siege from violent contractions and the shocking loss of blood. I awake at 4 a.m. and make my way to the bathroom.
Anger is an expected part of the grief process. You feel vulnerable, helpless, and you draw your shield in an attempt to protect yourself. People often feel uncomfortable with the world “anger” or “grief” since the loss experienced can be relatively invisible to self and others, and therefore, treated as less legitimate.
Back in West Texas for the fourth year in a row, I am reminded of the roads I’ve traveled throughout my infertility journey. The desert appears to be the perfect metaphor for infertility – barren and unforgiving terrain, and so it’s with little surprise that I’ve found myself drawn to this land time and again.
“Never Give Up,” the spray painted words told me as I jogged around Lady Bird Johnson Lake and looked up at the old railroad bridge. At first consideration, that advice holds power, assuring you that one day you’ll get the prize, if you just work and work at it. I’m reminded of the movie Rudy, where a young man is determined to play football for The University of Notre Dame despite his mediocre grades, lack of finances, and small size. Rudy eventually pulls up his grades, and as expected, plays a game at Notre Dame. It’s inspiring stuff. There are a lot of life experiences that follow this narrative – persevere and you’ll be rewarded.
If you’re like me, infertility took over my life. It was all I thought out, dreamt about, planned for, spoke about, made exceptions for, ate for, stopped drinking for – you name it. Life became hinged on hypotheticals – What if we get pregnant after I accept this new position?
Junior year of college, I studied abroad the summer of 1994 with my favorite professor, Dr. Kenneth Lawrence. He bravely took a group of us young adults to various parts of Greece and Turkey to study religious art and architecture (i.e., Greek & Roman mythology).
I am an infertile woman. I am also a psychotherapist that specializes in infertility counseling and support. I wear my infertility like a badge of honor, but you must know – I didn’t start out that way. Five years in the trenches of fertility treatments expanded my infertility resume to an impressive length.