They don’t teach you about infertility in school.
Instead, they have you take an elective parenting class. They send you home with a glorified, anatomically correct, “Baby Alive.” The teacher ‘accidentally’ programs it to colicky so that you’re up all night and then gets mad when you ask to take it home again for extra credit. Because, even though all it did was imitate a babies cry the whole time you had it, this is how you were suppose to prepare for your future. This was your prelude to having children. This was how life was suppose to be. Except it’s not. Because, this isn’t real life. Real life is being part of a statistic.
1 in 8.
1 in 8 out of the 32 students in that class that have become part of the statistic also. So, while I was sitting in that class being taught how to care for a baby doll and how hard parenting would be, it was never taught how much harder not becoming a parent would be. It was not taught to me, or the other 3 students that are part of the 1 in 8 statistic.
Real life is invasive procedures, needles, blood work, doctors, tests, appointments, worries, fears, and tears. Real life is leaving that baby doll in class and never experiencing the joy of motherhood again.
Real life is friends and family who de-value your knowledge, because how could you possibly know to alternate Tylenol and Motrin, or what to do for a child who is congested. How would you have any recommendations on strollers or carseats, etc. It’s not like we’ve had time to research these things in our venture to have and prepare for children. It’s not like we are ever around children or the 7 in 8 people that do have children.
Real life is losing friends to others who have children because you can’t relate as well as those that do. So, not only can you not have kids, you can’t have friends.
When did real life become so complicated? So, intense and emotional? I know I’m stronger today because of my journey. It’s helped me connect with past acquaintances, meet new ones, and form bonds with new friends. For that I’m thankful. I’m thankful to not be in this alone, but I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. Even though I have these friends, a family of 1 in 8, a great support system of friends and family, and an amazing husband, it’s still the loneliest place on the planet. It’s still the hardest, most emotional, rollercoaster I’ve ever been on and I can’t wait until this part of the ride, this journey, this adventure, this phase, this childless time in my life is over. I know one day I’ll either have kids or I won’t, but I won’t hurt as much. I won’t be as angry, or sad, or jealous. I’ll just be me again. Me, not as part of a statistic of sadness, but one of overcomers. One of achievers, one of strength and bravery. Because with kids, or without…
I will get thru this. And so will you.