I entered the blogging world as an infertility blogger. I
didn’t realize how huge the online infertility community was until I joined it
myself. Right from the start, I was different from many of the other bloggers
in that space because I was blogging about my inability to get pregnant while
simultaneously holding my sleeping six-month-old.
We were heading into the familiar unknown of trying for a second
child, and I had a lot to say about it—about our future journey towards Baby
No. 2 and about our past journey through the treatments and emotional roller-coasters
that brought us our daughter. But the more I wrote, the more I realized that
infertility wasn’t just something in my past or future. It was me. Even with
the presence of my daughter and the absence of treatments, I was infertile. And
even now, having given birth to three children in three years, I know that I’m
There’s guilt. That survivor’s guilt that I know isn’t necessary but is still very real.
It doesn’t go away when you have kids. I think it will be
with me forever. Because it’s such a huge part of my story. And because it’s
changed me—in good ways and bad, too, I suppose. Because if my husband and I
decide we want another child, it’s much more complicated than just going off the pill. And because, those are my people.
That online blogging community I talked about earlier? They didn’t push me away
or minimize my journey just because I’d already had success. They have embraced
me and loved me well, from all corners of the globe. And I do my best to do the
same for them. Plus, being so out there about my infertility has brought lots
of non-blogging infertile women into my life as well—seeking support, advice
and information. I am surrounded by infertility, and I feel like it’s where I
need to be.
But I’ll admit that it feels sticky sometimes. Every time I
leave a comment on a blog or send a Facebook message or punch out a text to an
infertile friend, I read it and imagine what it’s going to be like for her to
receive these words from the mother of three children when she herself has
none. Do my words sound trite? Am I too far removed from the intense agony of
infertility? Who am I to speak into her pain when my current struggles are the
exact things she is longing for?
There’s guilt. That survivor’s guilt that I know isn’t necessary
but is still very real. And there’s fear because I’ve seen nightmares become
reality for those around me—miscarriages, sick babies, premature babies,
scary diagnoses, crushed dreams, even death. And I know that it could be
That’s the hard stuff. But there’s also something really
wonderful about being a fertile infertile. I’ve been to a couple of baby
showers now for women I’ve met in the infertility world. It’s a beautiful thing—celebrating those moms and the babies they’re carrying. And as I sit there
and watch them open up packages and hold up cute little onesies, my thoughts
are not about those gifts but rather about the battle those women have fought
to get there. And when I see the birth announcement pop up on Facebook, I know
that look in her eyes, a look that says “finally” and shouts a million
thank-yous to Heaven. And when, after years of wanting to stay up all night
with a sleepless baby, she’s exhausted and tearful from living that
dream-come-true, I get how complex those emotions can be. Because now she’s a
fertile infertile too. And it’s a strange place to be—strange and hard and oh
so glorious. And hard.