Saturday, 23 August 2014

Gifts of Infertility: A series - #1 - We are not alone

I have been blogging here for almost four years. Not so long really, but I have actually been writing about infertility and pregnancy loss for a lot longer. In fact, I started posting about pregnancy loss, and the related infertility fears, back in 2002 - twelve years ago, several years after my journey in infertility began. In October 2003, I was forced to switch and start talking about living the rest of my life without children.

So for ten years, I’ve been thinking about living a No Kidding life. That’s enough time to have figured out some things. I certainly don’t have it right yet. I'm not 100% at peace, and I probably never will be. But let’s be honest, who is 100% at peace? Not most of my friends. And I'm pretty close.

The truth is I'm okay with where I am (employment issues excepted) in life. I refer to the benefits and gifts of infertility periodically. I've was going to list them all in one post. But why write one post when I can write ten. So this post is the start of a series - the 15 Gifts of Infertility. (Update: The series will go to 25!)

And the first is that, as a result of infertility, I know I'm not alone.  I've felt alone in the past, wondered if people understand me, if I am the only one who feels the way I feel. Then I experienced loss through ectopic pregnancy, grief, and infertility that brought more loss and grief. Initially I felt very alone when I went through all this. I wrote about it here. 

But now I know. However alone I might feel when surrounded by parents, kids, grandparents and grand-kids, I know I'm not alone. Infertility and loss made me feel terribly alone initially, but ultimately, the connections I have made with other women have reminded me that we are never alone. There are always others in the world who know how we feel, who understand what we go through, and who share our fears, our thoughts, our rages, and our joys.

And this knowledge applies to our infertility, but to other aspects of our lives too. If we’re not alone due to our childlessness, then it must follow that we’re not alone in other areas of our lives either. We just have to look for our people.

We are not alone. We are never alone. That is not a little thing.

16 comments:

  1. It ate my comment! Ah, well....I love this post. It really resonates with me today. We've had such a tough year, but so much good has come out of it, too. This post really made that fact click for me. So, thank you.

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  2. I could kiss you and scream simutaneously. I need to finish the draft of a post similar to this. Kiss you because you've helped me get over my writer's block. Scream because I'm no longer allowed to procrastinate. ;)

    Like you, infertility helped me realize that I'm not alone. I struggled with feeling so alone in the world years before infertility. What I learned from this experience is that it's always a matter of finding your tribe. I'm glad I found you along the way.

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    1. Cristy, you have plenty of time. I'm planning a bunch of these over the next few weeks. Maybe months even.

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  4. Yes, we are not alone, so true.

    I was thinking just the other day about my friend (she has two kids) and about all the new friends she made in the last 10 years. They all fall into the category:
    - with children
    - living in the same town or maximum 10 kilometers away.

    Then I thought of all the new friends that I made in the last years (and they come from New Zealand & California & New York & ....) and my heart smiled. Yes, this is the true gift of infertility. The horizont of my world has widened!

    xo

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  5. Stopping by from ICLW... I really love your perspective. It's so hard sometimes to find the silver linin in infertility, but the gift of community is definitely one of them! I've met so many wonderful women online who are also going through infertility, and even connected with a few people offline who I might never have connected with otherwise.

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  6. Ohhhh I LOVE this kind of list. Looking forward to reading your insights! :-) And yes, I felt so alone as well until I found you and many other ladies online. :-)

    P.S. UGH for anonymous troll!

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  7. I felt very alone as well... You are so right, the realization that we are never alone is incredibly important for being able to move on.

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  8. You are so right; we are not alone, and finding others who share this experience has been one of the great gifts I've received over the past 10-15 years as well. I have met others, both online & IRL, whose stories are uncannily similar to my own -- including one woman online who lost a baby girl on the exact same date as me.

    Just look at the two of us, from completely different corners of the globe, and yet both of us dealt with pregnancy loss, both of came to childless/free living in the early 2000s, but both of us didn't start blogging about it until some years later (almost four years for you, coming up to (yikes!) seven for me). What are the odds?? ;)

    Looking forward to reading more in this series. :)

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  9. I felt very alone until I found you all online :-)

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  10. I've been a silent reader to this point, but your Gifts of Infertility series has encouraged me to come out of the woodwork. Thanks so much for pointing out that there are great parts to this otherwise crappy journey. I really needed this series this week!
    ~Kinsey

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    1. I'm so glad you "came out of the woodwork!" You are very welcome here. It can be a very crappy journey at times, I agree. But with time you get to see the good things too.

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    2. Thanks so much! I never want to wish time away, but I'd also love for that time where I can feel content and happy to come around soon!

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  11. I am probably replying to this out of order (i'm having blog posts emailed to me now, which is great but i don't really read things in the right order now). I am really enjoying this series so far! It really reinforces a lot of the things and I know and frequently feel, but can forget on hard days.

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  12. I've been meaning to leave you a comment, but I very often read your blog on Feedly (a poor substitute for the now-defunct Google Reader) and it's not easy to navigate off of Feedly onto the actual webpage I'm reading. Anyway, I really appreciate your blog, and the honestly and thoughtfulness you put into it. As someone who is (relatively) young in the "no kidding" stage of her life, it's very helpful to be able to see and hear wise words from someone who's lived it and has thrived. I hope to do the same. Best wishes.

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  13. Tara, I share some of your frustrations with feedly. Thanks for your kind comments about my blog. I'm glad you said hello. A bonus of this post is meeting new readers!

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