Because I can't count, this is actually my 101st post. But, posting 100 times deserves a shout out - so we'll just pretend that THIS one is the 100th.
There are a few things that are different from when I started this journal. An obvious one is that I'm pregnant - something I truly thought would never happen. I admit, I am a woman of little faith. But I'm different in many other, perhaps less obvious or tangible ways.
For one, when I meet a woman of childbearing age, I no longer assume that she has children. I don't ask her if she has kids or when she's going to start a family. For all I know she has been trying to start a family for a year, or two, or like my friend Lori, eight, long years. Bringing up the topic of babies and kids hurts and is not fun to talk casually about. When I meet a woman who is past childbearing age, with no children, I no longer assume that she didn't want them. I will tread lightly, because if she tried for many years with no pink lines to show, she probably still carries loads of grief and pain. I will downplay my own pregnancy.
And even though I am extremely blessed to be expecting, I am different than other moms-to-be. My path was wrought with heartache, fear, frustration ,depression, and sadness beyond comprehension. I didn't become pregnant on a whim. It was something I deliberately sought out and fought for. Was desperate for. Agonized over. It was not easy. It was painful work indeed. Instead of picking out paint chips for the nursery, I pray every night that God will keep this baby safe and that I'll get to hold her in my arms for real one day.
One thing that is not different is that I'm still an infertile. It's like being a survivor of a horrible illness. You're afflicted, you fight the battle, never knowing if you'll win or lose. I'll never be like fertiles who have no concept of what its like to be disappointed month after month after month. And even though I may have "won" this battle - I'll always think in terms of an infertile...will this baby make it? Will I have something to rejoice over, or something to lament? I'm always waiting for the other shoe to drop.
This experience so far has definitely changed me. The stories I've read of other women who have gone through far more difficult journeys or have just begun, are truly life-changing. They haunt me. They lift me up. They have become this sea of individuals joined together with a common experience that no one else can comprehend or understand.
The second 100 entries in my journal will be different than the first. Instead of complaining about needles and hormones, medical bills and humiliating procedures, it will be filled with gripes and moans about pregnancy and parenting. But it will be ever tempered with the lessons and effects of being a surviving infertile.
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