Sometimes the strongest among us are the ones who smile through silent pain, cry behind closed doors, and fight battles nobody knows about.
It was a beautiful morning as I traveled down I-45 to an appointment I had been looking forward to for years. Traffic was crawling along the freeway, but my mind was racing a million miles a minute. I turned the radio off to reflect on the thoughts going through my head… Is the timing right? Is this what I’m suppose to be doing? Is our family complete? What if it ends up not working? What if we spend ALL of our money… ALL of our time… ALL of our energy… and still don’t get the baby we have dreamt about for so long?
As I pulled into the parking lot, my heart was nearly pounding out of my chest. The words Center of Reproductive Medicine shown clearly across the front of the building. Suddenly, EVERY emotion from four years ago came flooding back and I thought to myself, “Am I ready for this… AGAIN?”
It was just four years ago that I went through some of the most difficult treatments I could ever image. After a battery of tests, procedures, needles, surgeries, and prayers, I was blessed with a healthy baby girl. She’s such a perfect little miracle that we want so badly for her to become a big sister and enjoy the blessings that come from having a sibling.
One unfortunate fact about infertility is that it’s something that never goes away. For those diagnosed with infertility, it is something they will, in many cases, have to live with for the rest of their lives… Even AFTER they have a miracle baby.
Every baby announcement, every baby shower, every baby that cries, every baby that smiles, every baby… EVER, will remind them of their struggles.
As I sat alone in my car wondering if I could really go inside the building and do it all over again, I was suddenly overwhelmed with all of the things I’ve learned from infertility…
15 Things Infertility Taught Me
- LIFE’S NOT EASY . Truthfully, it can actually be really, really hard sometimes.
- THINGS DON’T ALWAYS GO AS PLANNED . In fact, they rarely do. So if plan A doesn’t succeed, we move on to plan B, or C, or D. Thankfully, there are a lot of letters in the alphabet, so we can just keep changing plans as needed.
- PATIENCE IS ESSENTIAL. An often difficult attribute to have, but a very special one that is needed… through ANY struggle me may go through.
- ADVERSITY CAN BRING US CLOSER TO THOSE WE LOVE . The most important things almost always involve the people around us.
- EVERY FAMILY IS DIFFERENT. Your family is perfect. There is no point in judging, making comparisons, or keeping up with the Joneses. Families are forever… focus on YOURS.
- YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT SOMEONE ELSE MAY BE GOING THROUGH . Although somebody may have a smile on their face, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t hurting on the inside… “Sometimes the strongest among us are the ones who smile through silent pain, cry behind closed doors, and fight battles nobody knows about.”
- BATHS HAVE THE POWER TO HEAL ALMOST EVERYTHING . Seriously… they really do.
- WHEN THINGS DON’T GO YOUR WAY, DO SOMETHING FUN . You deserve it. So when a test comes back negative, or another obstacle falls on your path, go get ice cream, go shopping, read a book… Do something YOU love.
- NEVER GIVE UP . There will be times that you’ll want to. There may be times that you do. It’s at these times that you pick yourself up and try again.
- BEING SAD IS OK . It’s healthy to have a good cry every now and then. Don’t let anybody tell you not to cry, or not to be sad – because it’s not just okay, it’s completely normal.
- CHOOSE HAPPINESS . After crying it out for a bit, pick yourself up and carry on with a smile… Life is BETTER when you’re smiling.
- BE GRATEFUL. Trials and hardships will always come our way, but the blessings tend to be proportionate to the obstacles we overcome.
- SET GOALS . When you work hard to achieve the things you want, they have greater importance in your life.
- EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON . Even though it may be a very long time before the reason becomes apparent.
- NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE . Never take NO for an answer. Don’t ever give up or lose faith in yourself. And remember that the best things in life are worth fighting for.