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Just an observation...I am a fertile and done with having babies...
and I get really jealous when I hear of others who are pregnant. Maybe you are jealous like I am because I know that this door is forever closed for me?
Just a thought...

What you wrote...so, so true. I am halfway into a pg from IVF and I am happy and relieved he is healthy but it doesn't take away the feelings of wanting more recognition (?) for my efforts, for all the shots I did locked in the bathroom and the scans and all those negative HPTs. My OB said that this pg was easy so far and I responded with "yeah but to get here was fucking hard." I don't know if we should forget how we got here, like you said it made us who we are today. And I won't forget those still walking...

I am not infertile. Even though I waited a little longer than the average couple, I got pregnant 'the natural' way. I spent my pregnancy being so happy and thankful. But then I had an extreemly difficult birth-experience and ended up spending weeks and weeks in the hospital. The only good thing - but also the most important thing - was that my baby was well and healthy.

I have struggled so hard to put the past behind me. To hide the fact that I still ache when people - even the ones close to me - get pregnant and give birth, and then take their child home with them just a few days later.

Reading your words to day ... they made me realize that even though I cannot share these feelings with those close to me, I have to share them with me. And with my fantastic husband.

Thank you ...

I've been wondering for a long time how I would feel, and I'm still not sure because we're still in the middle of things. But 2 weeks ago we learned/decided that we may be adopting the 4-year-old daughter of a relative who has been charged with child neglect and in 3 months has done nothing to rectify her situation. It's a very mixed-feeling situation for everyone in my family because we all want the mother to be happy and healthy, but the needs of the little girl are paramount. Not many involved are excited for the opportunity it grants us (unlike our friends, many of whom have wept for joy).

Last Saturday we were out at our regular bar and grill, and a woman I know had brought her 3 children, ages 4, 3, and 1. And I SAT DOWN AT THE TABLE WITH THEM. And it didn't hurt - I'm so excited that we may suddenly be the parents of a child who, incidentally, is the age that our birth child would be had we managed to get pg in the first 6 months of ttc. It's like the past 5 years and 4 months just vanished - poof! But then we've never been on the ART roller coaster, and we've never lost a pregnancy - we've just been waiting for God to lead us to our family, and suddenly here we are. I did look at my friend's children and notice how each child resembled each parent to varying extents, and have a small pang, which was quickly replaced with a flash of "that really doesn't matter!" - we already love this little girl even though we've met her only 3 or 4 times.

But, and I think we say this over and over because it's so true, but everyone's experience is different. For me the pain of IF has centered largely around angst at trying to discern God's plan for us, because I'm a control freak . We had no explanation for the IF, the only thing I got from God in prayer was "wait", and I've been pretty cranky about the uncertainty - really, I had mentally prepared myself to not have an answer until menopause - I had to accept that maybe we weren't meant to have a family. But now we DO know, and even if this relative's child doesn't become ours, we know we're meant to give a home to children who need them now. We'll start taking classes etc. next summer to become foster parents aimed at adoption.

I'm not sharing this to dismiss anyone else's feelings - I know those 5 years will always be lingering in the background - but now I know what they were for, and perhaps that has made all the difference.

Anyone who has gone through a major trauma will carry the scars with them forever, regardless of whether or not the trauma has a "happy ending." Sometimes we can look at the scars as the steps necessary to reach our goals, sometimes the scars serve as painful reminders, sometimes they are a combination of both, but those scars are always there.

Ace in the hole, Tertia - so true, so true. I still get a bit jealous at my SIL and her newborn, knowing full well I am satisfied with mine, but if I could JUST do it ONE MORE TIME, and so easily...

It is what makes us who we are. I think we call it character.

hi tertia... i am a big fan. this is my first post. i think infertility and the road we infertiles travel is like a badge of honor. for some, it's a secret pain. for others like you, like me... we share our pain with our friends and family. if i am ever successful i will scream out to the whole wide world, tell them what i went through. in the meantime, i feel a little smug some days. nobody understands unless they've gone through it. nobody. thank you so much for being here. your blog is such a comfort. your babes are beautiful.

Me too although I doubt I will have another baby. Yet when I see a pregnant woman I get a pang and I am worried how I will react when my sister in law gets pregnant again (which will probably be in one months time; she is one of these fertile myrtles). It is so unfair what we have had to go through and I guess it will always upset us. Even though I now have my darling baby I still feel the jealousy. I think it is normal. Though like I said; I must be weird as I really don't want another one; the one I have is hard hard work and I could not imagine life with two.

I have a similar entry on my site a while back. I don't really ever want to stop feeling like an infertile...well not completely anyway. It helps me to remember my roots and to appreciate all the moments of motherhood. I think it makes the gift (or giftS, in our cases) that much more precious.

Beautifully written as always.


Amen. I currently wear my badge by the purple and blue bruises on my arms, tummy, and ass. It's a damn shame no one except my husband sees the ass one. LOL :)

Oh, T. This post speaks so much to me! I read through it and nod with every sentence.

Yes - I have my wonderful baby, my marriage survived infertility and we could not be happier to have finally arrived. However, I could never forget the journey to parenthood was so painful. I can never put behind that even my pregnancy was full of fears and neurosis with instead of peace and joy.
It's printed in me now. It's printed in my husband's face every time we look into our child's eyes. Granted, we can look back with relief? and we count our blessings to have him here. But we also ache for more children... we want to complete our family so badly and we already know that the journey we have to travel is quite a difficult one, while others just ride in the limo. We are infertile and we are proud to have achieved our goal but we can't never forget what we went through to get here. It has molded me into who I am now, it changed my perspective in so many ways, I learned so much, I cried so much, I grew as person and it's deffinetly a part of me now. Thank you for writing so eloquently about this. Much love to you and your family. PS.: The babes look adorable!

to quote my fav. artist:

They say that alcoholics are always alcoholics
Even when they're dry as my lips for years
Even when they're stranded on a small desert island
With no place in two thousand miles to buy beer

It's part of our identity, our experience, our history.

I completely understand Tertia! I feel like I am partially healed from my experience, but I still feel the jealousy, AND I even feel future jealousy. I know that the next time a friend announces a pregnancy, I will have that feeling again. I have my babies and that's what I wanted, but I always wanted that suprise pregnancy. Whenever women talk about how they didn't even know they were pregnant for two months... that makes me jealous. I want to get accidentally knocked up! ... even though I don't want any more kids.

From one person still walking bare foot, I wanted to Thankyou for sharing your thoughts. Written so eloquently, I agree with you this experience will never leave me. But I don’t think that you are using being an ‘infertile’ as a label, it is part of you that will never change.

This is such a beautiful and apt metaphor, Tertia. Thank you.

I was sharing these exact thoughts with my husband yesterday. We both agreed that two was it for us, and when we had our twins after 3 years on the infertility roller coaster and one lost pregnancy, all our prayers were answered. However, every time I see a pregnant woman, I get a twinge of jealousy. I am complete with my babies, but I just want to know what it would be like to do it normally--no drugs, no RE involvement, no traumatic birth story, no NICU stay. I think the fact that I won't ever know is what gnaws at me.

Yes, yes exactly.

Brilliant as per usual. Thanks so much for writing this. I was trying so hard to explain to a friend how the past two years have made me different from her, how I'll never be the same, and I may never get past it. but you said it brilliantly. Thank you.
I also will wear my scars (currently disguised as repronex bruises on my belly) proudly. When I finally arrive (and i truly hope it's after this IVF) I will be proud to call my self one of the infertile turtles. We're slow, but we'll get there. And when I get there, I'm getting a pedicure. ;)

jesus walked barefoot and alone.

and when he got to his distination? He was no less who he was then when he started.

in fact, rumor has it, he was more. much. much.


I am still on that damn road... and I am so very, very grateful for those women, like you, who have walked before me.. As a closet IVFer, I take much comfort in the fact that I am not alone.

I couldn't agree more. After more than 16 years of infertility I did arrive. Even that was with heartache (like you) and pain. My son James lived just 5 days. My other 3 are here, all special needs and with just now finding that Emma is terminally ill. Infertility is a part of who I am. I too get jealous of the easily pregnant. I wish I could have been "normal", I wish I could have gotten pregnant when my husband John was alive. I wish I could have had my quads one at a time so they would have been healthy.

This is who we are. We are IF even if we have children. We know the pain and struggles but of course we also know the pure joy of our babies. So we must remain respectful of those who have yet to receive this gift.

Tertia, you more than anyone else understands and you are entitled to that bit of jealously when someone whizzes by in their limo.


So true....beatiful. Thank you.

This post touched me so much. After 10 years of trying and a m/c, I am finally pregnant with what appears to be a viable pregnancy. And the envy is still very much there. In fact, even tho my belly is sticking WAY out, I do not think of myself as pregnant! I still think of myself as waiting for the other shoe to drop, for everything to go haywire, for loss to arrive. I went to a BBQ where there were 2 new moms with their babies, and felt almost overwhelmed with envy even tho I know I'll be having my own very soon. Finally!

I'm also adopted, and my mom still thinks of herself as infertile (though she doesn't use that word). She still remembers the pain of waiting for the babies to arrive, so she's never offered to show people pics of her kids unless asked because it might cause someone pain. Now that she's expecting her first grandchild, she is shy to tell people about it because she knows how hard it was for her to hear of other people's baby joys. She had to go thru infertility twice - once for herself, and once with me. She's earned the joy, and yet a part of her can't experience it all the way because she knows so many others are still in pain.

I think that's a big part of it for me too. I AM jealous of other's limo rides - being able to be pregnant without fear, conceiving a baby on a fun romp with hubby instead of planned and executed sex or IUI or IVF or whatever. But I also think a lot of that jealousy for me is vicarious because I can't help but think of all my fellow infertiles who are STILL waiting. I just want to steal one of those limos so I can drive all my friends around. When someone announces their pregnancy, I'm not only thinking "Wish that could of been me" but "wish that was one of my dear infertile friends."

That's exactly how I feel too. Thank you for putting my thoughts into words.

Very true. I'll never forget the time we spent waiting for our daughter, and I'm determined to enjoy what might well be the only child we'll ever have.

Good analogy, thank you. Our family is probably complete with our g/g/b triplets, but I still fantasize about having another baby, and the "normal" experience of a single pregnancy and healthy baby. Even though I have learned that there is no such thing as "normal" or worry-free with pregnancy and babies. Learning of other's pregnancies is still bitter-sweet to me, but much less so than it used to be.

I would never want to "forget" or stop acknowledging the infertility years, or the stress and fears of our high-risk pregnancy and premature babies. It is that whole journey that makes us the people we are today.

For me the infertility has its negative side at times. I think it contributes to a slightly hypochondriac anxiety I have over the health of everyone in our family. I think sometimes I am over-anxious as a mom, and I struggle with letting the children go, letting them grow more independent. And I still worry whether they are truly normal and average and healthy, though all the evidence is favourable 5 years later.

I hope that I have also acquired some good qualities because of this experience: a desire to reach out to other i/f moms and parents of multiples, a sensitivity to other people's losses and griefs. And of course a deep love for our children, and thankfulness for how they have blessed our lives, and a deeper sense of how God acts in our lives and (sometimes) answers prayers.

Thank you for continuing to post your thoughts on this subject. It helps me to have my own feelings reflected and validated. Even though our story appears to have the happy ending we longed for, I still have the marks from a tough journey. And I wear them with pride, as a badge of honour.

I actually thought I was past it. I thought since I have the most perfect, wonderful little 2 yr old boy and that I am working on accepting that we'll never have another I had started to move on. Nope. Just heard my cousin is having her 3rd. Was 2 months pregnant before she even knew. They were all planned - in fact they want 4 - so I don't mean to make her sound bad but I was sad the rest of the day after I heard. Even cried to my mom who was a wonderful supporter during our "walk". I was hoping this hurt would fade. I hope it still will...I have 2 more female cousins that aren't child-bearing age yet...

T, Great post as usual. I ache every time I hear about another pregnancy. Last week I had to go to the hospital I delivered at to see a friend (another vet)who had her long awaited baby boy. Happy for her but it brought back awful memories of the time I lost my first babies there and the many months of NICU stays for my 2nd set. I stopped by the NICU on the way back to give them some pictures. They still remembered me even though my babies have been out over 7 months.

It won't ever go away that feeling. I was thinking the other day about how for so many years so many things made me so sad and yet now I have beautiful babies to give me joy. It's impossible to completely forget how incredibly hard our journey was. I think many parents even those who know how blessed they are can't grasp the magnitude of how incredible it is to get pregnant easily or even to carry a healthy baby to term.

I really like your analogy. Keep using it.

I have similar feelings when friends have babies--healthy, normal, happy babies. My son was born with a severe heart defect and I didn't have a normal birth experience and he doesn't have a normal life (two open heart surgeries so far...). And I hate that I feel that way, but I can't help it. So when an email goes around about so and so having a baby, instead of feeling happy, I am dragged back into the delivery room and start my gut-wrenching birth experience all over again. It's part of who I am.

Yes, yes, and yes.

I've written similar words (if maybe not so eloquently) myself and just the other day my husband told me I could stop calling myself "infertile" but the fact of the matter is, that I will always consider myself a "infertility survivor". As you said, I might have reached my destination and I'm happy with where I am, but I will never forget the scars I received on the trip there. I'm PROUD of those scars.

And I will always be a bit jealous when I hear someone announce a pregnancy even when I am thrilled to pieces for them.

Late in responding on this one but I think IF is engraved on our soul like a tatoo for life, it never goes away. I am always happy when someone like you who has struggled gets pg but I too have a hard time with the people that fall pg easily and don't realize how lucky they are. IF will be with me for life, the pain never stops, the want never ends and the hole in your heart, well it's like you are drowning in pain waiting and waiting for someone to throw you a life preserver but the only thing that can fill that hole is the unreachable. I try to patch it telling myself I have 2 step sons that will have children some day and then it scares the shit out of me wondering how the hell I really will handle that? Will I be happy or recentful, it will surely be painful. How do I hold a newborn that I will be step grandma to when the last baby I held was my own lifeless child. Waiting for that child to cry, breath, how will I feel when I hear their baby cry for the first time, will I run out of the room, will I swallow and suck it up and realize life goes on in spite of my pain? I don't know, all I do know is IF NEVER goes away and it does keep on giving relentlessly.


Thank you so much for this. I have walked the infertility journey, and it made me a better, stronger person. I think even given the choice, I may not change it. I guess I can say that now that I am finally pregnant with number one from IVF #3.

Your site is an inspiration for me, and these words were just perfect.

It isn't a label, it is who we are.

And I am proud to have done it!

Keep on!

Jo'burg SA

I know this comment is late, but your thoughts and comments were RIGHT ON THE MONEY!!

I too struggled with IF for 5+ years (and 4 failed IVF's) before finally having success.

My twins cured my "childlessness" but they did NOT cure my infertility.

Thank you for this great and honest post. I am still on my IVF journey and trying to cope with this insane rollercoaster ride. In some ways I am relieved to hear you are jealous of the PG announcements. I keep thinking that IF I miraculously become PG, then I may never be able to shake this pain I feel. I think my scars have already become scar tissue.

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