Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The haves vs. the have-nots

I'm quickly learning that even within the world of infertility, many times there becomes a very clear line differentiating the "haves" from the "have-nots".  Three years ago, I was sitting in the chair at my hairdresser's salon talking to her about infertility (her infertility... I had no idea that my eggs were old yet; I was getting married that winter and life was but a dream).  I remember letting her know that my sister in-law (who dealt with a bout of infertility as well, to include: years of trying to conceive naturally, IUI's and a couple of IVF's) just happened to get pregant on her own during a break from infertility treatment (!!! - she then got pregnant again (!!!) - naturally (!!!) when my nephew was a year old!!!).  Looking back, I can't even believe that story would have come out of my mouth... how insensitive of me to tell my hairdresser, who at that point had been through it ALL, about my sister in-law's brush with pure luck.  I'll never forget her response:  yeah, yeah... people share stories with me like that all the time.  I'm different though, it's not going to happen for me.  Our conversation quickly shifted to my wedding details (knowing how I feel now, as someone who is dealing with infertility, I'm sure she was the one who steered the conversation in a different direction, all the while breathing in a huge sigh of relief when I started talking flowers, music choices, etc.).

Fast forward a little more than a year from that date (at this point, this was just a couple of months before my husband and I decided to throw caution to the wind, ourselves), I was in the chair at my hairdresser's salon again and she told me that she was pregnant!  She, too, had conceived on her own while waiting to start on her next (and what would be her last) IVF cycle.  Once my hairdresser had her son and returned to work, I was in the throughs of my own infertility treatment and filled her in on everything that I'd been dealing with - she was probably the most understanding person I'd spoken to at that point in my life and quickly my every six week hair appointment became like a therapy session for me... Until just about three months ago when I went in for my appointment just after my second failed IVF cycle.  My hairdresser was pregnant... again... (she conceived naturally, again) and while I am still over-the-moon SO excited for her (really, I am!), my hair appointments quickly shifted to being just that - an appointment to color my roots - and a lot less of a therapy session for me.

My sister in-law and my hairdresser are so, beyond lucky.  I know that they know that.  But they've both shifted from women dealing with the heartaches of infertility to women who have (or will have) two children - their infertility is in the past.  I'm jealous of that.  I'm jealous of them.  They were both in my camp at one time:  the have-nots.  Now, they are the haves.  And while I don't believe that someone who has once dealt with infertility ever entirely recovers from it (I believe that regardless of what ends up happening for me, infertility will always be something that will define me - with or without children - for the rest of my life), I do believe that you can move on from it.  Once you have children, I'd imagine it's pretty hard not to leave that ugly, ugly time in your life behind. 

So, I get it.  I understand why it's now so easy for my sister in-law and hairdresser to tell me that it will happen - that they know it completely sucks for me more than anything in life itself - but that they believe that I, too, will have happy news to share of my own someday (hopefully) soon.  It's just hard because now, I'm the one thinking and saying: yeah, yeah... people share stories with me like yours all the time.  I'm different though, it's not going to happen for me.  I'm scared to think anything different... every morning, day and night I pray that I'm wrong - I pray that God answers my prayers just as he did for my sister in-law and hairdresser.

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