The F Word and the Lentil

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Photo by @insta_glen

Six months ago, I found out I was pregnant. I was so excited. We had been trying for years and I was running out of answers when friends, family, and relatives would ask me when I was having kids. I broke the news to my husband, ordered all the books on amazon, downloaded the apps that tell you how your baby is progressing. All of it. Then one day it all went away. I felt a pain. I ignored it. It got worse. I freaked out and went to the doctor. Then the rest was a blur. That day the app said our baby was the size of a lentil. Then two days later the baby and one of my fallopian tubes was gone. All that was left was me, my husband, and our grief.

Since then I have struggled to grieve the loss of the beautiful and tiny heartbeat that lived inside of me for just a few weeks. A heartbeat that I saw for less than a minute before I was carted off to have it surgically removed. It took them days to find it and when they did, they didn’t even give me a moment with it. A moment to just hold hands with my husband to look at it and just say “Fuck. We made that.” Our love made a tiny life.  We made a life and the urgency of a medical procedure took that moment from us. We didn’t get to take a moment in the midst of our sadness to just admire it. All that was important was saving my life. I wanted my humanity acknowledged yet all that was acknowledged was my medical issue.

I have struggled to heal and function in my day to day life after the trauma my body endured when that little piece of me was removed. I understand that it was done to save my life but rational thoughts don’t make pain go away. I have struggled to make peace with the idea that my path to being a mother is now paved with this pain and fear.  I have felt sadness, anger, and guilt at myself and at my body. I have felt like a failure as a women because my journey to becoming a mother will need the help of science. I have struggled to accept that my life has a new f-word: fertility.

I am now on a path towards healing that is not always easy. Each day I attempt to find clarity in my trauma to see past my pain. Little by little I am learning to see the wisdom in my body. I am learning to admire my scars as badges of my resilience and reminders of my power. Reminders that even if it was only for a few weeks – I created a life. I felt a heartbeat inside of me that was not mine. It just took root in my body in the wrong place. Like it just was on its way to my uterus and it decided to park in the first parking spot it saw in my fallopian tube instead of trying to find a closer spot. Of course my kid would do that. That is exactly what I do every time I go to the mall and its crowded – park in the first place I see even if its way farther than where I am supposed to go.  All important reminders that I will need to give me strength, dignity, and grace as we begin our IVF journey. 

There is a feeling of exclusion that I feel when I get told by people “oh, you’ll understand when you have your own kids.” A casual but painful reminder that in our community fertility is a norm that does not apply to me. A reminder of a club that I am not part of. But I am part of a lot of other clubs. The club of 1 in 8 women who struggle to get pregnant. The club of women who have miscarriages and suffer having to grieve in silence. The club of people this week who are taking a pledge to share their story and post about National Infertility Awareness Week and encouraging others to Say The F Word.

So to all my fellow Fertility Warriors out there – I see you. I support you. Thank you for reminding me that I am not alone.

Thanks for reading.

– D

 

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