Saturday, April 6, 2013

HAWMC Day 6: A Letter to Infertility

Hi all!  It's Day 6 of the HAWMC and an absolutely gorgeous day here on the East Coast (finally!).  Dare I say Spring has arrived?

You can start with Day 1 of HAWMC here.

Today's prompt:  Write a letter to your condition -- what do you want to get off your chest?

I've written a lot about the devastation of infertility.  I've written about the depression, all-encompassing anxiety, difficulty focusing on anything else but one's cycle and various symptoms (Ah! A twinge!  I must be pregnant!), and the baby- and pregnancy-obsession.  So, this letter may come as a surprise.

Dear IF,

Thank you.

(I know, right?)

Because of your initially insidious and, later, your blatant disregard for my emotional well-being, I began to notice how awesome life is.  At first, you threw in my face at any inopportune moment how I didn't have a big round belly and how everybody else on the planet was lucky enough to have children except for me. 

You made me feel that I didn't belong anywhere.  My friends weren't stuck like I was.  My younger and unmarried friends were still partying -- I didn't belong with them either.  You forced me to look daily at what I didn't have and wanted desperately.  Worse, you made me begin to despise my body and feel that I couldn't even control that aspect of my life.  Worse still, you made me feel as if I didn't deserve motherhood.  You were evil.  Plain and simple.


Something weird happened.  I began to notice the sunshine on my face.  I noticed the smell of freshly-mowed grass and how it felt on my bare feet.  I enjoyed lazy, rainy days on the couch with my dogs, popcorn, and a movie.  I started to run and notice how free I felt.  My body could do that?

Life was awesome.

I giggled with my nieces and nephews.  I cherished wine and conversation with loved ones.  I started writing, and I focused my practice on helping others just like me.  I started dancing again, even if it was only in my living room.

Life was awesome. 

And I started laughing at you.  You were still a part of my life, but you weren't huge.  You stopped being heavy.  You stopped ruling my days.  I had shrunk you.  I won.  

Then something weird happened again.

I realized I owed you.  Yup.  I owed you the feel of sunshine, the grass under my feet, the laughter with loved ones, and all things wonderful in my life.  I know....weird.  But, here's my thinking.

Years ago -- in the midst of your darkness -- I saved this fortune from a fortune cookie.  Who knew a tiny slip of paper could later prove to be so profound?

You see?  You are my shadow.  You will always be with me.  And because of that, life will always be awesome.  Nothing will be taken for granted.


So, thank you, IF.  Thank you.

Life is awesome.

And though I wish you'd stay out of others' lives, if you have to intrude on their happiness, I hope your shadows make their lights seem brighter, too.


This letter, incidentally, is the crux of my dissertation: Infertility and Posttraumatic Growth.  I know it's possible for positive things to come out of such a life crisis, since it happened to me, but does that happen often?  Take the survey located at the top of the side bar or click on the tab at the top of this page, and help me find out. 

Until next well,


  1. I really like this comparison of IF to a shadow. The shadows can (and sometimes do) block out the sun. Fortunately, most of the time, the sunshine wins.

    1. Absolutely...and when the sunshine wins, it's brighter than it ever was. :)


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