Infertility is anger.

I’m angry that I’m experiencing infertility and that all of this is happening to me.
I’m angry that I lost a pregnancy.
I’m angry that we don’t have a baby yet.
I’m angry that my transferred embryos didn’t implant and survive.
I’m angry that our IVF didn’t result in more frozen embryos.
I’m angry that I’ve endured months of treatments with no success.
I’m angry that infertility treatments are expensive and not covered by insurance.
I’m angry that everywhere I go I am reminded that I don’t have children.
I’m angry when I feel misunderstood.
I’m angry when someone offers a quick fix to my infertility.
I’m angry when someone tells me to enjoy my freedom from the burdens of parenthood.
I’m angry because this was not part of my plan.
I’m angry because infertility sucks and I don’t deserve it.
I’m angry at the world for being unfair and miserable.
I’m angry because I think I’d be a good mom, but I can’t seem to get there.

There are a lot of things about infertility that REALLY tick me off. This is just the tip of the iceberg… Get me going too much and I’ll raise my voice and shake my fist at the world!! INFERTILITY IS ANGER.

But no matter how angry I get, I can’t go around all the time being angry and shaking my fist at the world. So I’ve found that part of my infertility is finding ways to deal with my anger. I’ve never had much anger before, but infertility brings up a lot of it… so it’s important for me to address my anger appropriately. I need to feel it and release it in a safe way and safe space.

Infertility anger is wanting to yell or scream or tell someone off, but instead it is remaining as calm as I can be and biting my tongue in the moment, and then later ranting to a safe audience… Sometimes I talk to trusted loved ones, my support group, or therapist. Often I privately write about what is making me angry and let all of my feelings out. SOMETIMES I USE ALL CAPS OR CURSE ABOUT WHAT’S MAKING ME ANGRY. (Fun fact: people who swear tolerate pain better.)

Infertility anger is wanting to break things, but instead it is exercising and working energy out of my system in a positive way… To feel strong and controlled I might go to kick-boxing or weight-lifting. To find balance and quiet my mind I might go to yoga or take a walk.

Sometimes dealing with my anger means finding humor (usually dark humor) that hits on what’s upsetting me and makes me laugh. Not many fertile people seem to understand my infertility humor, but I don’t really care… sometimes laughing about infertility is the release and relief I need, whether or not anyone else gets it.

The anger that comes with my infertility comes and goes. More often than not, my prevailing emotion is grief… but anger takes charge every now and then. And at times when I’ve been angry, I’ve had people tell me that I shouldn’t feel angry about my infertility, that I shouldn’t feel angry when someone upsets me, and so on… but that’s just not right. Emotions aren’t right or wrong, good or bad — my reaction to my emotions might be good or bad, but simply having the feelings isn’t right or wrong. What I feel is what I feel, and that’s okay. Pretending emotions aren’t there won’t make them go away… so even if it’s unpleasant, I need to feel my anger and work through it in appropriate ways in order to move forward. Whether I like it or not, INFERTILITY IS ANGER.

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Infertility is…

It was hard to first admit to myself that we were experiencing infertility… By the time I did, we’d already found out I wasn’t ovulating on my own, and as a result I’d been through three cycles of clomid. Even though I had already started fertility treatments, I didn’t consider myself “infertile” because we hadn’t been trying for a whole year yet. Sure, my first diagnosis and those first few treatments were hard, but I told myself that we were just delayed, that everything was going to be fine because they had found a correctable problem.

But when those treatments failed and we hit our year mark of trying, it was time to admit that we were struggling with infertility. At that time we took a few months off treatments to give my body a rest and to give ourselves a break, and I started researching infertility — some things about treatments, of course, but mostly I researched coping with infertility. Because with infertility (at least for me!) there’s a lot more to consider than just the physical problems preventing a healthy pregnancy… Admitting to myself that I was experiencing infertility meant that I was struggling with not only my body and its inability to conceive, but also all of the ways infertility impacted my well being.

The technical description of infertility might only include the failure to conceive or carry a baby to term in a 12 month period, but “infertility” means so much more than that to me. The one line definition I find in the dictionary doesn’t cut it for me. Infertility has wreaked havoc all over my life, and as the months go by, my experience with infertility has packed more and more meaning into the word “infertility”. It has become so compounded in my mind, it means so many things, that I’ve decided to write a series of posts on what my infertility is, what it is like, and what it feels like for me. My posts will by no means be a complete list of what infertility is, nor will they be representative of all infertility experiences; rather, my posts will be about my own experience with infertility. I’m just hoping to shed some light on what my infertility is to help my loved ones understand and to help others who are experiencing infertility feel understood.

So if infertility is more than the inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term, what is it? What is my infertility like?

Infertility is living with constant disappointment and uncertainty, in a surreal world where I constantly can’t believe what’s happening to me. It is having to face my own anger and jealousy, and feeling isolated. Infertility is waiting. It is grieving. It is trying to remain hopeful despite months and months of heartache and disappointment. Infertility is being brave enough to face my reality, one day at a time, and decide what to do with this unexpected and unwanted direction.

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