Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Survey- What Is the Worst Part of Infertility?

I was just writing an email to a friend where I was talking about the worst part of infertility being, for me, the feeling of unproductivity and all that goes along with it. I have always been a go-getter, a doer, an accomplisher, over-achiever, etc. and infertility really has thrown me for a loop.

Without being able to re-produce, I feel useless, worthless, and meaningless. It was a LOT worse when I was unemployed and infertile, but I am noticing that my over-working is definitely an overcompensation for my inability to procreate life. It's what keeps me sane - knowing I am contributing in other ways, and living a productive life while not re-producing.

But I was interested in seeing what others feel is the worst part of their infertility. Aside from the obvious "not having children to hold" thing, what is/was the worst part of not being able to conceive for each of you? Please share your thoughts whether you are currently infertile or were infertile at one time, I'd love to hear them!

40 comments:

Donna said...

I think the worst thing for me was not getting to see DH be a father. He has such patience and kindness with babies and small children. He would have been awesome!

Rachel said...

I am with Donna. Although I am currently PG the biggest thing for me that use to make me so sad is when I see DH with kids and how good he is with other peoples kids and that there was a chance that he may not be able to be a father was heartbreaking. I sometimes had ugly thoughts that if we give up trying at some point I should leave DH so he can find another wife that could give him a child. Those days were so dark that it left me with such dread.
Another one for me was thinking what I would do with myself if kids were not involved in my life. I always had kids in the picture but thinking of DH & I being alone with no kids year after year use to leave me so anxious.

Rachel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beth Rutter said...

I also agree with Donna, it breaks my heart to know I won't be able to give my DH the gift of fatherhood. Not to mention the diasppointment involved for our parents and family. My saddness and disappointment I can handle, I mean I can only blame myself that I can't have kids. It's my body that doesn't work right. I also hate the feeling of failure. I've never failed at anything in my life until now.

Amazing Life said...

I think for me it was having the fatih that God could make me a mother to a living, breathing child despite all circumstances if He willed it so why was it taking 9 1/2 years -

Fortunately, we have been miraculously blessed with a child who is growing and so much fun but I still feel like I am living a dream.

Really, all of it is hard, but keeping the faith when you are doing all you know to do and you simply know that God just has to 'breathe' new life in you was the heaviest burden/cross for me to bear besides the losses of children I have yet to meet.

Simone said...

I have to agree with the guilt of not giving my dh the kids he's always wanted. I told him that he would be better off with someone who could provide for him. Thankfully he declined my offer.
The feeling of failure is also very intense too. I am also someone who has always worked hard and put in 100% effort. I have had 5 surgeries now and am on my 4th dr and I am still IF. My dh mentioned the failure aspect too.
I have to add the isolation from women. When we were in MS getting your period was the thing that separated you. Even if you were a late bloomer, you knew you would join them some day. Now with this, some women make insensitive remarks which make it sound like you are doing it wrong. There is not enough awareness out there about the fact that some of us have real problems that we did not cause.

Sissy said...

I can relate. I am an over-achiever, too and cannot believe that all my hard work can't make this happen. It can't get me pregnant, can't get me chosen as adoptive parents, can't get me much of anywhere other than stressed out. Prayer helps. Worship helps. Blogs help. You help.

Complicated Life said...

I would say, off the top of my head, that it was the isolation. I felt that no one could understand me and relate to me. My husband felt a loss too but it was different for him and although he was compassionate and loving in every way, he couldn't always understand. I was alone.

edP said...

Everyone is so selfless in feeling bad for their hubbies- what good, good wives you are. The worst part of IF for me is thinking about the future- particularly holidays. I imagine myself with no one to celebrate life with me. I fear loneliness. Thank goodness the Lord has blessed me with peace most of the time and I can also imagine life filled with spiritual children and friends. Let it be done to me according to Your will.....

Molly M. said...

The worst thing for me is the constant nagging that I'm not doing what I'm supposed to be doing, that there is something wrong with me. It's a constant frustration. But, I know it's also teaching me patience, which is a virtue I cannot master.

big sky said...

oops, my hubby was was logged in. The last comment was from me.

CS said...

I agree about wanting to have children to give meaning to my life. My work is NOT the point of my life, I don't feel like it compensates at all, except for money to support a future family. I'm trying to come around though and not be so black-and-white about the issue, to be happier overall, which will bring less stress.

Julie said...

This isolation from my family and friends (especially the Catholic community) because everyone in MY life was fertile (like 4 kids under 4 years old). I didn't fit in and it was so obvious! I hated it so much. Now I am a Mama to our precious Isabella, but I am still infertile, so I now feel broken. I wish I was healthy. My friends don't have to worry about being in so much pain that they can barely move. In fact, some of my friends haven't had a period since they got married (4, 6 and even 7 years ago)!!!

God Alone Suffices said...

Off the top of my head, I feel guilty not being able to pass on my husband's genetics. Is that weird? He loves his Italian heritage, and I would love for him to be able to teach our children about it and he can't.

I also feel like less of a woman, less feminine.

JellyBelly said...

I think that the fact that my wonderful husband isn't a father and the fact that I have FAILED at something are the most hurtful things about IF. I'm not good at not being able to do something (yet another thing that we have in common!).

When I watch Mr. JB with my fertile bf's kids (since they're the kids we see the most often), it hurts my heart. He loves those kids so much and when he's rolling on the floor and playing, with the boys especially, I feel like a complete and utter failure.

He tells me all the time that I have nothing to apologize for, but if it wasn't for the love I have for my husband, I would've given up on this baby business a LONG time ago!

Daddy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Comeaus said...

Oops, that last comment deleted was by me. I had accidentally used my husband's name!

Before my son, I felt everything you feel, but the worst was fearing I would not add to the Kingdom of heaven in such a way.

I also felt like I was failing my husband and family, and I, too, feared not being able to pass on our heritage to descendants.

After my son, I can say without hesitation that the greatest heartache of my life is being unable to provide a sibling for him. It hurts worse than the first time in a certain way (and what hurts even more than that is when people imply I am "ungrateful"). I am his mother, and wonderful as that is, I see that it can't take the place of a sibling. When I cry for another baby, that's the main reason.

I cannot understand why parents would deliberately deny their kids a sibling. We married with the intention of having as many children as we were blessed with, and that's still my heart's greatest desire. I can't imagine deliberately preventing my child from having siblings.

Elizabeth

Little JoAnn said...

For me the worst thing about IF was being angry all the time...feeling misunderstood (people thought we were always out having fun 'cause we weren't tied down with kids) then being dumped by all the infertile friends I came to associate with during our 10 year struggle. But, we HAVE moved on, including to a beautiful new community where there are tons of parents and children and we are very happy (not just that we have a child) but that we are re-gaining a sense of belonging and community.

Beth said...

Oh this hits me RIGHT where I am right now. I totally agree with the feelings of isolation and the sadness of not seeing my husband as a father.
What's REALLY hit me like a ton of bricks in just the last 36 hours is that I've lost my sense of compassion for anything pregnancy related. My brother and his wife just had their first baby yesterday, and I basically had to ask my mom not to call me with any updates from the hospital because I just couldn't take hearing about labor. I have no doubt it's horribly painful, and I've even heard some people say all the waiting is "boring." All I can think is that no matter how miserable it is, I would take it in a heartbeat. I know no one makes those comments intending to sound ungrateful. I just HATE how much infertility has made me feel so hardened. I've always been a very compassionate person, and I still am when it comes to just about anything else, I just have zero sympathy for pregnancy and labor suffering. My JOB is in the pro-life movement, so this is NOT a good thing! If anyone has any advice for how to work through that, I could sure use the help.
I feel like I have so much more to say on this, but I should probably just get my own blog rather than hijack someone else's comment section! Thanks for a great topic and sounding board, though.

E said...

I hated how selfish it made me. I had a really difficult time being truly happy for others that had children.

I also really really really hated feeling on the outside. I am extra sensitive to this and have been ever since I was a kid, never feeling like I fit in anywhere.

barbie said...

For me it was the stagnation, I felt like we weren't moving forward as a couple. The next step was in my mind, children and we never were able to move to that step. Also the lack of control to do ANYTHING about it...

Dean said...

Knowing that I could never carry my husbands children, knowing the pain that I caused him. It gave me the strength to do all I had to do to make him a father.

Ann - Building a Nest said...

I have to pick just one? Same as you, which I think is based on lack of control. I’m used to working hard to obtain a result and being successful at it. Here, it just wasn’t in my control no matter how much effort I put into it. I just felt like a failure.

Second, isolation and being different from everyone else.

Praying for Hope said...

I don't know. It was several things. The disappointment of month after month of failure in spite of whatever effort we put into it was terrible near the end. The worst could have been the transition from hoping everything would turn out to the giving up on the possibility in my heart even if I wasn't able to physically quit trying quite yet. When we finally lucked out, I could see the end plainly in sight.

Lauren @ Magnify the Lord with Me said...

Such a great question, that I took the whole night to think about it!

Feeling incomplete and fearing loneliness, I think.

Second Chances said...

Like Elizabeth, not being able to give my son a sibling. He prayed fervently and I felt so helpless. And also like Elizabeth, feeling judged for having one child. That felt awful.

Hey TCIE, did you happen to get my email?

Rose said...

I just found your blog today! And even though it's been almost three years of IF for me, I've found the last couple of months the hardest in a way. And that is hard in itself... the way grief goes. The way you think you have worked through some things, grieved enough, gained peace, loved God better, accepted and even loved his well and then BAM! Out of nowhere you are crumpled right down to the floor with grief so intense it's almost hard to breathe. I thought it would get easier. I thought, with God's grace, I would arrive. I'm realizing slowly that IF will be painful for the rest of my life. And sometimes that is discouraging. It's surely exhausting... has anyone else felt this way?

I guess that's the hardest thing for me, after grieving for my husband and son. (And yes, I have one child, and I am infinitely grateful!)

And then there is the loneliness, the isolation. And the jealousy that is ugly and humiliating. I have never been a jealous person before.

Geez. You're all right. IF is hard in a thousand ways no one would ever bother to think of. My prayers for all of you!

The IF Cross said...

Feeling judged. I know I should not feel this way, but I do. I used to judge others so I feel like people are judging me. When I tell people I've been married for 5 years, I think they expect us to already have at least one child. I feel this way with family that doesn't know our situation too.

Sew said...

Feeling as if my life didnt have any purpose....

Awaiting a Child of God:) said...

Wondering why the heck I had been given this passion to love so much, especially children and my family, yet not being able to actually give it away to my children. Gosh I hope soon.

DH thing I am ditto on.

Also, the isolation. Seeing friends and fam around me popping them out left and right and me not being able to. Then when people talk about it, they have no idea what is going on in my head. They just think...quit stressing and it will happen. UGH

Destiny said...

Before we adopted, I would say giving my husband a biological child, even though he said he was okay with it. Now that we have adopted, I don't think he would love a biological child any more. He adores our daughter.

Julie said...

I agree with Destiny! My husband loves our adopted daughter and really has no cares about "passing on his genes!" For us, parenthood is parenthood and it does lessen the bond just because our daughter spent 9 months in another woman's body before we met her!

Nicole C said...

I'm secondary, so the hardest thing for me is not giving my son a sibling. All of our friends & neighbors have multiple kids and he's always asking about brothers & sisters, and he's not really old enough to understand. Breaks my heart.

matchingmoonheads said...

I've been thinking about this for the past couple days...what a good question. I really want to limit myself to one answer, although I have a billion little things that easily come to mind, all of which have been mentioned.

For me, the hardest part about dealing with infertility is dealing with the feeling of rejection. I want to do good, I want to be unselfish, I want to share my life and be open to helping others, but I see infertility as a mean old twist in this plan turning everything I have thought to be good on its head. Its hard to make sense sometimes how God would will this to happen, how this could be part of his plan, to someone so open to life. Dealing with what I feel as rejection or thwarting of what I see as an innate good - children and caring for children - is the hardest for me to cope with.
There being no clear cut answer with how I am to serve if not through motherhood is connected with that.
I don't know if that made sense.

Faithful Infertile said...

Mine was the trying to understand "why?" Why could some people that could care less about their children have a whole herd of them, and why others of us that would be terrific parents couldn't have children. I've struggled with the "why?" of other things, too, as I'm sure you know. Just in the last few months I have made some peace that it is NEVER for me to understand. The only thing that I will understand is that HE knows far better than we do, and HE has some master plan for everything. Love ya, girl!!!

Katie @ Persevere in Prayer said...

Wow, it's so hard to pick just one! I think the despair was the worst. Never knowing if there's an end in sight. Having other people not relate to you. Feeling utterly alone. Questioning your faith. Wondering what the purpose is. It's hard to feel hope when you're drowning in that much despair.

the misfit said...

I've read all these comments and had to think about it hard. To answer correctly I have to pick just one...it's the loss of any sense of who I am. I fit into society in all different ways than I thought. My life demands very different things of my faith. I've become attached to things to which I wanted to be indifferent. Character traits I wanted to develop and expand I've been forced instead to eradicate. I resent people (or, more accurately, things about people) I expected to celebrate. I don't trust God, my faith has become a shell, I LOOK like a bad example of living a Catholic life, I can't shake the fact that at bottom I feel that I don't have children because God doesn't love me enough, I have almost NOTHING in common with most of the women I know (too much education, too much career, no kids), I don't know what to do next with my life, and I am angry ALL THE TIME. I can act other ways because I've had so long to practice, but I'm just angry every minute of every day. I have become a person I would have personally despised (with good reason) seven years ago.

Cecilia said...

I agree with so many of the things written here: feeling like my husband has to suffer for my failure, depriving him of children, the hardening and lack of compassion, the stagnation, the lack of control - all of that. But for me I think the worst part is the isolation. I used to be a really open person b/c I had nothing to hide. Now there's always this barrier. It prevents new relationships b/c I know that eventually the "do you want children?" question will come up and I'd rather not deal with it. It cuts you off from old relationships. It even cuts you off from other IFers b/c you can eventually be left standing alone there too. Overall, it's just very lonely.

Little JoAnn said...

Just spontaneously posting to say:

you know what made IF actually bearable to me?

YOU.

You are my hero.

The Comeaus said...

Oh, I have to say I could not agree more with Little JoAnn! TCIE, if ONLY I could tell you what an inspiration and source of support your example has been to me.

In fact, it's because of your courage in pursuing treatment and your personal experience with NaPro that I am actually seeing a Creighton Model instructor tonight for the very first time, and then I will be referred to a NaPro doctor. You have NO idea how huge this is for me, because it has taken a 9-week-long healing series for me to be able to make this decision. I have so many fears, especially after seeing what became of my female relatives when they were diagnosed with fertility problems, and all the organs they had removed, but I have so much faith in NaPro and its holistic approach. This is the answer to my prayers, and I owe it to your example and witnessing.