Why me? A question that has plagued every single women (and most men) that has faced infertility. Why me. There is so much shame and guilt that those two simple words can carry. Your mind carries you through a series of never ending dilemmas of your past, of every bad decision you have ever made. Starting with your earliest memories. Maybe my infertility is my punishment? Maybe its something I did to myself? Did my years of unhealthy eating habits play such havoc on my reproduction system that it actually caused my infertility?
I don’t know.
But the options, the self blame, the self tormenting, they are something that always plays in the back of your mind.
When I say why me, I’m not saying other people deserve infertility more than I do. I mean, what did I possibly ever do in this life to deserve this diagnosis? What did you ever do to deserve your diagnosis? Most people that suffer with infertility are people that are so desperate to have a family. Perhaps some people have infertility problems but they couldn’t be bothered less about it. But that’s not me. Nor is that the case for many of my friends.
Here’s the thing about infertility. YOU ARE NOT AT FAULT. So often we here people tell us “maybe you aren’t meant to be parents” or that children are blessings. Blessings that we just aren’t worthy of having, I suppose. This is not the universe punishing you.
Infertility is not your punishment.
Your infertility is NOT the result of you getting an abortion when you were young and scared and just a child yourself.
Your infertility is NOT the result of your poor self-love affirmations of the past.
Your infertility is NOT the result of you being unworthy of a child or a consequence of you being a poor wife or husband.
Your infertility is NOT the result of you being a bully when you were younger, or for not returning that library book from second grade.
No matter how significant or measly your actions of the past are, you did not bring infertility upon yourself.
The truth is infertility doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t matter how morally correct or morally corrupt you are. Infertility can affect anyone. The young, the old, the rich, the poor. Anyone. In fact, if you were want to feel overwhelmed by the large realm of people that infertility effects, take a look around you at your next fertility appointment. It’s oddly humbling, yet eye-opening to sit there and see all the people that are there for a multitude of fertility reasons. I can guarantee not one single person in that waiting room either 1) looks like they have infertility problems or 2) brought their infertility problems upon themselves.
I’ve gotten a grasp on dealing with the “why me” phase but it wasn’t easy. In fact, it probably has been one of the hardest things about this whole process.
I started to look at it as I was just one of the people that simply had to fill the infertility quota. I know, it’s strange but I did because it brought me some comfort. I thought to myself if 1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility, I would name off 8 of my closest friends and family. Would I wish this on any of them? ABSOLUTELY NOT. There is no way I would want either of my sisters or friends or family to suffer like this. So I would think, its much better for me to be in the 1 in 8 than them.
Another thing that helped was simply switching places with others. Okay if my friend and her partner had to do this, would they have the money to do this? By all means, we don’t either but some extreme budget cuts to our ways of living helped off set the financial cost a bit. Would they have the emotional support that I have from Robbie? Or the support from friends and family? Would their jobs allow them the flexibility to go to a multitude of appointments throughout the week? So many variants that helped center myself and make it seem like maybe I was the best candidate for this over others.
I have said this before, but us, as a human species, have this overwhelming need to fix everything and to have something or somewhere to blame. We need to place blame. We need answers. But the simple truth is, we don’t get answers for this. I have no idea why I was chosen to suffer this journey, nor do I have any reason why anyone has to face this. People say everything happens for a reason, but for the life of me, I don’t know what that reason is. And I never will. It seems cruel to make this a part of anyone’s journey. As its cruel to make people suffer with a variety of other illnesses and series of unfortunate life events.
These past years, I have really focused on my mentality. Each New Years, instead of creating “goals” that I would probably give up on, I decided to pick a word of the year. Instead, focusing on dedicating myself to fulfilling my life in the terms that applied to that word.
Last years word was worthy. Learning to accept that I am worthy of great things, worthy of good friends, of good family. Worthy of all the good this life has to offer. I focused on allowing myself to feel like I had self worth – that I was worthy of my body, in the state that it was. As it is. Worthy of the space that I occupy on this earth.
This years word of the year was acceptance. Here’s to accepting what I can’t change. To accepting what I can. To accept that I have the strength and knowledge to be my own voice. To accept that we will be parents but to accept that time is beyond our control. Accept all that I can.
Sometimes in life all we can do is learn to accept what this life has dealt us.
Every time life dealt me a bad hand, I tried to re-orientate my focus on that word. Acceptance. Take the time to allow the natural flow of emotions to be followed – whether that news made me angry, sad, emotional, or whatever be it. After that moment of “processing,” it was time to accept what was happening. To no longer dwell on that. Instead accept the reality of the situation and learn to cope with it. It’s not always easy, it’s still something that I have to be very conscious about. For the most part, when I talk about Robbie and I’s infertility journey, I tell it as a fact. We have infertility. We are seeking out these treatments. This is our reality. I use the same factual mannerisms you would use in other contexts too. For example, saying “yesterday I had pancakes for breakfast.” It just becomes a factual part of your life. Its not dwelling on the past, and not letting go. Its just your life and your story.
Also, between you and I, I didn’t really have pancakes yesterday for breakfast. But now I am wishing I did.
I desperately wish I had the wisdom to know why bad things happen to good people. Or why people suffer for so long for things that come so easily to others. I don’t know why the good die young or why someone whose never smoked a day in their life, gets lung cancer. I don’t know why the good get cheated on and why when it rains for some, it pours.
I’ll never understand this life. There’s no logic to the suffering that we endure.
I don’t know why this life is like that. But I’ve learned this – you can’t live in the “why me” phase. It doesn’t fix anything, it’s never solved my problems and it’s certainly never made me feel better.
It took a while to overcome the “why me.” But instead focusing on why me, focus on what you are lucky enough to have. Ground yourself with your gratefulness. Be mindful of what you have.
Accept all that you can and know this, this life isn’t out to punish you. You are good. You are worthy of all your dreams.