I’m ashamed to say – but fully aware – that it’s jealousy. Years of negative tests have robbed me of my ability to hear a pregnancy announcement and not be reminded of my own biological shortcomings.
And don’t even get me started on the conversations about vasectomies. “If my husband/partner even looks at me, I’ll get pregnant”. How I’d LOVE to be able to give a knowing nod and a wry smile.
Being effortless has always been cool. Effortless fashion, effortless fertility.
Unfortunately, I’m a try-hard.
The infertility warriors.
This used to be my crew. Our lack of success bonded us.
We had Facebook groups and lurked on terrible forums. I knew intimate details about my internet friends’ diagnoses and cycles, when I didn’t even know their surnames.
It’s not just online. The knowing looks and sad-but-supportive smiles across the clinic waiting room are one of the most beautiful parts of IVF. So many hopeful women, spending so many early mornings waiting for a blood test or scan – you get to know the ‘characters’ and there’s genuine goodwill when someone makes it to transfer day and then doesn’t come back because it worked.
But that’s the thing about the infertility community, those groups, those forums, even that waiting room: when you achieve your goal and get pregnant… you leave. You have no need for medication chat, symptom speculation or early mornings on the clinic couch.
And it feels wrong to use the infertility label anymore.
‘Infertility survivor’ is just… no.
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So I’d lost my label and my club membership. But more than that, I instantly felt guilty talking to my still-trying-to-conceive friends about my pregnancy, and then my birth, recovery, breastfeeding, mastitis, sleep-dramas, oh and my baby. When I was in their position, those conversations were really tough and I didn’t want to put them in the same situation.
Side note: I know that EVERYONE’S infertility experience is different, and I have seen plenty of posts from people struggling to conceive saying they still want to be included in those conversations. They are genuinely happy to hear good news, attend baby showers etc despite their own issues.