I am so far away from that woman now-- the woman who stood in waiting rooms at 6:45 AM to have blood drawn. The woman who gave herself injections night after night in hopes of creating life. The woman who told time by the months instead of the minutes. The woman who thought a baby was the next step. She wanted to be a mother more than anything in this world.
It's National Infertility Awareness Week, and I feel like I'd be betraying my sisters-in-arms if I didn't say something about that struggle. It changed me. It rocked my entire life when my (now ex-) husband and I couldn't seem to make a baby no matter what. The money we spent. The tears I cried. The baby announcements and gender reveal parties all over Facebook. The feeling that I was less than a woman because I couldn't do "the one job I was born to do."
I felt my worth diminish-- as a human, as a wife. Things that I loved about myself disappeared, shrouded by this one thing I hated. My marriage unraveled. My emotional state crumbled. Looking back on photos, I realize now that my face even began to change. I withdrew from friends and family to avoid their questions. I had no answers for them, because their questions were a lot like my own.
Why is this happening?
Why am I not good enough?
Why not me?
And here I am, many years later. I'm single now, healthier, happier, more in control. Life has turned out to be both horribly cruel and pleasantly surprising. I remember that woman I was, and I remember her fear and uncertainty and rage. I wait, still, for the day that motherhood will grab me by the collar and pull me in. I wait to find someone with whom I will build my family. I remember the community of women who closed in around me and showered me with support and safety in the middle of the worst natural disaster I ever survived.
This one's for you, girls.
I'm not in that place anymore, but I see you.
And I remember.