|Lodging at FHL|
I've noticed a trend in the community that's been disturbing me more as of late. A trend to sacrifice everything in the pursuit of "bringing home baby." Too often, I watch bloggers who write about difficulties in life, be they marriage, family or even severe cases of believing they deserve the pain of infertility and loss, throw all care and concern aside once they receive the coveted BFP. Granted, I'm incredibly happy for each and every single one of them. But what worries me is that there's this assumption that somehow having a baby will make everything right in the world.
Marriage on the rocks? Family is abusive or neglectful? Feeling like you are utterly worthless as a human being and that there is no purpose in life? A baby will fix it all! After all, babies are sweet, quiet, adorable angels that will ALWAYS love you and would never-ever be a source of stress.
The other trend is that in the process of embracing this, there's an abandonment of what has been learned along the way. Yes, I know I'm going to get hell for this one, but seeing bloggers post 2WW symptoms before a BFP (never mind that many of those same symptoms could easily be pre-AF symptoms) or start issuing platitudes like "just relax!" or "eat pineapple!" all with the intention of "educating" those still in the trenches on how exactly to achieve pregnancy makes me wonder what they are thinking. After all, do platitudes and "advice" that demoralizes hurt any less coming from an ALIer?
The conversations I had during the conference with colleagues, both those still in the throws of graduate school, those who are still hoop-jumping and even those who remember all too well the experience was about how valuable the pain of the experience was. Granted, no one wishes a dead-end project, lack of funding or unemployment on anyone, but without going through the experience none of us would have learned how to recognize these situations and either avoid going down these rabbit-holes or how to manage them better.
The same can be said with infertility and loss. Because of this experience, I learned how to identify doctors I could work with. I learned to defend myself and my family, despite it being uncomfortable for others. I made those difficult decisions to end cycles of abuse so that my children can grow up free from patterns that are so destructive. And I learned to love myself, all the broken parts and flaws. Don't get me wrong: I would never wish the pain of infertility and loss on anyone. But, because of infertility, I am a better person. I am more aware of my actions and my role in the world. And, most importantly, I'm no longer afraid of being an outcast or being unaccepted. Because of infertility, I can finally be comfortable being me. And I cannot begin to express how proud I am of myself and Grey to making the decisions we did along the way.
My point, though one that will be unpopular, is that it's important to remember what you've learned from this journey and not assume that a baby will heal you. Too often, I've seen relationships dissolve a few months after baby is born. I've watched children grow up in broken homes with parents who refuse to put aside their bitterness for their children. But I've also seen couples who've ended their fertility journey without a baby go on to lead full lives. I've witnessed love and joy that could only have come from embracing the pain, fixing what could be fixed and accepting what could not be.
Is this an easy road? No, far from it. But like graduate school, those who are most successful in life rarely take the easy road. Instead they take the road that gets them to where they want to be. They take the road that will lead to their happy ending.