This week is the first ever World Childless Week. This is a subject very close to my heart given that we are childless not by choice. This week of raising awareness is vital to breaking the very real taboo that still exists around childlessness. Writing for me has been a great outlet for my own thoughts but it has also allowed me to tell our story in the hope that there is a little more understanding and empathy towards those who are childless not by choice. This post is a contribution to World Childless Week and I hope that it brings some comfort to others to know that you are not alone…it is my very personal letter to infertility.
There are really no words that describe what you have done to me or done to us. You came into our lives without being asked. You presented yourself slowly, each month as we didn’t achieve a pregnancy. You really smacked us in the face when we found out that hubby had a low sperm count and from that day forward you have caused havoc and chaos at every turn.
It is safe to say that I hate you, with every ounce of my being I hate you. In fact, everyone in our lives that knows about you also hates you. It is because of you that we have endured countless rounds of IVF, all of which have failed. Injections, pills, tests, scans, egg retrievals & embryo replacements all in the hope that we could fight you and beat you, yet to date we haven’t been able to. Over time we found more reasons for you being in our lives, it wasn’t just the low sperm count, it was also the killer cells within me, the polycystic appearing ovaries & potentially a whole range of immune issues that are far too complex for me to begin to explain. It actually doesn’t matter. You are here and you are in our lives, in some way you always will be.
We have travelled to another country to try to beat you. We have seen countless ‘experts’ who all have a slightly different opinion on how we might get the better of you & have the family that we have so longed for, the family that you seem determined to stop us from having.
You have cost us thousands of pounds, on tests, on IVF treatment, on alternative therapies, on books, on vitamin pills & on therapy as we try to move forward to a better place even with you still in our lives. Oh how we wish that you hadn’t drained us financially, wasn’t it enough for you to drain us physically & emotionally?
You have made me feel like a failure on more occasions than I care to think about. You sent me to the depths of depression. You made me think that I was not worthy of being on this planet because you dug your claws in and made me feel like I somehow wasn’t a woman & that there was no point in me being here. That hurt, it hurt more than I can ever describe. Fortunately I found the strength to fight back and here I am writing to you to tell the tale.
You have changed me, changed us, changed the relationships that we have. At times you have made me jealous and bitter towards others. You made it impossible for me to find joy when other people were lucky enough not to have you in their lives. You have, at times, made having conversations with people about family life an impossibility. You have made some of those around us feel uncomfortable in talking to us, connecting with us & us being in their lives. I can assure you that they hate you as much as we do, but they are lucky & do not have to live with you every waking hour of every day like we have to.
You have been a tornado of destruction and you have given us a life that we never wanted and never asked for. You have dealt us a hand that we have struggled to deal with for a long time. You broke me, you broke us, but we found the strength to move forward even without the family that we wanted so badly.
Do me a favour and stay away from those around us. You have done enough damage for a lifetime and no-one should ever have to suffer you.
Someone who is now finding Strength Through Infertility