When I was typing "divorce and infertility" into Google to see what would appear, I came across this blog entry from Love Large:
bolded highlights about needing to grieve. And having been through infertility and divorce, I can identify with those who felt that infertility felt worse than divorce...although not by much...as both were terribly painful for me.
Sometimes I feel like when people know about my life and having been through both, the infertility part gets dismissed and tossed aside. This is in part because in the end, I was not the person in the relationship diagnosed with infertility. But it is not just that person who is diagnosed, it is the couple. There is pain and grieving felt by both people. My world was crushed and I hurt so much for him in what he was going through and in that I would never be able to carry his child. It was a pain and a sadness that ran so deeply, especially in those beginning days of hearing the news from the doctor. My hopes and dreams and identity were shattered, again and again. It was like being between wandering around aimlessly in a fog of the living dead and barring down for the impact of waves of soul shaking sadness. It is a very dark place in coming to terms that you will never have a biological child.
So, when people know or hear about the infertility in my past, it is not uncommon for people to say that now that I am divorced, it is not a problem anymore. They are quick to say that I am just fine and that I'll find someone out there and be popping out babies with no problem in no time! But how do they know? There have never been any viable sperm up in there? And it doesn't erase the pain and grieving that is permanently a part of who I am. It is not something so easy to let go and shrug off. It does not acknowledge the whole experience where I can feel understood as I am moving forward in my life.
And my life isn't just about having babies--I'd like to find someone in which to share a life. I am more than a baby factory. Not having a baby doesn't make me less of a person. And it is not to say I need someone to make me a whole person, but that I really would like to have that experience of a satisfying, loving partnership. A baby is a blessing. But I also know that is a difficult thing to hear for someone who is infertile.
I want to take a moment to say I have been so blessed by the love and support of my family and friends and I do not want to diminish that in any way. It is not that I am not appreciative of the occasional, well meaning intentions of support gone awry as experienced by me--as most of the expressions of support have been tremendously amazing. I know that when some of these sediments are spoken by someone who I know loves me, it is that they are sharing their hopes for me and wanting me to be happy. But I guess it is like the article had pointed out, there needs to be a time and a way to express that grief and it is not always easy to hear. You can't skip that step or pretend it was never there.
In line with what I have written in some of my personal writings, I have decided long ago that I am more than my infertility. I have let go of so many things and have been freed. It is a process and part of that process is accepting your whole self--past, present, and future--taking it all in while trying to live in the present of today.