Monday, March 29, 2010

An Article That I Found...

When I was typing "divorce and infertility" into Google to see what would appear, I came across this blog entry from Love Large:

The Bible and the Pain of Infertility

When I read it, I cried...a lot. (In the blog there is a link to the full article.) It helped me to feel validated in what I had been feeling while dealing with infertility during that part of my life when I had been married. There were so many parts that I could identify with in the article--basically all of the italicized subheadings in part one and the 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 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.


  1. Wow, incredible post. I've often wondered about your view on the two topics and their connection. I just haven't had enough time to pick your brain! I look forward to checking out the link.

    When you said "soul shaking sadness", it literally took my breath away. I'm sorry to say I've seen those depths. And regardless of it's cause, that kind of anguish- is life altering. But I'm so glad to hear that you've had so much support. It's unfortunate that you have to take the good with the bad in some cases. I will say that having the support is worth enduring the occasional unintentional faux pas. I learned that the hard way and suffered in silence for far too long. Which leads me to my next point:

    Jamie, you are one of the strongest women I have ever come in contact with. Your courage and resolve is absolutely awe inspiring. Which leads me to my next point: I WISH WE LIVED CLOSER.

    More posts please.


  2. Hear, Hear.
    You really are an incredibly strong woman and a wonderful writer.

    I never thought about this effecting yout that way because I experienced my divorce first and my infertility was a later war wound. In my realm of being, the infertility wound was so much deeper and more painful because there is nothing I can do to overcome it.

    Having that be said, I know that the wound of infertility does run deep and I firmly believe that you have the right to greive over your infertilty struggles just as much as the rest of us. If not more because of the circumstances that followed. And that, in the depths of your despair, that it would be so easy to let all of that spiral downward and make you feel as if your infertility led to the demise of your life as you knew it.

    (Hanging head in shame) And, as one of those well wishers who has *probably* made the statement that you will hopefully have experienced all of the infertility you will have to in your lifetime - I can tell you that it is not meant to belittle your experience with IF at all.

    You really are a strong woman and I am so blessed to have you in my life. I really do wish we all lived closer together.


  3. Thank you, Melissa and Carli! I so wish we all lived closer, too. And I have to say you are both amazingly strong women.

    Melissa, I completely agree with you that it is a very good thing to get support in the many ways people show it. There is far worse than someone who genuinely wants to help and might not realize what they are saying could be experienced another way.

    Carli, please, please do not be so hard on yourself. It is all relative--which is why I included my comments that I am blessed to have the love and support of great family and friends. For example, well wishes are felt much differently coming from an IFer than from someone who has children or has not been through IF. It is like when an IFers gets PG, it does not bother me as much because I know it was such a struggle in that journey. It is not just saying it to say it, but there is some level of understanding that goes deeper. I know coming from you that you truly hope that this all of the IF that I will experience. It isn't good for me to be overly negative or worry about it either. I just try to take it one day at a time.

    Hugs to you both!