Thursday, 19 October 2017

Getting off the Fence

We finally did it. We made our dreams come true. We have a baby on the way and I'm as happy as I could possibly be, but after seeing that little heartbeat flicker I've had this feeling I haven't been able to shake, that there is something off. I'm told that a woman feels like a mother when she becomes pregnant - the whole having a baby inside you thing really helps to make things real for you, but a man feels like a father when they meet their baby. At first I wrote this feeling off as just that, a delayed daddy reaction that will go away when I meet my baby in April.

It didn't work out that way, the giant pit in my stomach just kept growing. I had fought my way through this whole ordeal and I used every weapon I had. I did tests, and consults, and more tests, and treatments, and research. I got second and third jobs and managed our budgets. When I had done all I could do medically and financially I wrote blog posts, and participated in Facebook groups, staying positive and trying to help others through their own struggles. By every definition of the word, I had earned this triumph, so why did I feel like this?

I've met some awesome people along my journey that were dealt the same crappy hand, many of them much worse. I met couples that have both male and female factor infertility, others that if only they had the money - could make a go at treatment. Couples that have had their hopes lifted, only to then experience devastating loss I can't even begin to imagine, many of them time and time again. That is where the pit in my stomach comes from - a giant bowling ball of guilt weighing down my joy, and forcing me to wonder why it's me that deserves this child, this life, and not all the other people that may be more qualified, more able, and more deserving of their own child.

I tell myself it's okay, that those people understand, but I've been on the other side and I know they don't. It's a shameful feeling to be jealous of your best friends for getting pregnant and having kids, to be angry with them for being able to create something that you can't. I know that feeling and it's not easy. I'm still just as infertile as I ever was, but I'm no longer part of the community that lives it and my very presence in that community doesn't give the hope you would expect it to, it just gives more heartache.

Taken on our honeymoon in Scotland - the start of our journey.
So here I've been, sitting on the fence figuring out where I fit in and avoiding the inevitable loss that comes with leaving the community that's given me so much. I know this isn't where my journey ends, in fact it's really only the beginning, but it is a parting of ways. The kind of mutual "farewell, until we meet again" that you give a fond
travelling companion.

So to those that have been there for us, that have struggled alongside us and continue to do so, that have given us their warmth and shared our worries, our fears, and rode the rollercoaster with us - to all of you, I wish you all the luck and baby dust in the world, until we meet again.

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