We had our second round of IUI this past month and it did not end up in a pregnancy. I was sure to not get my hopes up as much this time, but for some reason, it hurts WAY more. I jumped right back in to taking hormones for the next round, jumping on the emotional rollercoaster that is hormonal therapy. There was not a lot of time to think and feel last time, it’s almost like it built up between the first time and this last time that all of the emotions I am feeling are pouring out.
One of the things I hear a lot (and don’t know how to respond to) is, “You are just so strong” and “I can’t imagine what you are going through” and “I don’t know how you do it.” I hear it a lot personally and I hear it being said to others going through the infertility as well. I see it on the social media posts and the blog comments. I hear it in my own life and I get the “look of pity” frequently. If you are the ones saying and doing those things, you are not in trouble. You are not a bad person and you are showing care, interest, and support, so we thank you. Just know, sometimes the response is going to be what I am about to say:
The short response is that I am not strong and I don’t know how I am doing it. I have felt more hopeless in the past two months than ever before and I feel like I am barely keeping it together. Now that it’s fall and the temperature is cooling down, social media is blooming with posts about apple picking and pumpkin patches, flannel and fancy fall drinks. Almost all of them I see are posts from friends that have small children that are LOVING the adventures and the outdoors. It’s everything I long for and it is too much to bear to see them and to feel jealousy. I immediately feel guilt for being jealous or envious. There is a lot of focus on the family right now between it being fall, the pandemic, and online school. Pastors, bloggers, social media posters, influencers, and parents are offering different types of advice for holding the family together during these pandemic times and they are filled with (mostly) lovely advice. How I long to have those problems, working hard to bring my children and family closer together.
My dear reader, if you do not know Jesus, these next words may not make sense, but I hope they make you think. The only way that I am getting through this is by the divine strength of Jesus. Every time I don’t feel like standing back up or getting out of bed or even opening my eyes from the previous blink, the Lord is my strength and he is carrying me through. It is NOT my strength, because currently I am the weakest I have ever been. The world says that if I want it bad enough and work hard enough (or in some cases, relax enough), I am going to get what I want. The Word says that I need to rely and lean into the strength that does not come from me. If it did, I would be in deep trouble. I am so glad for my husband and his constant support. He is an excellent partner and friend. His strength, however, to hold me and comfort me comes from the Lord as well.
This is not a pity post and I hope it doesn’t come across that way. This is a post of honestly and vulnerability, that infertility is not always about being strong and sometimes it is about being broken down to a point of being reminded that I cannot do this alone and that others can only help me so far. If I didn’t have hope in something greater, I would not carry on.
But I do, and I will.