I’m sharing this so that you the reader can feel less alone, because when I was in the thick of it all, it was so lonely. People’s stories were the only thing that made me feel less alone.
It’s sad to think that our fertility journey started before we got married. This wasn’t with a diagnosis, no not at all, this was with speculation made by family members. The comments were things like don’t buy too many nice clothes because your sister in law got pregnant straight away, or we expect to hear as soon as your pregnant.
The pressure to become pregnant straight away made our whole first year of marriage a lot more strenuous than it should have been.
I remember thinking about how scary enough it was just getting married, going to mikva, learning to cook, caring for another human, etc. It was a whole new way of life and I wanted to learn and try and perfect that first.
A couple years passed and SHOCK HORROR we didn’t have a baby yet let alone 2 or 3 that our siblings had by then. We had also lost a pregnancy by then and the pressure from certain family members was building. We went from Dr to Dr who couldnt tell us much without vigorous testing which was hard to get quickly on the NHS (UK healthcare) and far too expensive privately. We just had to wait.
They took me under their wing (my husband didn’t want support) and they helped me get through some of the darkest days. I had weekly therapy, which got me through another few losses. I remember after one of my losses feeling so confused with my own emotions, the pain was so heavy in both senses. I was numb yet also relieved. That pregnancy for the few short weeks was so terrifying that it felt easier when it was all over. I hated myself for thinking like that but that miscarriage was the most scary, and I had to go back and forth to the hospital for tests quite a few times. The guilt was all consuming but the relief was also.
Our marriage flitted from being completely broken, to stronger than ever. Every month I naively thought maybe this month. My husband was much more sceptical. It got to a point where he didn’t let me test until my period was at least a week late.
We tried to just live a life of a couple, went on holiday, date nights etc but always felt like there was something missing.
Family gatherings were pure hell. One of my husbands siblings made a kiddush for their baby girl one shabbos when we were all together.
My husband mentioned to his mum that I may not be there as it may may too much for me and she got really upset. She didn’t think. The simple part of it was just that. She didn’t think, that just maybe it was too painful for me. She had no idea what was going on in our lives except what was evidently clear that we still hadn’t been blessed.
(We had chosen to only tell my parents snippets of what was going on but no one else.)
So I decided to go because it would have made more of a statement if I wasn’t there. Another sister in law meaning well but also again not thinking dumped her newborn on me and disappeared. It was almost
like she was saying ‘hey, if u hold mine, it will get you pregnant’. I will never forget that time. I just sat in a corner with a sleeping baby on me wanting the ground to swallow me up but also desperately wanting this baby to be my own.
And then, after a super long time, 1 day, there was 2 pink lines on the stick, we held our breath sceptically until we got a heartbeat, and finally a worryingly 9months later we had our beautiful miracle.
The one thing my husband used to say, which was never helpful at the time but is more so now when I look back, is that everyone has their package, if they seem to have babies easily, their marriage might be bad, or there finances or they might have sick family members.
The overall thing that infertility has taught me is to be much more sensitive to other people. Because you have zero idea what is going on behind closed doors.