Fertility fatigue. Fertility fatigue. Fertility fatigue.
Those words have been rolling around in my brain all afternoon ever since I had the realisation that for once, despite having a super hectic few weeks, I am not completely fatigued. The reality of this just amazes me. I mean, I’m in my 24th week of pregnancy and I have a four year old and I solo parent most of the time. Eric does usually take Monkey for 24 hours on the weekend but last weekend he stayed here instead and I got a 4 hour break in the afternoon on Saturday and the weekend before that he was in Singapore so I was full-time mummy after a busy week of solo mummying.
Usually if Eric misses a weekend of taking our little dude I am toast by the next week so the fact that we are now two weeks after that and I am feeling motivated and energetic, well, it just blows me away.
Monkey does go to pre-school 3 days a week (1 long day and 2 short) but I do work and run around doing my appointments across those days so they aren’t a rest per se, just a rest from parenting. And yet I’m not really that fatigued. Yes yes, I have the second trimester bump to thank for some of it I’m sure but the reality is that I also no longer have the stress of infertility and the related fatigue weighing me down.
I think when we are in the thick of this journey that we underestimate the toll it takes us. So often I am reading blogs by beautiful women in the midst of their fertility journey feeling anxious, emotional, depressed and afraid and wondering why. You are thinking surely the meds can’t effect you that much. Are you really have that strong a reaction? Is it something else? Is it all in your head? Why can’t you just deal with this easily and continue on with your life? You don’t want to be a burden on your partner, you job or anyone really and just want to soldier on and be strong and brave. Even worse, you feel you are letting the side down if you have even a moment where you can’t cope.
I know I felt completely irrational so much of the time that we went through this journey – I can see it more looking back now. And Eric and I seemed to have these crazy fights when we were in the thick of it because it was almost breaking me, I just didn’t realise it at the time. I can only see it now that I am starting to heal and feel like I am starting to put myself back together.
Girlfriend, if that’s you right now, you ARE strong and brave. Being impacted by your situation is not weak and cowardly, it’s REAL. And your situation is not “oh I didn’t get pregnant this month”. It’s a myriad of appointments, the artificial stimulation and repression of your hormones, the rise and fall of hope in your heart, moments of almost success that then slip through your fingertips, miscarriages for so many, adoption heartbreak for others, delayed cycles, no money, relationship strain, and eons of holding your breath so long it feels like your chest may explode. And it just goes on and on and on and on and on.
Just think about that for a second.
It’s not even the complete list and already I feel tired just thinking about it. That’s a lot of stuff to be going on at once, let alone for a prolonged period of time. And that is what infertility is – a prolonged period of trying to build a family and having it not work…
every. fucking. time.
Writing and thinking of it right now brings back so many memories for me and is truly almost more than I can bear. And I am one of the lucky ones.
My journey is not yet over. I am yet to bring a live baby home to cuddle and I am terrified that something hideous will happen in the meantime that means I will not. Or in my darkest moments I become terrified that I will lose the one little living breathing miracle I already have (yes, my stupid brain does go there some days). But I am closer now than I have ever been and the fog is lifting and I am looking around and thinking to myself Wow, this is what it feels like to feel motivated again. It feels good but most of all it feels lucky and makes me introspective like I am here today.
I want you all to feel that too. All you ladies walking the uphill slope on this journey with your backpack heavy with all that stuff, I want you to get to the part where you don’t need the pack anymore and the hill levels out to be a nice stroll in the garden and there is sunshine and colour and joy to light your world. There will always be a dark corner in the distance behind those trees but it won’t permeate your entire world.
I want you to have this too.
Until that day comes, go easy on yourself. The journey is wild and your pack is full. Sometimes you just need a little sit down.