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Getting on the Roller Coaster: My Ride with Infertility

Lullaby WishesBurlingtonVT Moms Blog is partnering with Northeastern Reproductive Medicine to bring you our latest series titled “Lullaby Wishes: raising infertility awareness.” 1 in 8 couples suffer from infertility and yet the subject is often not openly discussed and seems to carry a stigma. Through this series we hope to open the dialogue and help women battling through infertility know that they are not alone. Thank you to the courageous women who have chosen to share their stories as part of this series, as we know that this topic is often deeply personal and difficult to discuss. Our desire is that those reading this series will find encouragement in the hope and beauty that is weaved into these stories of heartache, loss and love.

Getting on the Roller Coaster: My Ride with Infertility

The roller coaster: It’s what we call the ups and downs of things. The stomach wrenching things. The anticipation building things. The thrilling, exhilarating, and terrifying things of life. The waiting lines, the safety precautions, and the dizzy uncertainty of legs meant to walk after an unsettling ride.

I knew there would be a roller coaster. It’s what everyone says. The day I found out why we weren’t yet parents was a day I knew what it meant to be down. We came to the clinic to be told that nothing was wrong, that everything was just fine, to keep trying. They didn’t say that. I didn’t expect it to become a place where I could get the kind of quiet that made my bedroom feel like a tomb. I didn’t expect it to be a place that I could hear my thoughts and feel my feelings more astutely than anywhere else. When I think of my ride with infertility, this is where I land-a space so unprovoking that it gave honesty a chance.

There’s something real about the inside of a fertility clinic.

It makes your throw pillows seem excessive, and your drink coasters like an extreme measure. The artwork is serene and unmemorable. The chairs are not soft enough to remind you of easier times, and the music is bereft of soul, not wanting to stir a heart one way or another. The room is completely neutral; an institution unwilling to take sides. Hope and despair are mortal enemies, and they are perhaps best at war behind averted eyes.

I guess it’s how I deal with most of my ups and downs. Internally. I thought about it a lot. About how I had grown to expect I would be a mom, expect I would become pregnant, expect I would decide something, and it would happen. I thought about how I loved adoption and so this shouldn’t hurt so much. I thought about how unfair it was that I couldn’t have what I wanted, especially since, well, I had spent my life not asking for much. I spent some time wondering about my future self, and if she would look back over her life and grieve the loss of that great life-giving ability that so many women have. I grieved some with my husband, with my family, but I grieved mostly in that place deep beneath rib and tissue, way down where identity lives.

Identity is a funny thing. It is who you are, and not always who you think you are.

There are some ups and downs in life that can play games with a person’s identity-make them forget who they are, as if a ride on a roller coaster brings you somewhere other than the place you started.

When the theives came, I gave them what they wanted without a fight. I leaned in with all my heart to grief, and heaviness, and loss. I wrapped them up and made them mine, delving down into the truth of them. I felt everything during that time, went with eyes open down the fast hill, into waiting rooms, and labs, and Petri dishes. I let myself never get used to the needles, and be scared of the invasive procedures. I cried appropriately in front of others, and inappropriately in private. I let grief and sadness extend as far as they would, knowing that if I paid attention to what was there, what was true, that it couldn’t touch my identity.

And it didn’t. I know who I am most of the time. I’m a mom, but that isn’t all. I’m strong because I know how to trust. I love because I know how to be loved. I give because I know what it means to need. I’m willing to change because I know I’m not perfect.

I’m persistent because often the most valuable things in life are hard won.

Because my identity informs my motherhood, and not the other way around, I get on the roller coaster over and over again.

Northeastern Reproductive Medicine is graciously sponsoring our ‘’Lullaby Wishes: Raising Infertility Awareness” series…and we would not have it any other way!  We are passionate about all that they are doing for women and couples in our community, and we encourage you to contact them to help in your journey to becoming a mother too.

To learn more about Northeastern Reproductive Medicine or schedule an appointment, please contact ::

1 (802) 655-8888


info {at} nrmvt {dot} com

3 Responses to Getting on the Roller Coaster: My Ride with Infertility

  1. Chery April 22, 2015 at 2:53 pm #

    love the honesty of your heart that your words express


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