My IVF friend is the strongest woman I know – but she hates me pointing it out!
This anonymous letter made us tear up a little! From one woman to another, let’s celebrate the strength that women with fertility challenges can teach us.
Imagine we’re talking over coffee about IVF and work when life is normal again, and imagine that I said I said that I think you’re a warrior. You’d probably look away as usual and stir your coffee for a few seconds too long and laugh. You’d say something like you didn’t ask to be a warrior. You’re just a normal person. You didn’t sign up for tough life lessons, or the “school of hard knocks”, or things that don’t kill you somehow making you stronger. You’re tired of being strong. You just want to be pregnant.
You’d say you’re not naturally built for battle. Uncertainty gives you anxiety. Conflict makes you feel sick. That you cried when your sister got pregnant – do warriors cry? You’re not good with needles. You don’t have a head for medical jargon. You don’t have a knack for figuring out all of this horrible medical stuff, it’s just confusing and hard. You’d never point to yourself as an example of a survivor or a fighter. It makes you feel like a fraud. Other people go through so much. You just want to have a family.
You’d say you fell into this by accident & just kept going through sheer stubbornness. That you never guessed that it would take so long, that’s all. You never thought you’d feel so defeated, and then pick yourself up and try again, but you didn’t have a choice. You never expected all these injections and vaginal ultrasounds and surgery, and endless overtime just to pay for it all and stress on your relationship, but you just had to deal with it.
You didn’t know it would take over your life. You didn’t count on it alienating you from family and friends. You couldn’t understand why it was so easy for other people and so hard for you. You didn’t know you’d be told “Everything looks fine!” and still not get pregnant, month after month. You didn’t know that the two-week wait could last a hundred years.
But if you’d known all of that in advance, would you still have tried? Yes, of course, you would. That’s why you’re a warrior, and I’m not taking it back. I know you’d probably die of embarrassment if I ever tapped a spoon on the side of a glass at a party and called you a warrior in public. One day I will do that though, and you’ll be drinking orange juice instead of wine, and wearing fluffy slippers instead of boots, and there will be piles of gifts and teddy bears in the corner of the room. You’ll probably blush a bit and glare at me, but someone has to say it. Girl, you are 100% a warrior, and I’m so proud of you.