Where did the time go? I am now just twelve months short of turning forty years old, and I do not know where those years went. From a young girl I was always ambitious, but at the same time I knew I wanted to start a family. Yet I postponed it for travel, for career, for life in general. It was never ‘the right time’. Now as I slowly reach the ‘mature years’ as my doctor calls it, I’m being faced with the possibility that biological children may never be in my future.
It’s funny thinking back to my late twenties and early thirties, as I recall many of my friends starting their families at that time. Yet, back then, it didn’t concern me as I became surrounded by rounded bellies or pregnancy announcements. The fact is I wasn’t ready to start that stage of my life at that age, but I remained happy for them. Now it is different. After four miscarriages and over three years of fertility challenges, it can sometimes feel overwhelming; with signs of pregnancy and young families just taunting me everywhere I look.
There are really only two approaches to such a dilemma.
I could dwell in the despair and hopelessness of this predicament; feeling that I cannot control my own family choices and becoming resentful of the fact that others have what I cannot. I won’t lie, there have certainly been moments where this darkness began to envelope my very being, where I felt self-pity, regret and even jealousy. But these were just moments. It has always been important to pull myself out of the darkness, look around, and find a way through that cloud – and quickly.
Finding hope, a way forward, that is the second choice; it is the only choice that promises survival through this constant battle. Infertility is a disease – it is something that needs to be managed. Like all diseases some find a cure, others don’t. Facing that reality is the first step to owning your condition, and ultimately conquering it!
It’s a hard road though to walk along. Sometimes it feels that everything you face places you at a disadvantage. Each cycle leaves you with anticipation and then discouragement, doctors try to provide answers which often send you in circles to different specialists, and your body takes you through a rollercoaster of physical and emotional question marks as you seek out each possible opportunity to successfully conceive and carry a baby.
Yet no one really wants to talk about it. The topic of miscarriage or infertility is never a comfortable topic of conversation. It is as though each time you fall over, you quickly get up, dust off the dirt and hope no one around you had observed. You keep walking, trying to hide the fact that you’re hurt, and displaying a false smile that says ‘I’m ok’. But you’re not.
It is certainly not easy to remain positive amidst all this. Sometimes, it is simply not about being positive, it is just focusing on being hopeful. I can only continue to hope that no matter what, I will find my own happy ending.
No matter what, I am determined to continue exploring my options until there are no more; and if that fails, I will aim to find peace with my future, whatever that may be. Whilst that is a difficult thought to reconcile, I realise that my relationships, my life and any opportunities for contentment rely completely on my own mind-set throughout all of this. If I cannot get myself through this, no one else can. Despite the storm which currently thunders overhead, I will keep searching for my rainbow – my future of happiness – and when I catch it I will glorify in all its beauty.
Rachel McGrath, www.findingtherainbow.net