UFE = Unfertilised EggFE = Fertilised Egg
1. It doesn't discriminate, yet everyone is different
Infertility can touch all sorts of people from all walks of life. It surprised me how many people I personally know who have been struck by it (too many by far). Everyone has a reason for the cause. While some reasons may be the same, each experience is different. Every journey is a deeply personal one.
2. It puts you in a state of limbo
You can be paralyzed with indecision. You are always cautious. You never know how you'll be feeling about it each day, much less what the outcome of all of it will be.
3. It is exhausting
Physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting. If it's not the endless rounds of drugs f*cking you up (pardon my swearing) not to mention feeling like a human pin cushion, it's the overthinking that does your head in. Don't even get me started on what it does to one's heart and soul. There are the times when you feel like you have nothing - and I mean nothing - left. Yet you have to get up, regroup, rebuild and do it all again because there ain't nobody else who can live your life for you.
4. It causes others to make assumptions
Even when these assumptions are incorrect, it's best to just let it go. In our case, we're comfortable with people knowing we're having problems but not for one moment will we share all the nitty gritty details with every single one of these people. In truth, not everyone has the right to hear our story.
5. It can make you feel ignored
If we don't want to talk about it we'll tell you but let that be our choice. Brushing it off or not even mentioning it at all when you know we're having a tough time makes us feel alone. Our situation is here, it's real and it's not going away. A simple "how are you doing" or "I'm here for you" is more than enough and is appreciated more than you know. Though please do not come out with "everything happens for a reason" or "no one gets anything more than they can handle". I can tell you right now those are a load of BS (again pardon the swearing).
6. It may cause you to do crazy things
By 'crazy' I mean the things you wished you did before or the things you never even considered doing or the the things you never thought you could do. Travel at every opportunity, do singing lessons, run a half-marathon, ride a tiny helicopter, take a trapeze lesson (the look on My Other Half's face when I announced I was doing this was priceless). These give you something else to focus on. They are a means to escape, a way to nurture yourself, a reward and a 'why the hell not'. They are what you hang on to when you're tired and just don't want to care anymore. They are for every moment you have to tell yourself to stop being sad because you have to be strong. They prove that life can be still be enjoyed, is definitely still meaningful and is full of rich experiences.
7. It holds a mirror up to yourself
You see yourself at your very worst moments where you discover you can really suck at this whole adult thing. However you also get to see yourself at your very best. Both situations make you realise what you're truly capable of.
8. It changes you
Your perspective, your attitude and your approach to life. I'd like to think that most of the changes have been for the better.
9. It makes you realise what's really important
You learn to prioritise and value who and what truly matters. Everyone and everything else outside of this is not worth sweating about.
10. It teaches you to be grateful
Grateful for what you have right now and for what's directly in front of you. I never realised how much I used to live for tomorrow until I went through this. Live in the moment, enjoy what you have now because you never know what the future may bring. So while the last few years of battling infertility has led to some of my very worst moments, it is this gratitude that has led me to some of my very best. And that is the precarious, precious balance of life. There is more to life than just this. I am not just all this.
To paraphrase the wonderful Maya Angelou, you can be changed by what happens to you but you can refuse to be reduced by it. Life can be a bitch so you've got to go out there and kick ass.