It’s Not a Competition

Today wasn’t the best day.

You would think that “infertility” ends after you have that miracle baby. But it doesn’t. It didn’t.

Today is a day when anxiety is kicking my ass again. It’s trying to make me doubt that what I went through even counts. That I shouldn’t be talking about it because it wasn’t that bad. This is why it took me so long to talk about it at all.

Because it was only my second baby. I already had one.

Because it was technically under three years. That is nothing.

Because other people had it much worse than I do. So many more hardships and struggles.

And then I think, since what happened to me was really nothing, the fact that it almost broke me makes me pretty pathetic.

*deep breath*

I am going to counter all of that point by point.

I did have a child, it’s true. I was and am so grateful for the incandescent life-giving little human that is my first child. She makes me belly laugh every single day. She is loving and affectionate and compassionate and whipcord smart. An open-hearted gorgeous little love-being. Having and loving an existing child doesn’t mean it’s okay that your body betrays you. That the thing that is supposed to make you a woman isn’t happening. Having and loving a child doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to mourn the family you dreamed of together with your husband.

Yes, it wasn’t a full three years of trying. But it was more than thirty cycles. Thirty plus times that we tried and got our hearts broken. Over and over and over again. While in this time period people around us had not just one more child but two. It was a year of helping my husband grieve the loss of his mom. It was two years of preschool with Gemma. Two years of drops offs and pick ups surrounded by women with several babies. Surrounded by pregnant bellies. It was a long miserable period feeling broken and in pain. It mattered. It still matters.

Of course there are people out there going through something worse than secondary infertility. Obviously. Come on. This is a big world and I was born in the richest and most powerful nation to ever exist thus far at the height of its power. I have never gone hungry. I’ve never lived through war. I have family who love and support me. My children are safe and healthy. My marriage is strong. I have the same best friend since I was three years old and we both just had baby girls within a month of each other. I am young and healthy and strong. But none of that means that my broken heart is any less significant. Pain is not a competition.

Pain is not a competition. Caiti. Pain is not a competition.

You are not pathetic. The world has no idea what you have survived. And you know what? You don’t have to justify your struggle and your journey to anyone.

Not to anyone.

Secondary infertility is infertility. Pain is pain.

And you went through yours because this person, this exact adorable beautiful little person, was meant to be here.

Caiti

A disorganized, overly dramatic SAHM of two girls finding her center after secondary infertility. Caffeine queen. Romance fiend. Welcome to my nerd show.

3 thoughts on “It’s Not a Competition

  1. Oh Caiti…. I had no clue infertility was part of your story. I’m so so sorry. I resonate with so much of what you said— there’s always someone who “has it worse” or who “has it better” and it can make us feel guilt and shame over our pain (the former) or lead to despair (the latter.) The pain of infertility is real, no matter the length, end result or other factors. We don’t need to justify our grief. Thankful you are sharing your story— that is so powerful!!

    1. Thank you, Jackie. Thank you so much for taking time from your busy mom day to read this. Thank you so so much. Your comment truly means so much to me because you are actually someone who inspired me to talk about it. I have lurked around your blog for years and your strength, faith and courage consistently blew me away. You are sort of an “infertility hero” to me…is that awkward for you? Ha! But THANK YOU for always being brave enough to talk about something so gut-wrenching and personal. Because I truly wish I had spoken up sooner. And it’s true…we don’t have to justify our grief.

      1. Oh my gosh!!! That comment brought tears to my eyes!! Thank you for the kind words and I am SO encouraged that my blog was helpful and just so humbled it empowered you to write. I’ve found such healing in sharing those dark parts of my story and I pray you will too💛

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