The beautiful after.

THE BEFORE:

In the last few days, I’ve posted a few joking remarks about starting up fertility treatments again. As an Instagram example:

Chicken meds: yellow. Fertility meds: blue. Chicken meds: yellow. Fertility meds: blue. Damn you, refrigerated medications! #infertility #chickens #tagwinner

Chicken meds: yellow. Fertility meds: blue. Chicken meds: yellow. Fertility meds: blue. Damn you, refrigerated medications! #infertility #chickens #tagwinner

Obviously, I intended it as the joke for which it was taken. When I was pulling out that ball point pen fertility syringe for another round of IUI injections last night, I found it ridiculous that my Follistim was hanging out with the barnyard penicillin and Land O Lakes. It’s funny, right?! Of COURSE it is! (Maybe just the teeniest tiniest bit neurotic.)

THE BEAUTIFUL AFTER:

When things are difficult for me, writing and humor are my outlets. The tricky thing about humor is that it can actually serve to convince me that I am in good spirits. The tricky thing about grief is that it can come and go in waves and humor can mask that, too. While dwelling in the negative isn’t healthy, ignoring emotions isn’t either. I value humor highly, but I can also use it as a crutch.

After I posted the joking comments, friends and family reached out to me. “I’m praying!” they said. “I’m so excited you’re doing this!” they wrote. With each new message, I became more and more thankful that people could see past my joking to comfort me when I didn’t even recognize I needed it. That being said, I equally appreciate those who joke back because it IS funny. Humor can buffer pain in the best possible way. I just failed to recognize my cover up and probably should have addressed some of the emotions behind the scenes. Oops.

This is all to say that:

1) If you have friends who joke about difficult subjects, consider reaching out to them to let them know that you’re cheering them on. Still joke back! (Thinking about even HOUSING chicken meds next to your butter is nutso!) But also know that you seeing through some of the facade is deeply appreciated too. While it honestly does make me feel better to make cracks about infertility, I also have a really hard time being positive about it so letting other people carry excitement for me is an enormous relief and blessing.

2) If you are going through hard times, please think twice (or three… four… five times…) about keeping it to yourself. Having a behind the scene cheer team often does more than you could ever do for yourself. Trust others to carry you when you are just tired or incapable of doing it yourself.

 

Thanks for laughing with me and thanks for cheering for me. I love your hearts. (Even more than chickens.)

Sweet little babies.

Sweet little babies.

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4 thoughts on “The beautiful after.

  1. Always laughing with and praying for you, sweet Sara! Because, really with the stuff you write about….well, yea, you can use it. Just sayin’. 😉 Love & hugs to you. :)

  2. Oh my. Where do I start? Fertility treatment is tough. We tried for years to have a baby. No one ever thinks the process will include surgery, shots and pills. And more surgery! And testing, and diagnoses, and illness. We tried fertility treatments before our first child (though they didn’t work to conceive him) and we’re going to try then again for our *hopeful* second.

    The hardest part for me through this long journey was explaining my grief. Of course infertility is challenging, frustrating, expensive and sad, but people were always confused when I explained my feelings of grief were the strongest. I grieved the life I always envisioned I’d have. I grieved in the absence. I grieved for my future and the person I was becoming. As a pretty positive person it’s kind of hard to explain. I gave up. I was empty. I can’t sympathize with you (and Ryan) enough for what you are feeling. It’s hard, and it changes you.

    My son is a true miracle. I was at the lowest point in my faith, my marriage and in life, but I am certain God was listening. I am not sure how I’ll feel starting fertility meds again. I can tell you my grief still exists but I feel so much better knowing God is in my corner.

    I really enjoyed your post. Thank you. I’m glad people want to talk about it. Truly it helps!

    • Thanks for sharing Danielle. You’re completely right about the grief. It is the worst. From the outside looking in, it seems as though it should all disappear once you have a child, but it is the grieving of so much that you didn’t plan for (or that you did) that continues to be painful. Thanks for telling your story. Prayers your way for your *hopeful* second!

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