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Survivor’s Guilt: A Journey Through Infertility

After years of struggling with infertility, November 2014 brought the best news of our lives: we were almost two months pregnant! A lot of screams were followed by back-to-back doctors appointments to confirm, and more screams from two excited sets of grandparents. (You can read more about our struggle with infertility in my introduction post to Detroit Moms Blog)

While it was the happiest moment of our lives, my heart and mind immediately went to a few amazing friends struggling with their own fertility issues. Infertility can be so lonely, and with these ladies, I knew I always had someone. Whether it was a tearful cry over an unexpected pregnancy announcement, or anxious texts struggling with the side-effects of the various treatments, they were always there. 

From that moment forward, I was plagued with guilt. Guilt that somehow, after losing all hope, moving on, and preparing for a childless living, I was pregnant. Guilt that some of the most amazing, caring, and loving women I know were still struggling, and I was with child. 

That guilt never left my mind. Throughout my pregnancy, it was always something I thought of. I never lost sight of our journey and the emotions that came along with each step. While in our journey, there were many things that I would hear in conversation or see on social media about motherhood or children that would be upsetting to me. Knowing how sensitive emotions can be during infertility, I never wanted to be the source of pain for anyone. 

Pregnancy wasn’t easy on me. From all day sickness to multiple trips to the hospital, to other pains that plagued my time with ‘Baby Sprout,’ it was no walk in the park. However, few knew what was happening behind the scenes. No matter how hard pregnancy was, I was carrying our child, and that is a feat that only some can dream of. 

Even after having our beautiful son Blake, I couldn’t shake the feeling of guilt. I know that social media can be a big source of anxiety, so I try to be thoughtful about not over posting or having too many SnapChat videos of silly things he does. I will never be the Mom to post about wanting to get away from my son, or needing a break from ‘momming.’ Even on our toughest days, I remember, there are those that would do anything to have any kind of day with a child of their own. 

I am not sure if the feeling of guilt will ever go away. To be honest, I am content if it never does. While the journey to our son was long and difficult, it made me the mother I am today. Knowing how hard it was to have a child of our own, I hug a little tighter, say goodbye a little longer and cherish every tiny moment.  

As I snuggled my son to sleep tonight, tears streamed down my face as they often do in those quiet moments. Every night as he is drifting off to sleep, I tell him the same thing: “I love you with all my heart. Thank you for being my baby. I am so glad that God gave me you.” As he softly mumbles “I love you, Momma,” I am reminded of just how lucky I am to have ‘survived’ our struggle, and to say a prayer for those still in the battle. 

 

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