Here I go again with another somewhat controversial subject. And please know right off the bat, I do not mean to offend ANYONE, and I will try to use the most gentle, positive language possible.
Recently, on the online message boards where I'm a member, a topic was breeched about primary infertility (TTC the first child for over 1 yr with no success... or if using the Creighton Model, 6 months with no success), and how it is tougher than secondary infertility. Of course, I'd have to agree with this statement, since a) I can't relate to secondary, but I know from personal experience that primary is a bitch, and b) logistically, if you walk away from secondary IF never conceiving, at least you still have a child to love in your future.
But then the comment was made (not meant to be offensive) that TTC with recurrent m/cs is much different from TTC with no losses, because with losses, you are grieving the actual death of a child. There is NO DEBATE in my mind, on this point. The 2 are absolutely different, and if I had to pick which is "worse" to experience, definitely the recurrent m/cs. However, it got me thinking. Which is more despairing? Which is more hopeless?
Now of course, having never suffered a m/c, I will be taking the angle of an infertile who has never conceived. I just can't relate to the m/c side of this argument, so I won't try. But I can CERTAINLY relate to TTC with no pregnancies. Ever. Never. Nottaone. So that's what I'll do:
In NaPro Technology, they actually consider Infertility as a separate thing altogether from TTC with history of m/c. One of the Drs who lead a discussion in my Creighton Model training class came right out and said, "Having recurrent miscarriages is not infertility. They can get pregnant. Infertility is when you can't get pregnant at all." What I, and other infertiles experience every single month is a series of grieving emotions, over the loss of what "could have been." We actually do MOURN the death of our dream for that cycle. And in many ways, that mourning is similar to mourning over someone's death... except that it is a recurring death. With each passing month, and each failed cycle, something else continues to die, and that is our hope. The longer and longer we try to achieve a pregnancy, and fail, the more we wonder, "will I ever carry a baby in my womb?" "Will I ever be able to get pregnant?"
Another added level of despair for infertility with no losses is that we suffer alone. If an infertile shows up to work, or to an outing with friends, on the 1st day of her new cycle (aka, period started, no pregnancy... again), no one can really sympathize with her or understand how sad she is. Often, it is a silent suffering, because most infertiles realize that no one but other infertiles can relate to what they are going through. But in the rare case that an infertile DOES share their misery with co-workers or friends, the usual response is a puzzled look and a well-intended comment along the lines of "you're trying too hard, just relax!" or "I'm sorry, maybe next time." After many months of the same, though, outsiders tend to run out of things to say to you.
Conversely, if you have just suffered a miscarriage, I can guarantee that everyone (ignorant, heartless people aside) who hears about it will be there with open arms and an empathetic apology for your loss. A true loss people can relate to. But start talking about abstract losses like infertility and the inability to get pregnant, and people don't know what to do or say.
Another added bonus of infertility, and the monthly mourning (note sarcasm), is that deep down we also feel guilty for mourning! We realize that as MUCH as we would die to bring new life into this world, and have a soul growing inside of us, we DID NOT conceive. There was no life. Therefore there was no death. Why are we so upset? We didn't really lose anything! It's a horrible, viscious cycle, which continues to eat away at that hope I mentioned earlier.
Finally, in infertility, we don't even have the divine consolation that we will be with our children in heaven. We were never able to create a life with our husband and with God here on Earth, so that soul does not exist. Now obviously, there is no heartache or sadness in Heaven... so God must have something else, something very special planned for those of us who may never conceive children, for our time in Heaven. But as we spend the remainder of our years here on Earth, there is a fear of constant regret.
Add to this now the Infertile woman who uses NaPro Technology:
NaPro has a particular strength in helping women who have had previous m/cs to carry a pg to term. Why? Because NaPro treats and "fixes" the abnormalities in the woman's body, and helps it become the optimum environment for a growing baby. But NaPro cannot force a sperm to fertilize an egg. So often, upon hearing of a friend's miscarriage, I will think- "Oh, with NaPro she has such a good chance of getting pregnant again and carrying to term!" And while I know that NaPro has already brought me so far in correcting my PCOS, endometriosis, blocked fallopian tubes, thyroid system, beta-endorphin levels, and DH's morphology, there is no guarantee that I will ever achieve a pregnancy. I have the UTMOST hope that if I do achieve pregnancy, I will be able to carry to term, because of the NaPro treatment I will continue to receive in early pg. But getting to that stage? The hope continues to die.
Again, sorry if this blog was offensive in any way. But since this is a blog about my infertility, my journey, and my emotions, I thought I should shed some light on this subject, from my perspective.