I have seen some beautiful success stories on Facebook the last week or two with the pictures of newborn IVF babies, and it always brings me back to that life altering day for us nearly 11 years ago.
As you would imagine, everything changed.
I remember feeling euphoric, incredulous, overwhelmed, and in a state of magical wonder that somehow it had actually happened.
What I wasn’t prepared for was not feeling like it was okay to ever feel grumpy, stressed out, or tired.
God forbid if I needed to complain.
I felt guilty, because we finally had the blessing that we had fought so hard sleeping our arms.
Yet, there were times, like any parent, that I felt tired.
And every once in awhile, it wasn’t that magical.
Sometimes I was completely clueless and angry and puzzled by what this creature wanted from me.
Lisa was very hard on herself too.
She wanted everything to be perfect about the birth.
It wasn’t. High blood pressure, a scary c-section, and a brain swelling scare a few weeks after birth didn’t exactly fit into our vision of how the post birth experience would be.
Then adjusting to sleepless nights as she recovered from the c-section, and I took over everything at home–that took an extraordinary amount of will power to keep from collapsing from exhaustion.
Every once in a while we’d make the mistake of voicing our complaints to a fertile person, and they’d say ‘well this is what you wanted so bad, isn’t it?’
The double standard of the infertility parent complaint box revealed itself many times after that.
Now I know anyone still in the throes of the infertility battle is probably screaming -“Are you kidding me! I’d give anything for that. You ungrateful bastard!”
That’s okay– every time I read an article about any overwhelmed parent I wanted to punch the computer screen or rip up the paper thinking ‘how could they possibly complain when they have their miracle.”
I guess that’s where I have to say ‘be prepared’–people who were your support system and are still in their primary infertility battle, may suddenly fall off the radar a little bit.
There may be a sudden strain–maybe from you feeling guilty that it’s not them, or maybe it’s them being in a bad place with their own battle.
Either way, enjoy the miracle that is in your life.
But be prepared for a new set of challenges to come along.
Most of all, know that it’s okay if you need to vent every once in a while.
As I’ve said before–with all we have to go through as infertility patients to bring our bundles of joy into this world, I think we deserve twice the rights to bitch and complain about the occasional indignities, stresses and frustrations of post infertility parenthood.