A few years ago, our priest, Father M preached about Change. His sermon was directed at a bunch of graduating teens. He talked about how most people write, "Never Change" or "Don't Change" in year books. And how that he wanted them/us to change because it meant growth, basically people need to change, and that it is always good. As in most cases, when I left Father M's masses, I felt enlightened. He spoke the truth, to grow you have to change.
This memory has been playing in my head, with the realization that I have changed yet again. I am not the same person as I was a year ago. Don't get me wrong, many of my basic qualities are still there, but my view of the world and how I respond to it has ABSOLUTELY changed.
When did it change? When it became clear that I was truly infertile. I don't know if it happened after the HSG, or the first, second, third, fourth round of Clomid failing, our two year anniversary; but it happened sometime during all of those roller coasters. It happened when I had to explain the various procedures or when I had to tell my T that we HAD to have sex NOW! It changed when I started to defend and justify my want to be a mother. It happened.
And it has changed me and my relationships in so many ways.
I've learned to defend myself. Before infertility, I had known that there were times when I should have stood up for myself. But more often than not, I let go of it to preserve the relationship. I took crap from so many people, because I my extreme loyalty. I no longer have that same threshold. And as a result, I tell people now when they have hit the mark of too much crap. Some people, I think, respect it. Others have not liked it. My loyalty is still there, but now I include loyalty to myself.
Pregnancy is no longer an easy thing. Whenever someone tells me they are pregnant, I pray for them. Truly pray. Because I have lost my naivety about pregnancy. It is no longer something that is easy or taken for granted. It is a gift and privilege to have a healthy pregnancy and child. It is not a guarantee.
Now, I am more critical of people with children. I get angry when people treat there children with anything but respect. Believe me, I don't believe this means you shouldn't scold your child, or teach them boundaries. But, I get upset when people don't want to spend time with their kids, or act like they are a burden. If your kid wants to spend time with you by sitting on your lap or having you read to them, take it!
A harmless comment no longer exists. I take things to heart. I no longer can sit back and let people make what they believe a harmless comment from my mother to a stranger. Now, I feel a need to say something. Before, I wouldn't have bothered and made an excuse for them. Now, I don't have the patience. I also try not to make the harmless comment, and when I fail, I apologize.
It has changed my relationships with my husband, family and friends. Some have been strengthened by this change. The conversations are deeper and so are the understanding. Many times I know that they are at a loss, but every effort is truly appreciated. And even though I valued them so before, my admiration and endearment have grown.
My changes have increased my love for my T and I feel his love for me. I have learned more about him during this change than any other time. Like how when I cry, he hates it. Can't stand it. He would rather avoid all topics that potentially upset me than talk about them. He only has a need to talk about a scenario when he absolutely has too. And that ultimately, he only wants to make me happy. How he truly loves me, because he doesn't blame me for our childlessness or when I am in an irrational, emotional phase because of Clomid. How he has changed his point of view on children, to protect his own heart as much as me.
My baby sister is now my protector. When my mother went on a most hurtful tirade, it was my baby sister who called her to make her apologize to me. In the most empathetic act, she has made a contingence plan with her fiancé if they too are inflicted with infertility.
Friends have truly listened and been there for me.
I've also gotten to know some amazing people because of this change.
So for all the bad things infertility has brought, it has brought me good things as well. It has brought change. And change is ALWAYS good because you can't grow without it. At this exact moment, because I know I will curse it sooner than later, I am grateful for my infertility.