Here's my tribute...you are not alone! I'm sending you lots of virtual HUGS through this letter (click to see a bigger resolution):
In this post I'd also like to address a certain misconception concerning childlessness after infertility. You see, even though we've moved on from TTC (trying to conceive) to life without children and we've enjoyed life as a family of two, that doesn't mean that the impact of infertility is gone altogether. Childlessness after infertility is a permanent state, not a temporary situation. It's a lifelong situation which also affects us even further away in our future. It doesn't stop at just the dream of being a mother. It's much much more than that. Childlessness after infertility is about rows and rows of buried dreams: dream of conceiving, feeling the child growing inside you, giving birth, breastfeeding, turning your husband into a father and your parents and in-laws into grandparents, the possibility of becoming a grandmother, the chance to have your own flesh-and-blood, the chance to be a major impact on someone's life that is your own flesh-and-blood, etc.
I've read so many stories about how in the future when a friend's child gets married, a woman like me is reminded of her own loss and she needs to grieve all over again. It doesn't hurt as much anymore, but the pang is there. The grief doesn't stop just at the motherhood dream after your peers have stopped multiplying. The grief keeps on coming like waves, though the frequency and the power has lessened over time, but the only way to handle grief is to grieve. So don't wonder why even in the future we still need to grieve our losses over and over again.
Childlessness after infertility is like losing a real person that you love and miss so much, but the difference is that you have no sweet memories to hold on to that can comfort you, so with so many reminders all around you: pregnancy announcements, baby bumps, your friends' babies, baby showers, Mother's Day, Father's Day, your friends' children's graduation, your friends' children's engagement parties, etc. the only thing you can do is wonder what your child would be/look like if they were alive at that age and feel the built up longing you feel towards your own non existent child. And unlike losing a real person (or even a pet), many people don't even validate your grief because they think that your loss is not real (esp. in cases where one has never gotten pregnant). Again I must stress here that the pain we feel isn't as deep and agonizing like the way it was in the past, but we are humans with feelings and we still feel some pangs every now and then.
However, I'd also love to add here that the impact of childlessness after infertility isn't all negative. Not at all. I have met so many wonderful and inspirational ladies in my journey that I wouldn't have met otherwise and I've definitely learnt so many more things about myself and so many lessons along the way. This is one of the lessons I've learnt among others: creating my own inner best friend. :-)
Anyway, if you're interested in reading about more misconception about people like us in our infertility journey as well as how much it can affect friendship, go here:
I'd love to end this post by saying THANK YOU for all of you who have been sensitive and empathetic towards our journey. THANK YOU as well for all those people (mostly women) out there who have been very open with their infertility journey, because they help me make decisions in terms of our own infertility journey and be more realistic concerning my healing journey. THANK YOU for each one of you who are willing to open your heart and mind towards this world called infertility or childlessness after infertility.