Almost two years ago, after a few too many surprise pregnancy announcements, I deactivated my Facebook account. Periodically, when I’m feeling brave (or nosey) I’ll go back on and see what so many of the people I’ve lost touch with are up to.
Today, I was curious to see if any of the hundreds of people I follow on Facebook posted anything about National Infertility Awareness Week. There are so many people on social media portraying perfect lives that, although I don’t want anyone else to suffer, it would be comforting to know that someone else out there is fighting the same battle.
I should have known it would be a bad idea. I got sucked into a rabbit hole of looking at profile after profile. So many women I used to be close with are now on their second or third child. Women who got married after I did. I feel like I’ve blinked and lost three years of my life. For my own sanity, I usually try not to compare my life to other people’s lives. But today I couldn’t help it, looking at the perfect family moments and photos that everyone else gets to have. The pain takes my breath away sometimes, when I realize that everyone else is able, with relative ease, to have the family they always dreamed of, and I am still so broken and alone.
I have learned to cope – not perfectly, but better than before – with the pain of failed cycles. And the strain infertility imposes on our marriage, finances, social life… The list goes on. But the loss of control over achieving my goals and dreams is something that haunts me regularly. No woman should have the ability to build a family taken away from her. To have to sit by and watch what feels like everyone in the world create what you want so desperately. We are always told that life isn’t fair, and there is nothing like infertility to remind us how true that really is.