Last week I got the paperwork from the Northeast clinic. I was told on the phone that I would be seen as a new patient and that sounded fine. There was even something kind of charming about having a “fresh start” on things. But then I unfolded the thick stack of papers that arrived in the mail and my heart sank. There really is no fresh start with fertility clinics.
Here is where I confess something: after I successfully gave birth to W I stopped considering myself infertile. How could I be when I was walking around the planet with a baby? Sure it took a long time for this baby to come to be and a good bit of intervention, but I had jumped over the abyss and landed into an entirely new world of parenthood. It took less than a month of being a Mom before the memories of fertility drugs and follicle scans and all of the years of hoping and waiting started to fade away.
As I slowly walk the path towards creating a sibling for W I didn’t expect to have to revisit the ghosts of my womb. I wanted to simply move forward without having to look back. And yet here was all of this paperwork….how many cycles did you go through before achieving a pregnancy, how many IUI’s, how many IVF’s, how many pregnancies, how many miscarriages?
I want to just pull out my phone and scroll through the photos of my amazing 2 year old and exclaim, “Look! I made him! It totally ended up working for me! Let’s just tape over all of those years where it didn’t and do this again!”
So I kind of darkly chuckle at myself – oh the very idea that I could be back in the trying to conceive sphere and not have the doubt and panic. I feel a bit pompous that I thought I would just skip ahead and not have to go over my history.
I’ve had some time to sit with the paperwork now and I’ve come full circle. Filling this out is part of the continuous healing that has to be done after trauma. It’s the kind of healing that we do when someone asks us about a loved one years after their passing. It’s talking about the poverty in the same paragraph as we talk about the bounty. The medical history of my infertility years might as well be tattooed on my body for the world to see. But it has been made invisible by my role of Mother.
I thought I would be able to ditch my past but oh how wrong I was.