Not having 99.9% of the people in your life understand what you're going through, even as you walk through hell.
Feeling selfish for not being there for other pregnant women, when really you are often incredibly selfless, listening to them talk about their pregnancies when you are in so much pain, wanting to relate but not saying a word because you don't want to make them uncomfortable. But you hardly ever get extended the same courtesy.
But still, we have limits. Not attending baby showers is one. The pain is so acute, being surrounded by all these people who will have everything you ever wanted, but may never have. Being reminded of what you have lost, and will never get back. And having no one get it, when you can't handle it. Skipping the shower, and wondering if they're talking about you behind your back, if people are judging you, saying your selfish, labeling your pain as unreal- when it is all too real, and amplified by the littlest things, that no one will ever get.
Having unfulfilled dates circled on a calendar.
Missing you babies every day of your life, even as no one misses them with you.
Remembering them in silence, because other people get uncomfortable when you bring them up. Which makes you feel like you are crazy, that you should be over it- when this is normal, it's just everyone else doesn't get it. You never get over losing a baby- anyone who says otherwise is crazy. Grief doesn't go away, it just gets integrated into your life, until you become one with your grief.
Having pregnancy change from something special, to just another medical condition. No expectations, no guarantees- only the hope that it will result in a healthy living baby.
Having a positive test, and crying because you're scared, happy, sad, mourning, overwhelmed, incredibly fragile. Telling your significant other, and having them barely even acknowledge it because it hurts too much anymore. Remembering how it was the first time, and won't ever be again. For me, it's remembering the first, the second, the third- and how each time the light died a little more in my husband's eyes. How I felt a little more broken. How I felt a little more detached. How I grew more fearful with each loss.
Having to make the conscious decision to try again, because you can't leave anything up to fate. It doesn't work like that when you're infertile- you have to decide, and pay money, to try again. Knowing all the while what it means, what could happen again, and that all your effort/pain/money/hope could be felled with one swift blow.
When you go through multiple losses, you go through repeated testing trying to find the cause. Testing that can be painful, invasive- that a normal woman would never have to go through. More testing on top of all the infertility testing- more insult to injury. Wondering why this keeps happening to you. Often never getting answers.
Having your broken heart fragment even further.
Having all sorts of emotions and pain attached to so much, the infertility interwoven with the pregnancy loss pain, sometimes not being able to tell why something bothers you so much, only knowing that it does. And often, one amplifies the other.
That is, the pain of infertility grows more bitter as you remember your loss. Like salt in a wound. Or your loss seems more powerful because you tried so hard for that pregnancy, and yet you lost it anyway. Your infertility more acute because you know that pregnancy doesn't guarantee a living baby- yet you go through the treatments, knowing the risk. It makes each decision more heavy, more filled with the burdens of history and possibility.
That's not to say that pregnancy loss by itself isn't painful- it is. Immensely so.
That's not to say that infertility by itself isn't painful- it is. Incredibly so.
I don't know how much each would affect me differently by themselves, if they weren't a whole. How my life would be different if I was only infertile. If I only had one miscarriage. If I only suffered repeat miscarriages. If I was dealing with them separately, instead of all at once.
I'm sure each, on their own, would feel like this.
Like even the sun rising each morning isn't guaranteed. Like my heart is heavy with the burden of what I've lost. Like the world is spinning topsy-turvy and it will never be right again. That everything has came unglued, the world unmade.
But this is what I know- I am infertile. And I have suffered multiple miscarriages.
And the world goes on, whether I want it to or not. The sun keeps rising each day. My heart is heavy, but it is still my heart. The world is spinning in the same way it has for ages. The world has not came unmade- only my world has.