I suppose it depends on what you mean by “beat.” Some people interpret the phrase as overcoming infertility by finally holding a long-awaited-for baby in one’s arms. For others, it means rising above infertility by not allowing it to consume them.
When I was asked to consider being a guest on a new podcast called “Beat Infertility,” my first instinct was to say “But I haven’t beaten infertility. I may have my daughter, but I’m still very much infertile.” After I visited the Beat Infertility website, I understood that the creator was referring to the second meaning: in her words, “taking back control” over infertility. This is certainly something I’ve been striving to achieve personally through my blog, so I decided to take the leap and contribute my story to the podcast. (As of today, I don’t know when my episode will air, but I will post an update with the information as soon as I know.)
Ever since the interview, I’ve been thinking about the idea of beating or overcoming infertility. Some days, I kick infertility in the balls with my super-charged coping skills. Other days, I’m overcome with jealousy by a pregnancy announcement from a fellow infertile (followed immediately by intense guilt), and I crawl into a hole of self-pity. All that averages out to merely surviving it, I guess.
And there’s nothing wrong with mere survival. It’s a worthy goal, a necessary goal, for many of us. At the end of every interview, the host asks what words of hope we would offer to someone just starting on their infertility journey. I realize hope is a heated topic in the infertility community, and I’ve certainly struggled with the concept myself. I don’t remember my exact words, but the message I wanted to convey was that no matter the outcome, you can survive infertility. It may not feel that way at times, and it may take a lot of work, but I believe that everyone who faces infertility can survive it. Maybe I’m speaking out of turn here, since my journey does include a child of my own, but I believe that even if your journey doesn’t include children, you can be okay – you can still survive, even beat, infertility. (I’m sure some will disagree with me, and I’m fine with that.)
I will always be infertile, but, some day, I hope to be able to say with confidence that I have beaten infertility once and for all – that the evil demon no longer has control over me and my thoughts about my self-worth… that it no longer dictates how I react to a pregnancy announcement or the sight of a pregnant belly. Some day… most likely when I’m finished trying to get pregnant for good. But, for now, I’m still hovering around surviving.