A Letter To Who I Used To Be

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Dear Alex of Five Years Ago,

Right now, you're about a week and a half away from your wedding. You and your soon-to-be husband have been trying to have a baby for almost two months. You are so full of hope, so excited for the future, full of dreams and plans for your little one.

I find myself envious of your optimism.

Never in your wildest dreams do you imagine that you will not be pregnant soon. It will never cross your mind that you will find yourself in a constant state of heartbreak, as month after month and year after year, your womb and a piece of your heart remain empty. You do not expect to see your friends and family, including everyone you know who is struggling with infertility, have healthy pregnancies and babies (sometimes more than once!) as you remain childless.

I would give anything for you to not have to experience any of that in the future.

Unfortunately, the future you have envisioned is not in the cards for you.

That is not to say that things don't work out in a happy way; by the time you get to be me, you are in the process of adopting two amazing little boys that you love with every fiber of your being. However, the happiness of finally expanding our family does not negate the pain you have to endure to get to this point.

I want to tell you to be more aware of your body. More aware of how your reproductive system really works. Less reliant on the "sex education" of your middle school health class. You will come to realize in time, but I wish you would start asking now. Start asking questions about getting pregnant and all that entails.

I want you to not be afraid to seek help. You spend so long worrying about what the doctor will tell you that you avoid getting help for almost three and a half years. Don't be afraid to start asking about infertility, and don't be afraid to start asking for help.

When you start to realize what is going on, and the grief begins to consume you, I want you to know that you are not alone. You are 1 in 8, and there are others that you care about who know your pain. Start asking for support when you need it, because you don't need to suffer in silence.

As previously mentioned, you do begin to explore other avenues of building your family. Start asking about your options, because you do have them.

It's going to be a long, hard, painful journey. I'm not going to lie, it's going to seriously suck at times. Some days, you will be so overwhelmed with grief that you won't get out of bed. And that's okay. You need to feel what you need to feel and process your grief in your own way. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

You are a strong, loving, determined woman, and your infertility will not take you down.

Love, Alex

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