During one of Civilla Morgan’s podcast episodes, I listened as she described writing a list in 2016 of goals she wanted to accomplish in 2017. I like listening to her podcast, the sound of her joyful laughter; and her assurance that a childless not by choice woman can certainly choose to live a relevant and joyful life. There is something special about making a willful choice to be happy, even when there isn’t much to be happy about.
It caused me to think, and a flash of brilliance lit up my face with a smile! I must tell you what made me smile!
I’ve got infertility, but infertility doesn’t have me – I saw a glimpse of myself in the future, winning the struggle against infertility. NO, I am not going to have a child, adopt, or stop being childless. My triumph is available another way. Before today, I hadn’t seen it.
I have an Aunt, my father’s sister, who suffered PCOS every bit as much as I do. She was able to bear 2 sons with her husband, before their divorce. Eighteen years ago, when I was diagnosed, I reached out to her for advice, but rather than offering me love and guidance, she turned away. Her answer was silence.
Of all my family members, she completely understood the excruciating abdominal cramps, the heavy blood loss tormenting me, but she chose not to use her own experience to help me in any fashion. Even today, my efforts to reach out to her are in vain. I have come to accept her decision.
My triumph over infertility is to become a loved, trusted, Aunt. I will respond far differently than my aunt did if any of my nieces develop any form of infertility, or my nephews marry women suffering from infertility. I want to live my life so joyfully, that if my nieces must be infertile, they can watch me with admiration and think to themselves, ‘It didn’t break Aunt Carol, and I won’t let it break me, either!’
I am thinking long-term. A decade from now, my nieces will be young teenagers experiencing puberty. Whatever changes are necessary to achieve my goal of meeting this challenge – I will do, and with determination and perseverance.
My Aunt had a golden opportunity to become my heroine, my role model. Her choice to pass up the chance means I get to be the heroine of the story, ladies! I get to create the list of ways I wish she had been available to me and to tailor my behavior to achieve every item on that list, as regards my nieces and nephews.
As I said . . . I have infertility, but as of today, infertility DOES NOT have me!