When I was 6 year old, I was burned by hot cooking oil. Within that same year, I had my appendix removed. At the age of 27 (and again at 30 and 35), I gained a cesarean scar. And, these are only the big scars among the visible ones on my body.
I barely notice these scars anymore. Really, I only think of them when chronicling my medical history. These are not the scars that mark me the most. These are not the scars that mark my soul.
The scars that mark my soul are much more subtle. They are something not even a doctor could find. They are the scars left behind by *infertility.
Infertility stripped away my faith on my body. When you grow up and dream of a family, you assume that when you want to start a family, it will happen without delay or trouble. With infertility, that is proven false. I no longer automatically believe that my body would do what it was suppose to do. I no longer had the naive belief that every pregnancy would bring a baby.
Infertility destroyed my faith in medical odds. Sure, we had occasionally ended up on the wrong side of the medical odds before infertility. But, once we started down the IF highway, the odds were never in our favor. Time and time again, things should have worked out but then they didn’t. I honestly think the next doctor that tells me it only happens to 5-10% of patients might get bitch slapped because it seems that I’m always in the 5-10%.
Infertility stripped me of the pure joy I had previously felt when a pregnancy was announced. I am still happy for my friends when they announced their pregnancies but that happiness was tainted by worry and a little side helping of “why not me”.
Now, years later, the scars of infertility have faded. They are no longer a throbbing, painful reminder of all we fought against and all we lost. Instead, they’ve faded to a silvery map covering my heart and soul.But, every now and then, something triggers the memories and longings and those scars become painfully real again.