Monday, October 24, 2016

Identifying as Infertile

When I started this blog, I thought about whether or not I wanted to use the word "infertile" in the name or title. Am I really healing if I keep calling myself infertile? Am I moving forward or picking at the same old wound? Is being infertile central to my identity? How do I truly see myself?

But, I wanted to write a blog about living life after infertility and I liked the mythology of the phoenix rising from the ashes so "Infertile Phoenix" just seemed to capture what I was going for.

I mean, it's not like I walk around in my daily life with a scarlet "I" on my chest.

Even though I chose to disclose my infertility with classmates two different times last week, today I chose not to do so. I came to a big decision over the weekend: I decided I want to graduate from this program, not drop out at the end of the semester. I had previously shared my ambivalence with a professor so today I said, "I have some big news!" And she immediately, joyfully exclaimed, "You're pregnant!" That could have been a perfect opening to share, "No, I'm infertile," but in the moment I chose not to. Instead I said, "No, I decided I want to graduate from the program." And she was equally excited by this news as she was by her first guess.

So I don't always share my infertility. It's not my central identity, not to myself and not to the outside world. For a long time, it DID feel like my central identity for myself, but that's why I'm rebuilding my life with new hopes and dreams.

There is more to me than being infertile. However, it is a part of me. My experience with infertility profoundly changed me and changed how I see the world.

Being infertile will be central to this blog, but it is not central to my existence. I am much more than that.

4 comments:

  1. Ouch! That must have been a tough spot to be in! I'm really proud of you, both for how you responded to your professor, and for deciding to finish the program! Now I'm curious about what you are studying for. :)

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  2. I could write exactly the same Comment as BnB!
    Congratulations on deciding that you want to finish the program! I am keeping my fingers crossed.

    Exactly -we are much more than infertility.

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  3. urgh, I have to avoid saying "I have news" as people automatically think I'm pregnant. It's always the first thing everyone thinks off for some reason! Anyway good for your for deciding to graduate from the program.

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    1. Good point! Maybe I should avoid saying "I have big news" from now on... It's really annoying to have people get excited because they think I might be pregnant.

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