When I first started this blog I felt like a bit of an infertile fraud. I felt that something was wrong, but by the definition of infertility, I was not truly infertile (i.e., we hadn’t yet been trying for a year). Now, I don’t think there’s any denying that I am infertile. It has been 16 months since we started trying, 14 months where it was possible, and 12 months of well-timed sex. Add to that one diagnosis of Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR).
In my line of work, the preferred way of referring to someone’s diagnosis is to phrase it such as “someone with a learning disability” rather than a “learning-disabled person”. It may seem like a subtle and insignificant difference, but really it holds a lot of meaning. Saying someone is a learning-disabled person, autistic, schizophrenic, etc. implies that they are their disorder. Saying that someone has a learning disability, autism, schizophrenia, etc. indicates that their disorder is just one aspect of who they are as a person. I reflect on this because I find myself calling myself infertile rather than someone who is struggling with infertility. I have defined myself by my infertility because the longing to be a mother is at the core of my being. However, I am more than my infertility. And even though I am nowhere near the point of giving up on trying to conceive or become a mother through adoption, I do need to find my way back to the other parts of me. I think that the infertility part will still be at the forefront as we move forward, concentrating on treatments, but I can’t let it be all of me.