It is time to be honest. It is time to take a look at your infertility journey through another set of eyes. Let me share a story most everyone can relate to. When I was a teenager I fell in love with the cutest brown-haired, brown-eyed girl in my neighborhood. We dated for several months which seems an eternity in teen years. My girlfriend decided to break up with me. I don’t remember why and it doesn’t really matter but I remember it hurt. No one could make me feel better. I remember thinking I would never have another girlfriend but most importantly I remember thinking that no one had ever felt the pain and challenges I was facing during that time of my life. I was alone and no one could fix me. I was unlovable and loathsome to others in my mind’s eye. No one in the history of the world had dealt with this kind of emotion. I was of course wrong. I realized this when my best friend was dumped by her boyfriend. I helped her through her heartbreak like a friend should. I was able to do it because I understood her pain.
I want to be honest about another angle before I wrap up my little tale. When Steve Jobs died from a long fight with cancer was her remembered for his battle with cancer or his work with Apple? His family could have cared less about Apple because they remembered a man they loved. Was Ronald Reagan remembered more for Alzheimer’s or being an actor or telling the Russians “to tear down that wall”? His family remembered a father and husband. Is Farrah Fawcett a Charlies Angel, an iconic poster model, or only another cancer patient? She was a hell of a mother from what news agencies reported. Your legacy is how you live your life, how you treat others, and how you respond to life’s challenges it is not a medical condition. Your legacy is not heart problems, lupus, or cancer. Your legacy is in your kindness, your leadership, and the love you shared. Your legacy is not your infertility. You are not your infertility.
Let me be perfectly clear. Let me unmuddy your stream. If you are dealing with infertility you may feel like my broken-hearted teenage self. You may feel isolated in your fears. You may not share your thoughts with your spouse or friends. Trust me someone has walked in your shoes. My wife walked in your shoes. I have spoken to many men and women that have walked in your shoes. Does knowing you are not alone solve your problems? The answer is no but what it does do is open doors. Once you share your feelings and find others with similar stories you gain support and maybe your stress level lessens. If your stress lessens you increase your chances at kicking infertility in the backside.
I want to clear something else up for you. You are amazing and inspiring. Some people are inspired by Lance Armstrong because of his ability to be brave in the face of cancer. He shared his story and has made others lives better for it. You may or may not beat infertility but you will inspire others not matter your result. What you are doing is selfless. You are trying everything you can to create life. You want to give the world a life that may change the world and you want to share your life, love and experience. You could be selfish and live your life only for yourself but you are too good for that.
You may not want to believe these things. You may say it’s easy for me to say it but it comes from our experience. Do not give up on yourself. You are living your legacy by having the fortitude to look your fear dead in the eye and challenge it head on. I will not give up on you. My wife fought like hell and we finally got lucky and it would be easy to walk away from infertility and live out my life as a father but I just cannot do that. If someone gave up on my wife I would not be a father today so I will not give up on you and I plea you do not give up on yourself. I will pick you up but you have to be willing to pick yourself up and realize you are perfect as you are. Hold your spouse tighter and challenge your doctors as much as they challenge you. Your actions today are your legacy no matter the results. I love you all and best of luck.