As you get older, conditions get harder and everything changes. When you’re young, no one really tells you what adversities are ahead or how to handle them accordingly. Honestly, I can’t even handle taking out my own trash or changing the batteries in my smoke detectors. You may be supported financially, but mentally you feel isolated, as if you’re experiencing an existential crisis, as minor as it may be.
As I advance into my 21st year I begin to realize I’ve been stripped of my training wheels somewhere between trying to find my niche, while simultaneously establishing my individuality. It’s hard for me to admit, but growing older has made it harder to accept my infertility. As I scroll through my engagement photo-laden Facebook feed, I see more and more women announcing their pregnancies and the endless joy they share with their significant others. What makes it worse is my unnecessary desire to browse the Internet and read stories of women who have been dumped because of their inability to bear children. As dramatic as that sounds, infertility and aging do not go hand-in-hand. No one tells you how difficult it gets, as a young woman, to grow closer and closer to the gestational age knowing, personally, it’ll never be the natural process it was meant to be.
When I was sixteen I didn’t really understand my prospective future, especially after the multiple laparoscopies. I didn’t even know what a hysterectomy was until after I had actually gotten one. I was emotionally numb for a while, but the idea of being barren gradually began to weigh on my conscience. I don’t ever self-pity and I would never wish for anyone to feel sorry for me. Honestly, I barely talk about these things with my own best friends, not because I’m insecure, but because I’ve recognized that everyone is experiencing something arduous. When you listen to those around you and acknowledge their obstacles, yours begin to shrink.
Aids like therapy or medication only benefit to the point in which it is time to accept your hardships. As you mature, many of life’s circumstances get tenacious and conflicts not only multiply, but progress if you choose to neglect them. For years I’d been thinking that the solution to all my problems is to simply discount them, but I have come to realize that the only genuine resolution is to comprehend the fact that struggle is inevitable. Infertility is my struggle, and aging is the antagonist that provokes it. With this comes a feeling of inadequacy as a woman, feelings as though my own body has betrayed me. No one told me that mental strife would be included with these disabilities or that I would have to teach myself to accept what is out of my control. As troubling as these situations are, we mature by constructing our own solutions. Growing up happens through the very assembly of explications to our dilemmas. Infertility sucks and the solutions are expensive, but I recognize that everyone around me is undergoing a hardship. The worst thing I can do for me is overlook my pain. I’ve never been this honest with a public audience, let alone myself, but acknowledging this mental dissension and taking time to grieve has become unexpectedly liberating.
As a young woman it is hard to avoid blaming myself and feeling ashamed of my body. Society has set impractical standards for women to effortlessly achieve reproductive success, as if it is our primary purpose in life. Aside from these archetypes, I encourage all women experiencing the challenges of infertility and other struggles to acknowledge every pain and emotion these challenges have ever evoked. The sooner you accept your grievances, the easier it becomes to heal and avoid allowing this impotence to be a reason why you question your own femininity.
Medical discrepancies should never define you. As I have emphasized in my preceding blog posts, health related anomalies can be a beautiful thing. Learn to metamorphose them into something empowering like a platform or a foundation that resonates with a broad demographic. I have always encouraged females diagnosed with MRKH to transform their diagnosis into a purpose to inspire. I now realize I must do the same with infertility. It should not be my burden, but my reason to enlighten the lives of other women approaching the same trial. As challenging as all of this has been for me to accept, everything happens for a reason and that is true amongst every adversity.
If you or a loved one is suffering from Müllerian agenesis or infertility, please prioritize your reproductive health and visit https://www.beautifulyoumrkh.org or http://www.resolve.org . Please consider donating to the Beautiful You MRKH Foundation in celebration of Giving Tuesday so they can continue to do their important work and help 1 in 4500 born with MRKH.