We don’t read much about infertility* affecting women/people in a positive way. Because, let’s be honest, there isn’t much good and cheeriness about wanting a child so badly it hurts (sometimes even physically). But I found myself in a situation last week where I could see the benefit that infertility has had on/in my life.
My new new team leader and I were having a one-to-one conversation for work last week when I noticed some pictures on her wall. I asked her if they were all one kid at different ages or (four) different kids. She replied that she has four kids and told their ages. And then she proceeded to tell me that the youngest, a girl, has Down Syndrome. First off, I was surprised to hear she has 4 kids!! I don’t know why, but I just was. And then we got to talking about our kids (her kids, my kid). We laughed, got teary eyed and just loved on our families. I now understand why my team leader is so pro-family, me working part time, leaving work for the day on time and taking care of oneself (not getting stressed about work issues, there’s so much more to life than work, for everyone!).
How does any of this relate to infertility helping me? Well, when I heard that my team leader’s youngest has Down Syndrome, my very first thought (in my head only) was “I’m sorry”, but that was so quickly kicked out of my head! Why was I sorry? What for? She has a beautiful daughter, who is just different. (Aren’t we all different in our own ways?) Infertility, with all of its ugliness, has taught me how to be more compassionate, less judgmental and see more beauty in this world.
Being infertile has brought me to blogging and finding the ALI community, which in turn has shown me a whole new world. Many of the bloggers I have found, started following and communicating with are the same as me, yet also different. Many are now mothers (some to special needs children), some are not mothers and others are still trying to become the mothers they want to be. But every single blogger that I have had the privilege to read, no matter where they are in their life journey, has taught me how they want to be treated and what (not) to say**. How many not-so-positive life experiences have given you something positive back?
*I’m really encompassing the ALI community.
**I’m nowhere near perfect and don’t always know the exact words, but I try my hardest and definitely know what not to say in most cases!