Guest Post by: Cathie Quillet

Dear Infertility,

Let us just get one thing straight right off the bat. I hate you. There is no other way to say it. I despise your very essence and all that you stand for. Before we were introduced your reputation preceded you. Women spoke terribly about you. I knew that you crushed marriages and identities alike. I watched people you were in relationship with wade through the oceans of torment as you crashed the waves around them breaking their identities into smithereens.

I don’t know what bush you were hiding behind as I blissfully and unassumingly embarked on the journey to practice my God given right bear children. Did you know that I was happy before you? Did you see me from afar and mock me for thinking life should be easy? Was my joy just too much for you to bear?

I thought things in life were okay. I thought I had a place. I thought people knew how to be around me. I felt like I belonged with all women and you stole that from me. You made me hide in corners. You made me resent my own femininity. You pick-pocketed some of life’s greatest joys from right underneath my nose. That New Year’s Eve when all my friends were gaily ringing in the new year? Did it make you proud that you made me hide in the shadows of my dark room? What about the baby shower you forced me to miss? Did that make one of the Top 10 moments on that years Christmas card?

What about my marriage? We hadn’t even been married that long when you decided to show up. You force lovers and best friends to become strangers. You make couples hate each other but what we truly hate is infertility.

You made me hate my own body. Not in the I-need-to-go-to-the-gym-way or the I-wish-my-body-looked-like-that-way. You made me hate me from the inside out. I don’t even know what a cervix is for but you made me hate it. Ovulation. Hate it. Period. Well, who doesn’t hate that? You made me hate every part that identifies me as female. After all, you caused it to fail me. The pokes and prods I endured in your name were an utter violation all in the name of creating life. Making a baby was supposed to be beautiful. You took it and made it painful. Lonely. Scientific.

Don’t even get me started on sex. How dare you think that you had the right to creep your way into the most sacred and intimate spaces of our marriage? You stole joy. You stole romance. You stole the flirty things that all girls dream about since we hit puberty. Gone. Just like that, the romance is gone. Sure you have to have sex to make a baby; but, how is a monthly science experiment that neither of you truly want to be present for? “Happy Valentine’s Day, honey. I got you a pack of ovulation sticks.” How romantic. You made the purest expression of love become calculated and painful.
Our friends would post about romantic holidays they returned from and the only receipt we had was from the reproductive endocrinologist. Our retirement paid for our lupron shots. Thanks for that. Savings accounts pay for husband to pleasure themselves into a cup inside a cold stale room. Couples had plans for that, you know.

Women hate Infertility and what it does to them

[/media-credit] Jamie/flickr

We had different plans than meeting you. We had plans that were good. Not for surgeries, progesterone suppositories and not for making the private story of how we became parents to be public, gossip-inducing information for all to poke their nose into.

Am I making myself clear? There is not a single fiber of my femininity that you did not tamper with and a part of my marriage that you did not try to destroy.

Related: How Infertility Shapes Who We Become

Well, just so you know, infertility. You lose. You don’t get to win. You tried to steal my dreams, ruin my marriage and make me hate the girl in the mirror. What you don’t realize is that you messed with the wrong girl. What you tried to ruin made me stronger. You do not get to be the winner with me. Perhaps people don’t know what to do with me and my barrenness or say to me in the midst of my brokenness; but you no longer get to have your way with me.

I may be a different version of me than I was a few years ago but I, my friend, am a better version of myself. You made me a courageous overcomer and no amount of difficulty can take that away. You, infertility, are ugly and painful. While you may have had your way with me for a bit, you are no longer welcome to take up residence in my identity. I am going to expose you and all of your dirty little secrets so that no one has to fight you alone. You do not get to steal my hope and you do not get to steal my faith.

No Longer Defined By You
Of all the hats Cathie Quillet wears, she is most proud to be the wife of Tyler and the mom of two little boys, born of African descent, who now call her Mama. Cathie wrote about her journey through infertility and miscarriage in the recently released book, NOT PREGNANT. Cathie and her husband battled infertility for years, losing four babies to first trimester miscarriages. She wishes that instead of reading her words, you were sitting in her living room with her, drinking a warm cup of coffee, chatting about all of the intricacies of life.