February marks one year since our first visit to the fertility clinic.

It’s been a heck of a year.

I was much angrier a year ago, taken aback by some pregnancy news I didn’t expect, solidifying (to me) that everyone else was going to get pregnant before I was. I walked around in an angry cloud for a few months, and then started this blog. Though I knew logically that this pregnancy had NOTHING to do with me, I still felt as if it was some kinda of karmic slap in the face.

Today, I feel frustrated. I feel discouraged. I think that’s par for the course sometimes, especially as my unwanted visitor draws nearer. But I feel much less anger. Less jealousy. A better understanding of all the emotions and the fact that they are completely normal. More faith.

What I haven’t gained any more of is patience.(Hey, you can’t have everything)

Infertility has taught me that feeling bipolar is completely normal, and that yes, it IS possible to feel one way and then 10 minutes later, feel the exact opposite. Our most recent bump in the road has taught me this: a few days ago I felt at peace with waiting out the IVF a bit longer, until yesterday when IΒ  forgot ALL of the reasons I decided that and started to feel like there was no way in He.ll I was going to wait any longer.

Infertility has taught me that sometimes I can be a crappy friend, though it was never my intention.

Infertility has taught me that HOPE can be a blessing, but it can also be a four letter word. There is no other way to explain why, when month after month of nothing, we continue to think that maybe THIS month is it. And why, when we are disappointed yet again, we keep doing this to ourselves.

Infertility has taught me that most insurance companies suck.

Infertility has taught me that money becomes both much more and much less important. Important because we need it to have the chance to build our family. Less important because I wouldn’t normally gamble tens of thousands of dollars for a slightly more than 50% chance on anything. But for this I will. Because when it works the money won’t matter anymore.

Infertility has taught me that a sense of humor is imperative. Thought I mostly believed this already, it becomes especially true in this case. If you don’t have something to laugh at, it’s easy to get sucked into depression.

Where else but pinterest?

Infertility has taught me that relationships are fragile. It’s easy to get so lost in the hope for a baby that you start to inadvertently disregard the relationship that made you want to build a family in the first place. It’s also solidified that I’m with the right man. Through all of my nuttiness he has continually supported me and been there for me. I wouldn’t want to go through it with ANYONE else.

Infertility has taught me that most people have no idea what infertility really means, which sometimes causes comments that seem sympathetic to them but hurtful and silly to us.

Infertility has taught me that it is important to have an outlet. Maybe its a blog, a club, a hobby or a collection. Maybe it’s a job. A pet. A nap. Several failed cooking attempts. An obsession with a celebrity. SOMETHING to keep your mind occupied.

Infertility has taught me that I have a really fabulous group of friends.

Infertility has taught me that infertility SUCKS

Infertility has taught me to have faith.

Most importantly, infertility has taught me that you’re stronger than you think, and you can keep going. I believe some of the strongest and most resilient women come out of the infertility community. They are also some of the most supportive. I’ve seen this especially recently as people have suffered losses – the outpouring of love and support was overwhelming to me.

We are a strong group of women (and men), and we must never let ourselves forget that.