I like metaphors. And I’ve used many and seen many to describe what infertility is like.

Its a marathon. It’s like being placed on hold. A rollercoaster.  A maze. (source) Like being lost in the desert without water. (source) Like trying to get your car fixed without knowing what’s wrong with it. (source) Like a tornado that destroys. (source) Ok, I used more similies there, but you get the point. I’ve said before that infertility changes you as a person. It tests your faith, your marriage and your finances.

3 years is the length of time our journey took us. Over a thousand days. A thousand days of questions without concrete answers. A thousand days of fear and hope mixed together in such a way that was often hurtful rather than helpful.

A fellow blog friend recently wrote a post about those of us who are pregnant after infertility. About the influx of pregnancies in the blogosphere lately (there have been a TON!) and how our blogs change once this happens. Because they do change. They change to reflect the change in our lives, as they should.

Pregnancy after infertility becomes its own journey. While I am always infertile, I’m not currently fighting to get pregnant. But I don’t feel as though I really belong with those who haven’t taken a path like mine – not because I’m trying to separate myself, but because the journey is simply not the same. The entire course looks different. It bothered me at first because I couldn’t figure out which “side” I belonged to. The fact of the matter, though, is that no two marathon courses are the same. No two journeys to build a family will be the same.

I’ve written about fear more times than I can remember. That we would go broke trying, or that it would destroy our marriage. The fear that I would never be a mother. That we would never be parents. Our blogs change from journey to celebration,  but with it still comes fear: a fear of loss (and I am sure this is even more so for those who have experienced a prior loss), of complications, of things like an incompetent cervix and premature labor. There is no such thing as a “normal” pregnancy after going through infertility treatments. A physically normal pregnancy sure, but not mentally. Because while we are so grateful to finally be here, we know how long it took, and how there are no guarantees that one pregnancy means another will follow. The kicker is the fact that those still in the trenches would give just about anything to be worrying about a viable pregnancy – because at if you’re worrying about that, you’re pregnant. And that our updates, even with fear laced within them, are a reminder that you are still stuck.

Being stuck sucks.

The paragraph I wrote above about fear that we would never be parents – I originally wrote it in present tense without realizing it. I’m guessing partially because both consciously and unconsciously I know we aren’t out of the woods yet. While writing that paragraph, though, I was back there. I did it because we never forget. We never forget what it’s like. We never forget what we’ve been through, and we never forget about those who are still struggling through it. Infertility and its’ effects are permanently a part of us. It changes us as people, it changes our relationships.

Our future path changes, but we don’t forget the one we took.