Strong Woman Built For Hard Times
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Strong Woman Built For Hard Times

What it means to be young and struggle with infertility.

Strong Woman Built For Hard Times

As a small child, my grandmother would tell me fables of generations of Pruitt women. That we had strong backs to work in the fields and large birthing hips to create herds of children. She would tell stories of strong women carrying children from every arm and latched to their back. Women that were made for taking care of their families and giving birth. Strong women built for hard times. My Mother was pregnant at seventeen with me, she had claimed to be full of fertility just like the rest of the women in my family. All born to large families and all having large families of their own. Creating a legacy that lived and breathed within me pushing me towards the future. I am a Pruitt woman full of potential, but I am not made the same as my relatives.

I spent my life following the general guidelines. Graduate high school, go to college, have a long term committed relationship, plan for the future. I shared a home with my fiancé with our dog. We went to gatherings together and spent holidays. We had everything the way it should be until one night lying in bed. I had gone to bed early after not feeling well, slowly falling asleep until my aches eased with sleep. Sometime between then and the early morning hours I had awaken, fully aware of my body.

I was curled up in the fetal position begging for the pain to go away. I was moaning and crying out for there to be a moment of peace. As I was rushed to the emergency room I could only guess that my insides might be rotting from within. Nurses fluttered around me, needles in every crevice of my arms. Tests upon tests, never ending prods and pokes. With all of this going on never had I considered that my body was becoming a traitor.

A traitor to my wants, deepest desires, and dreams. A conspirator of my four year plan and the future I had planned for myself and my significant other. The doctors had examined and recovered the answer to my pain. Only in which to cause the greatest grief I have ever encountered. My insides were covered in tissue, specifically endometrial tissue and cysts. Pockets of tissue that would grow and burst within me at any moment. Though it was my first time feeling the pain of this, my insides showed that it had been surviving this way for a long while.

The scale in which my body was plagued with this tissue meant a simple word-- infertility. They told me of my options, the most practical one was scooping me out like a jack-o-lantern. Removing all of the tissue for a small window of time that could give me the chance of conceiving. However, this method did not promise pregnancy, it only supplied you with hope. Hope that my future wouldn’t come crashing down, hope that I wouldn’t burden my marriage with my inability to do one of the most primal things. Words do not describe how powerful hope can be in certain situations, but how hurtful its uncertainty can also be.

Not much can be said about a young woman losing her hope, other than it is dreadful. I grieved heavily. I weaved my way through the five stages of grief, but they felt more similar to the five circles of hell. I denied the possibility that at such a young age my fertility had slipped away. I was angry that though I had been a good person of strong convictions that my simplest of wants were to be denied to me. I prayed and begged for a misdiagnosis, pleading that there was some chance. I asked to be fixed, to be healed of this invisible monster. Most of all, I cried. I cried for my imaginary children, my fiancé, and our family. We would not be able to continue our family lines, no one would ever look upon our young child’s face and see small features of themselves. I cried for myself, my hopes and dreams, my wants. I felt like a young child holding their favorite stuffed animal and having it ripped from their grasp. What purpose did I serve if I was barren and my womb would never bare a little one of my own?

I have had to rediscover my self-worth and realize that there is more to me. That my dreams have not been crushed, but have been enriched. When the time comes for children, I will be able to love someone else’s creation for my own. I will be a hardworking, devoted mother, no matter what. My infertility does not hinder my capacity to love. I am made in the same manner that my ancestors were, but I am stronger. I have vanquished self-doubt and loathing. I have conquered my worst fears and come out victorious.

I have had to learn that I am a woman meant for beautiful, precious things. I do not need fixing. I am not a robot that can be tweaked and oiled into a machine. I am genuine, real, and abundant in compassion. My infertility does not make me any less of a woman or a future mother. It just makes me work harder for the things I want in life. I am a strong woman built for hard times.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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