Infertility is a common problem that many American women unfortunately face according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services. For many, the complications of infertility cause emotionally painful and devastating feelings for a would-be mother unable to conceive as well as for her partner. In fact, just as with any sort of painful emotional issue that someone struggles with, it can cause a ripple effect throughout their extended family members and friends as well. Watching a loved one who is capable in every way to care for a baby, not be able to conceive, can be heartbreaking.
It's estimated that for every 100 couples in the U.S., approximately 12 to 13 will face struggles with infertility to some degree according to the CDC, Center for Disease Control. Prior to 2015, one such couple was Desiree Fortin, a newborn photographer from Encinitas, California, and her college sweetheart husband. Fortin recently shared an open letter with the Today Parenting Team site that she penned to the infertility that plagued her for years while she and her husband wished for her to become pregnant.
Writing a letter to someone who has caused any sort of pain or even something that has wreaked havoc in one's life, such as infertility in Fortin's case, can be a therapeutic release. It is not necessary to make the letter "open" and share it with anyone. Just the act of getting the feelings out on paper can lift a large emotional weight off of one's shoulders. However, if someone is inclined to share their letter as Fortin did, it might be able to help others who face the same kind of struggles.
"Dear Infertility," Fortin's letter reads. "I hated you. You steal dreams. You break hearts. You bring grief. You consume lives. You are the reason I couldn’t get pregnant on my own. You drowned my heart in misery from the inability to become a mother how most women do. You told me that my body wasn’t good enough. You may have been a huge part of my story, but you never defined me. I kicked your ass. I defeated you. I showed you that there is victory in infertility and God finally planted life in my womb.
Infertility, there are so many things you brought with you when you entered my life. It wasn’t just that I couldn’t get pregnant. You brought me more tears than I ever thought I could shed. Because of you I laid on my bathroom floor in complete emptiness after countless negative pregnancy tests time and time again."
"I had to endure shots, bruises, and all kinds of meds because when you are infertile and you seek fertility treatment for help, that is what you are in for," Fortin's letter continues. "You are expensive and exhausting physically, emotionally, and mentally. Infertility, you drowned my heart in disappointment and agony. And truthfully, it was pretty painful every time I heard the words “I’m pregnant” from someone other than myself. And yet, in the midst of all of that-you brought me hope.
As much as I hated you, Infertility, I am also so thankful that you were my story. You made me strong. Even before I got pregnant, my strength was rising. Not only did I feel like Superwoman after all of those injections, meds, blood draws, doctor visits, etc. but I found strength emotionally, as well. I learned how to be brave and walk our story with faith trusting that God knew every single detail better than I did. You were my ashes, but God made you beautiful. If it wasn’t for you-for the extreme heartache you caused me, the lies you told me, the grief you brought my heart over and over again. Hope does not disappoint. Hope is having faith for what seems impossible. It is trusting God when it feels hopeless. Infertility, today, when I really reflect on those years when you were apart of my life, all I can say is thank you!"
Fortunately for Fortin and her family, her story with infertility had a very happy ending. In 2015, she and her husband welcomed triplets, two boys, Sawyer and Jax and one girl, Charlize. For more information on this family, you can visit Fortin's blog.
Did you find this story inspiring? Have you ever written a letter to an issue that has caused you pain and heartache? Let us know in the comments if this technique has had therapeutic benefits for you!