I Joined a Sorority

During my college years I was never interested in sororities.  Mostly just because I wasn’t aware of them, having grown up overseas.  My folks were Southern Baptist missionaries, and I spent my high school years at a college-prep boarding school for missionary kids.

Boarding school helped prepare us for college in our respective homelands after the high school years.  You could say we had our own co-ed “sororities,”  after a fashion, depending on which dorms we lived in.  We all tended to bond with our dorm-mates, and many of us chose to go to the same college when we graduated.

I went to Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas.  My freshman year flew by as I learned how to navigate life in the US on my own.  We had our own little built-in group of missionary kids at the school;  the older ones helping the newbies adjust.  By the time I became aware of sororities, I was already happy with the friends I was making and the amazing experiences of college life, and a sorority just seemed waaay too time consuming and limiting.

As I was thinking about our fourth anniversary last Thursday, it dawned on me that it’s been one year ago now that we decided that having a baby would complete our little family.  It’s hard for me to even think of us as a ‘family’ – we’re a ‘couple,’ we don’t earn the title ‘family’ ’til there are little Harlans to claim as our own.  Of course, we’ve only been seeing the fertility specialist since March, and I tend to mark the beginning of our IF journey from there.  But in all honesty, we actually began trying a full year ago this month.

Although I always suspected there would be some difficulty getting pregnant, I don’t think I really believed that we might never be successful.  It’s been a true delight and comfort to discover the online IF community, and I’ve been so blessed by the support of my IF sisters.  But I saw myself as a visitor to the club, a transient just passing through. 

Now here I am, one year later – no longer an initiate, a pledge.    It’s not the sorority any girl ever wants to join, but I’ve conquered every initiation rite so far, sometimes with humor and grace, and also with tears and heartache.  I bear my scars, both physical and emotional;  they’ve become a part of who I am and who we are as a couple.  We are infertile.

Whaddyaknow, a good fifteen years after my last college class, I’ve gone and joined a sorority after all.

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27 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kate
    Sep 20, 2009 @ 08:00:14

    Stacey, I know exactly how you feel! When I started trying there was no doubt in my mind that we would get pregnant quickly and easily. Even my husband agreed — he used to say, “I just FEEL like we’re not going to have any trouble”. Little did we know!

    I still feel like I’m going to get pregnant any day now. I haven’t really let myself think anything else. But every day that goes by makes me feel a little bit more a part of the club, if you will.

    Reply

  2. sunflowerchilde
    Sep 20, 2009 @ 13:51:34

    I think old habits die hard. I’ve been in the club for almost two years and I STILL think I’m just a visitor. I just can’t keep my expectations low enough and I’m always disappointed. I am sorry that you’re feeling more a part of the club, and that you’ve reached your one-year mark. That’s a tough milestone.

    Reply

  3. Michelle
    Sep 20, 2009 @ 14:32:30

    I am sorry that you have to be apart of this sorority but I am happy to have met you. I hope you your dream comes true soon!

    Reply

    • iamstacey
      Sep 21, 2009 @ 14:32:57

      You and my IF Sorority Sisters have been my saving grace. No one else truly ever understands, no matter how much they may empathize and care, I think IF is just baffling to others.

      Reply

  4. soul-in-progess
    Sep 20, 2009 @ 14:44:43

    Other than the support we give & receive from each other (which is totally invaluable and priceless), our sorority sucks! We can’t even have a drink…and not just the hard stuff, coffee!! Oh coffee, how I miss thee. Just wanted to say I’m feeling the same way, I’m almost at my two year mark of ‘trying’. Some days I have hope but most I feel I will be stuck in this sorority forever. Hopefully, we both graduate and leave to our new mommy lives soon.

    Reply

  5. myndful
    Sep 20, 2009 @ 14:51:50

    Definitely not a sorority anyone hopes to join, but the upside is…at least there is support if you find yourself living in IF land. We’re in cycle 21…never thought we’d find ourselves here. But with this first IVF on the horizon, I feel some blind hope again. I hope that you are still able to find moments like that along the way. Better yet, I hope this cycle ends your journey altogether. 🙂

    Reply

  6. Low Fat Lady
    Sep 20, 2009 @ 15:31:04

    *hugs* It isn’t a sorority anyone wants to join, but there are some great people in this blog roll (including you :D) that I am very glad I have had the chance to get to meet.

    Reply

  7. Clare
    Sep 20, 2009 @ 17:01:55

    I am very sorry to welcome you to this sorority but welcome all the same! I definitely could have done without being part of this sorority but if I have to suffer through IF then there’s no way I’d make it through WITHOUT this sorority. Yay to IF sisterhood – it’s a lifeline.

    Reply

    • iamstacey
      Sep 21, 2009 @ 14:36:19

      I don’t know how women got through this before they invented blogging! Doesn’t matter where you are in the world, when you’re in the IF Sorority, you’re family! 🙂

      Reply

  8. echloe
    Sep 20, 2009 @ 17:10:01

    I wish none of us had to join. But I’m glad I’m not alone. And glad to provide any support you need to survive this journey.

    Reply

  9. FatChick
    Sep 20, 2009 @ 19:53:46

    You know, it really is a sorority of sorts. People who haven’t gone through it can never, ever know what it’s like. On the one hand, I’m happy for them – I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy – but on the other hand, I know that when I meet other IFfers, I automatically feel a connection. You GET IT. And while IF sucks, it’s like you said – a comfort and a blessing to know that there are others who GET IT. Noone is ever truly alone, you know?

    Reply

    • iamstacey
      Sep 21, 2009 @ 14:38:55

      Hey, Girlie, thanks for stopping by. It is such a blessing to have my sisters here with me! 🙂 As much as my mama and even my hubby love me and want all the best, they don’t truly understand it like another IF sister.

      Reply

  10. Amber
    Sep 20, 2009 @ 21:02:28

    What a good post. I just recently found out I’m pregnant, and no matter what the outcome is- I’ll always be infertile. The road for me to get here and the struggles I have faced have made me a different person. And I will savor a baby all the more in the long run.

    Reply

    • iamstacey
      Sep 21, 2009 @ 14:40:03

      I think you’re right, Amber! Soak up every moment! I can’t wait to read about each step of your journey. The stories from my IF sisters who have finally found success gives me hope!

      Reply

  11. Katie
    Sep 20, 2009 @ 22:21:56

    Me too Stacey- I had my blog for a while, then I got pregnant and never updated because as far as I was concerned: I was done. Little did I know. I think even if I have a successful pregnancy I will always be a part of this sorority.

    We’re an unwilling group but we really watch out for one another, and if I had to go through what some days feels like hell, I’m so grateful that I have you for support and hand holding.

    Stacey- I know that there are days you wonder if this will ever happen for you. I know its hard sometimes to have faith when the future looks so gray, but I believe it will happen for you and you r in my prayers. *hugs*

    Reply

  12. Sweet Georgia
    Sep 21, 2009 @ 09:15:28

    Ours is a very exclusive sorority to get into – filled with rigorous blood & medical exams, year long waits (or for those older gals, half year waits). Although it’s not one that anyone knowingly joins or anticipates joining. If I have to be in a sorority, I’m glad it’s one where everyone supports and holds up each other.

    Reply

    • iamstacey
      Sep 21, 2009 @ 14:41:55

      We have absolutely endured a unique form of hazing to earn our way into this sorority! It would be unbearable without you and my sisters here. Thank you so much for being there.

      Reply

  13. stacey
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 15:00:15

    Stacey, I’m late reading this post, but it’s a good one. I love it, I agree, and I’m glad to know ya. 🙂

    Reply

  14. mybumpyjourney
    Nov 04, 2009 @ 13:10:16

    Where is the keg? I am in the sorority also!! If I have to join, I want to get shitfaced!!! 🙂

    Reply

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