Easier: I'm not so caught off guard by "trigger" situations as I was earlier. I know Sunday mass is going to be hard. I know certain parties will be hard. I'm not caught unawares by the palpable heartache of being the only barren one in a sea of babies (for example).
Harder: I'm sick of doctor visits, blood draws, tests, heck, I'm sick of charting! I'm tired of having to do something "extra" to get pregnant.
Easier: I don't obsess anymore about every little fertility sign or every little symptom in the two week wait. I give myself the freedom to not chart if I need a break, and I don't feel guilty about it.
Harder: The number of people who have gotten pregnant after we've started trying, plus those who have gotten married and gotten pregnant after we've started trying, seems to increase monthly. That's one more person who reminds me of my childlessness.
Easier: I've met some amazing people, both IRL and through the blogs, who are carrying this same cross. Getting to know such faith-filled, inspiring women has been incredible! And it helps so much to know that I'm not alone.
Harder: When I meet another person who's struggling with infertility, I know in my bones what they're going through, and I ache for them. Once I ran into a friend in the waiting room of my doctor's office. His wife was being seen; they had been trying for longer than we had. I cried for them the entire drive home, knowing first-hand what they must be going through.
Easier: Therapy has really helped me cope with anger, realize it's okay to feel sad, learn to "feel the feeling" when they come instead of push them away. I hope these skills will help make me a better mother someday, or at least a better person!
Harder: The biological clock keeps ticking, and I'm not getting any younger here...
Easier: If I take an honest look at myself, I can see spiritual growth that's happened as a direct result of this experience. A lot of that is due to my spiritual director and good spiritual reading like "Interior Freedom." Some I guess is due to just crying out to God on my knees, coming to Him more dependent and needy than ever before, and radically recognizing my need for His grace. These are real fruits, I know.
Harder: My friends' kids are getting older and forming bonds and we're left out of the joy of seeing our kids play together and sharing in the ups and downs of motherhood.
Easier: I have more compassion towards other people who are suffering, especially those who desire a good that is being withheld (marriage, children, health, etc.). I notice people more who are "on the fringe," and I feel for them.