It took a long time for me to arrive at the conclusion that, although it wasn't what I'd hoped for, my diagnosis of infertility yielded a profoundly positive impact on my identity as a woman and as a general human being. And while it is still the most emotionally and physically draining circumstance I've faced in my 27 years of life, there is a silver lining that exists within it.
My feelings on this are still largely dependent upon the day, the week, or the month; when your future is hanging in the balance on a daily basis, your proclivity toward optimism often suffers the same fate. In my moments of quiet clarity, however, I am able to clearly observe all the ways in which it has permitted me the opportunity to shape and appreciate exactly who I am.
The delicate balance between grappling with a medical issue as maddening as infertility and all of the ways in which I have witnessed the positive internal growth it can inspire has created room for a deeply rooted sense of gratitude among all of the frustration and anguish. Gratitude, however, is just one of several ways that this intensely personal struggle has helped me to form a foundation to construct my identity.