Infertility is a path that can be lonely, long and bumpy, filled with good and bad days. Throughout the battle, I’ve connected with other women, women who understand how it feels to be on this rollercoaster. Our emotions, feelings and thoughts are often similar and below is a compilation of our voice to share what we want others to know about infertility. Welcome to our world.
1) Infertility is a disease.
It’s much more than just not being able to get pregnant by having sex. There are weight issues, hormone imbalances, insulin issues, organ and tissue problems, scaring, and hair and acne struggles. Our bodies are failing us and it’s hard to deal with.
2) Adoption isn’t a cure, but a tremendous blessing.
There are families called to adopt and others who aren’t. Be mindful to remember that adopting a child doesn’t automatically mean one will surprisingly fall pregnant either. The desire for a biological family is real and valid, and every family has to take their own path to growth. We promise we have thought through all of these options and selected the one that is best for our family.
3) Infertility treatments are expensive.
As a result, it may change what we can do and when. If we have to skip out on a brunch or vacation, it likely has nothing to do with you but instead that our budget is stretched thin due to doctor bills. Some infertility treatment options, such as IVF, can cost thousands of dollars. While most large expenses in life utilize loans, infertility often doesn’t. The stress of coming up with dollars every month is difficult and exhausting.
4) We are happy for you when you share your pregnancy news with us.
You don’t need to apologize. We can be equally happy for you and still sad for ourselves. Simply acknowledge the blessing that your pregnancy is, be mindful of the place and time you choose to share it, and don’t avoid us afterward.
5) Baby showers and hospital visits can be easy or difficult.
Give us grace. There are some days we will be there and others when it’s simply too hard. Don’t hold it against us or refuse to invite us. If you can open your heart to simply let us navigate that day ourselves, we will be so grateful.
6) Please stop using band-aid statements or stories.
Telling us to “just relax!”, “you’re still so young!” and “it’ll happen in God’s time” are hurtful. Infertility is stressful and we are trying as hard as we can to stay relaxed. No matter what our age is, the feelings and devastation of our struggle are very real. We are trusting God’s timing and have learned through experience it’s the truth. Instead of trying to make us feel better, simply validate that it sucks.
7) Talk to us, not about us.
Ask questions on how we are doing. It’s not a taboo subject. Like any area of conversation, if we don’t feel like talking about it at the moment, we will let you know. Letting us know you care, are listening, and wish to encourage us is healing to our hearts. We can feel lonely at times, like we don’t fit in. Your desire to connect means so much.
8) It affects every part of our life.
Our physical health, relationships, marriage and sex life, career goals, future plans, mental health, and finances are all tampered significantly because of our disease. When we fall away, know it may merely be out of survival mode as we work to rebalance everything. Trust us, we don’t want it to be this way and fight everyday to be normal.
9) Grief is constant.
Our losses are felt intensely in all parts of the cycles. The calendar seems to be a land mine of due dates or should have been due dates. We grieve what could have been and wasn’t. Our grieving doesn’t end when the bleeding stops. It lingers and we ache for the family members we lost along the way.
10) We don’t want your children, we want our own.
Be mindful of your audience when you complain about your children or offer them up to us as a consolation prize. We want to experience all that you are experience, but with our own.
Via Chelsea Ritchie