Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I'm Aware


So this is National Infertility Awareness Week.  Well, I'm fully aware that I'm infertile.  Oh!  It's for others?  To help them understand the issue better?  Got it.

Here's the thing.  I know I'm supposed to say something about how people who haven't been through this can't possibly understand and need to become enlightened so that they don't say dumb stuff to people like me going through all the stuff we went through.  I know I'm supposed to complain about things like strangers who say ignorant things, insurance companies who don't cover treatment, and the hate I should feel toward naturally conceiving women. 

The problem is that I can't seem to fit into that mold and neither has my experience.  Some of my infertile friends said some of the most painful things to me while some of my single, not-even-close-to-starting-a-family friends were the most supportive.  I never, not once, felt anger toward a friend, colleague, or stranger who became pregnant.  Why begrudge them their joy?  Even when I worked with students who feared they'd become pregnant and contemplated possible abortions, I never projected anger towards them.  They are who they are.  I am who I am.  I never asked "Why us?"  and I never said that it wasn't "fair". 

I felt it was a shame.  I felt that it was a waste of a couple of fabulous parents.  I felt sad.  I felt broken.  But I was thankful every day that the phone call we received from the doctor's office wasn't a different kind of bad news that can't be comforted by lunch at Cheesecake Factory.  I was thankful for having the best husband ever and knew (know) that no matter what happens, we'll be OK. 

I get why many (seems to be most) women working through infertility feel the way they feel.  I don't sit in judgment of them.  I'm just saying there are no general statements that can be made.  I really do feel that what is meant to be will be.  I really do feel that all my IF sisters will be wonderful moms one day - one way or another.  And (gasp!) I really do think that the minute I stopped obsessing over getting pregnant, I finally got that BFP (I admit, that one is hard to swallow as people saying "Just relax and don't think about it" really did bother me) - if you recall they said there was no way IVF #5 was going to work and we did it just because insurance covered it, never thinking it would work.

My point?  None of us feel the same way about this journey.  We can't be generalized into a Top Ten Things to Never Say to An Infertile Woman.  We're all different and we all deal with this differently.  Bottom line?  Support us please.  Just know that it sucks and be our supportive friend. 



  1. That's the beauty of it all, we all have different ways of perceiving this, different coping mechanisms, or lack thereof, different ways of getting support and different ways of handling the dissappointment. What unites us all is our desire to be moms....so we bond. I'm with you on a bunch of what you said, many people are as supportive and nice as they know how to be, and sometimes they say silly things, but nothing we can really hold against them...so for the most part, it's been a crappy situation but a great journey. So many blessings along the way. I love your attitude.

  2. Very good post. Our journeys have all been different, the outcomes vary greatly, and our attitudes are unique to each of us. We can't compare to one another because two people never end up with the same story in the end. But it's wonderful that you've had the attitude you've had towards others and never had the self-pity and jealousy that so many of us have experienced!

  3. Well written!!!!! You are a lot stonger than some of us. Your heart is huge!!!! XOX

    oh and PS. I totally agree with you that some people I know who have been through IF just don't know how to empathize AT ALL and those who have never been through it can be amazingly supportive!