Wow. Just WOW WOW WOW!
So very honoured that this here blog, Femme InFertile, was selected as a nominee from over 200 submissions for Resolve's Hope Award - Best Blog! So cool.
Listen, infertility is no cake walk, and giving back in a little way to the community by sharing my story so openly is the least I feel I can do. I really would love to do more, but for now, I do what I can, and what I do best is write about it, talk about it, and above all be open about it. So I guess really blogging is just as much for the blogger as it is for the reader, hey? In my case that's true at least.
That being said, I really am truly so very passionate about speaking up on what infertiles deal with each and every moment of each and every day. I love this excerpt from an NBC News article:
"The longer the process drags on, the more uncomfortable they tend to become talking about it to other people. “Even in well-meaning attempts to make you feel better, people say something that makes you feel worse,” says James Grifo, M.D., director of the New York University Fertility Center in New York City. “Isolation is a defense mechanism against overload. It isn’t necessarily a good thing, but it’s what infertility patients do to protect themselves.”
And it's absolutely true. Opening up isn't for everyone. Nor are support groups or counselling/therapy. Each person going through infertility has a unique journey. No two journeys are alike. Trust me, I'm part of many communities and although we draw similarities here and there, there are always different factors at play. So just like those journeys are not the same, the way we cope and deal with it naturally aren't either. And they can evolve along the way too! Nothing is constant in this life.
Listen, I'll be frank, I personally think stewing in your sadness is a horrible idea... especially alone. Made worse only by the fact that those around you are not even granted the opportunity to show compassion and sensitivity towards you. Case in point, the bright eyed young pregnant co-worker next to you complains about the baby kicking...
But I'm also not ignorant to the fact that opening up to those around you brings its own perfect sh!t-storm of fun. You know how it is... there's always a type.
The Uneducated Well-Meaning Advice Giver:
"just relax and it'll happen" - you try to relax when giving yourself daily injections, having massive debt, and dealing with a revolving door of dissapointment. But sure, I'll just relax.
"have you tried accupuncture?" - no actually, I've been living in a bubble and haven't done any research on things to try...
"You should just adopt" - because we all know having a biologically child that you carry in your own womb and birth into this world is the same experience to adoption. NOT. Can they be equally rewarding experiences? Sure... at least those who have adopted have told me so. But it's still not the same experience, and a person wanting one over the other is valid.
The Overnight Seer:
"I know you're going to be a mom, trust me, I just know" - oh doooo youuuuuuu? Willing to bet your first born on that statement? Didn't think so.
"It'll happen. You're meant to be a mother." - oh good... because if I wasn't it wouldn't. *head scratch*
"Maybe this is the universe's way of saying you're just not meant to be a mother." - oh good, because that 16 year old crack addict was higher up on the stork's list, ya that makes sense.
"God has a plan." - Ya, well f*ck the plan.
Don't get me wrong. I am highly spiritual, and I do actually believe that everything happens for a reason, but not only is this incredibly unhelpful, it is also diminishing. Someone experiencing pain doesn't need to be reminded that this is their fate. They know it, they live it each and every day. Ugh. But as infertiles we have to remind ourselves that as hurtful as those interactions can be, more often than not, the person is well intentioned. They are doing what they think is helpful. Instead of just nodding and sweetly smiling, prepare yourself with some answers. I.e. "Actually, we've tried the whole relax thing, it didn't seem to work in our case, likely because we have actual medical reasons for not conceiving. Also new research has shown that stress has no impact on the ability to get pregnant." Of course, depending on the context, the person and the way you say it, it can always come off "cool", but it can also come off genuine and educational, or maybe you put your own funny spin on it like me. My husband and I like to joke around and we often laugh it off in public which tends to make people extremely uncomfortable. Oh well.
Anyway, I'm rambling. Long and short of the point is that it took me a long time to get to a place where I felt safe and ready to share my story. I was quite open with people from the get-go compared to most, but the ugly truth side of our journey? Ya... left that for after the 2nd failed IVF. And that's when this blog was born.
So all I want to say to you my readers. I know you. I see you. I get you. I'm here... in the trenches with you. I don't have my happily ever after yet... maybe I will someday soon. Maybe you'll beat me to the finish line like so many others before you. But know that I'm rooting you on. I'm wishing you success on your journey, but I also know that some days its so hard to see any glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Hope is a fickle thing, but we women are born fighters. So month after month, failed treatment after failed treatment, we pick ourselves back up again. Why? Because we know what we want, and we'll do anything we can to get it, and we won't let anyone be ignorant to how f*cking hard it is.