I thought about this for quite sometime before I actually made the decision to begin to type this entry. I came across an article that seemed to hit the nail right on the head on the topic. There's no easy way to try to explain the emotions when someone who's never walked in your shoes begins to give you advice. Family, friends, & acquaintances all have questions, comments, & opinions.....and I sometimes find myself nodding and fake smiling at the things that they say - wishing that the conversation would just be over already. I mean....I get it, most of the time what they say aren't meant to be hurtful or malicious. I'm bringing this up mainly because it's something that most infertile beings struggle with when we share our own story. I guarantee if you're a person struggling with infertility, you have had the moment where someone makes a comment that makes you cringe inside, makes your head want to explode, and you begin to think how ignorant they are for saying it. You instead politely try to smile and nod your head, but they don't fully understand the impact that it's having on you. Those awkward moments seem to add up at a rate that compares to the nations deficit....well maybe not that quick, but you get the point.
One thing that fertile beings need to understand about people who struggle with infertility, is that they've become a little bit more soft inside....a little bit more sensitive. This can be because of so many issues.....the additional hormones one is taking, the negative result at the end of a cycle as months or even years go on, the shame that they put on themselves because they can't fulfill the one thing that they want so bad - to give their spouse a child. Let's not forget the wear and tear that it takes on our emotions, our body, and our bank accounts.
Let's share some examples of what I'm talking about:
“You need to relax. All that stressing is causing your infertility.”
Everyday stress does not cause infertility. A large study published looked at 3,000 women, from 10 different countries, found that high levels of emotional distress before a treatment cycle did not negatively affect the outcome. In other words, feeling stressed out doesn’t prevent your infertile friend from getting pregnant. You may also want to consider what came first – the stress or the infertility. Your infertile friend probably wasn’t stressed out about getting pregnant until she discovered it wasn’t happening the way it should.
“But you’re so young! You have plenty of time to get pregnant.”
Not always so. Being young doesn’t make you immune to infertility, and time is not always on your side. While being younger usually increases the chances of fertility treatment success, it doesn’t always, and it never guarantees success. Know the facts. It’s recommended that women under 35 see a fertility specialist after being unable to conceive for one year.
“Whatever you do, don’t give up. It’ll happen.”
I know this seems like a reassuring thing to say, but unfortunately it isn’t. One problem with this is it makes it sound inevitable that things will work out in the end. The truth is they may not. Being told, “Don’t worry, it’ll happen,” tends to be translated internally as, “Stop complaining because it’s not a big deal anyway.” The other problem with this statement is it implies “giving up” isn’t an option. But deciding to stop treatment, or even deciding not to pursue treatments at all, is sometimes exactly what a couple needs to do.
Adoption can be a wonderful option for some couple, but it’s not a decision that should be made lightly. Suggesting adoption in a flippant way ignores the financial and emotional costs of adoption. Also, adoption is not always possible. There’s an application and approval process to adopt a child, and not everyone who wants to adopt will pass the screening process. Also, adoption doesn’t take away the pain of being unable to have a biological child, so offering the option as a comfort doesn’t usually go well. Adoption doesn’t replace having biological children, but is instead another way to build a family.
“Trust me, you’re lucky you don’t have kids!”
Infertile couples aren’t clueless. Who hasn’t been seated at a restaurant next to a loud, messy family? Or endured a long plane ride next to a screaming baby? We know babies cry and puke. We know children are messy and loud. We know our lives will change drastically when we have kids. Please don’t downplay our loss by making your blessing sound more like a curse.
“Maybe you’re not meant to be parents.”
This one’s my personal favorite – it really hurts, but if this were true, then how can anyone explain why truly bad and even abusive parents manage to have children? Being qualified for the job is clearly not required. No one knows why bad things happen to good people. Please don’t play God by telling us why we haven’t conceived.
Take these things into consideration as well:
Now, after all of that.....I want to explain something further. Please know that I'm not broken, I'm not an emotional wreck (all the time), and nobody should have to feel like walking on egg shells around me when the topic comes up - after all I like to share my journey. All of the above doesn't mean that you can't ask me questions or give comments and/or opinions. I'm just trying to educate those that don't know.....these things aren't easy to hear and certainly don't help my situation at all. I'm simply just trying to create a family of my own, and unfortunately it's not happening as easy as it does for others, and that alone is enough emotional stress then one needs. Please know that when you have good news of a pregnancy, a birth, or even sweet stories about your little ones - I do love to hear these things. However I can't help my own emotions inside, & asking the higher being above us all "why not me?" at the same time. I can only ask for you to try to imagine yourself in my shoes as tough as that may be. Emotional times do happen....and sometimes I may lose grip on what the point of this journey for me may be, but I'm not walking it alone.
Me In A Nutshell
My name is Kristina and I'm 37. Originally I'm a Southern CA girl, and I'm now living in the "burbs" of Chicago. I love my son, my husband, my family, my fur babies, and my wonderful friends. I love wine, love to relax, love to have a good time, I'm a little adventurous, love to people watch, and I'm always down for a last minute road trip to virtually anywhere. I'm obsessed with the smell of racing fuel...weird I know - and fresh cut grass! I love to be home, but hate to sit at the house. If I'm excited I get pretty random - sometimes I talk about multiple subjects at once - I'll admit it's probably hard to keep up. My husband and I battled infertility for 5 years before having a successful pregnancy - our son Colton Charles was born September 30th, 2016, Although we have had success with the birth of Colton, our battle still continues with infertility. I've learned it's a wonderful & beautiful thing to share with others the journey that we've walked in the world of infertility. Welcome to our story.