Though the 10th of this month, it’s National Infertility Awareness Week.
A subject dear to my heart, or a least near to an open wound.
Eleanor, as some of you know, was a multi-year, highly painful and expensive project. In fact, we were within two cycles of giving up completely when we finally got some joy.
Strangely and luckily, I had a best friend to share this experience with me. I can’t tell you how hard it is to talk to some friends about infertility (especially the ones who got pregnant on a “whoopsy”). And your parents just don’t understand, either, ’cause they’re parents, duh. When you go into the trenches of infertility, and find your best friend there, it makes the war more of a buddy movie than a horror film.
Then one of you gets shot.
I got pregnant (and stayed pregnant) and went from an US to a THEM in the infertile world. However you leave the battlefield, the PTSD never leave you. I remember living my life in two week increments, the drugs that make you crazy, the longest 3 minutes of every month where you watch the pregnancy test fail, the piles money you gave to your infertility clinic and the hours you spent in uncomfortable positions on a variety of very cold physician’s tables.
The point is I will always remember. The experience has shaped my opinions about what family is, how a body you’ve had forever seems like a stranger, what failure can feel like, and how modern medicine can make more promises than it can deliver. Abortion can be a parenting decision. Politicians have no business dictating embryo choices or second guessing doctors. Women can make decisions about their bodies. Fertility, adoption and birth decisions should be honored by extended families, doctors and the world in general.
And, I know that my joy is someone else’s pain. Which is why, as I sit here, having been puked on for the
fourth fifth time today, I feel like I really can’t complain about much. Eleanor and Saralyn are treasures, but the process of getting them both was also a gift, even if it was painful to unwrap.
Take a moment to remember that 15% of couple will have trouble conceiving. Some never will have the babies they deeply desire. Be compassionate and sensitive that for some, the blessings in life must and will come in different areas.
If you have struggled with infertility, I would love for you to leave your story in the comments area. Let’s support one another’s lives.