I’ve gone through a lot of emotions this week. Nerves, fear, anxiety, acceptance, relief, anger, grief, and so many others that I just can’t name.
I’m sure many of you out there feel like I’m filling your news feed this week with depressing information, sad stories, things that don’t make you smile. So you ignore them. You scroll past, maybe even hide me for a few days until the storm passes.
But that’s okay. Because the point of this week was to make people stand up and take notice of infertility as a disease. One that affects many more people than you may realize. Even if “taking notice” involved liking a status or two before hiding me. You were made aware, at least. And having people reach out to me to say they’re going through something similar, or have gone through it and have found the light at the end of the tunnel, has made this week worth it.
You are not alone, and neither am I. And that’s such a comforting realization.
I was scared to join the land of social media again this week. I left in December because, while I was happy for those who were announcing new bundles of joy, I could not help but be sad for myself, too. Because, you see, every month that we find we are not expecting is another month I feel like a failure. Another month I’m angry with God. Another month I feel less like a woman. But I decided to put aside my sadness and fear for a week to give voice to those suffering who don’t feel like they can share their struggles with the world.
Over the course of this week, my heart has soared for women who are carrying a child thanks to fertility treatments. My heart has broken for those who have told me that they have lost babies and continue to struggle with infertility. I’ve felt pride in those who have taken this week to say to the world that they’re facing infertility, but that this doesn’t mean they’re broken.
My heart has also sunk to my feet when another person tells me to just relax because that’s all it takes (it’s not). I’ve taken offense to people telling me to consider adoption (that’s a very personal decision and no easier than what we’re going through). I’ve been disappointed in friends telling me to be patient (because 16 months of patience and pills and doctors appointments isn’t enough patience).
Maybe they’ll take offense to this blog post. Who knows? If you feel like this applies to you and that upsets you, understand that learning what not to say is part of what I wanted to help people do this week.
I know they’re trying to be helpful, for the most part. Many don’t know what to say, having never faced what we’re facing now. They just want to fix the problem.
But this isn’t something that words can fix. The best way to help? Just listen. Just let me cry. Just let me vent and rant and scream. Just let me be angry. Just give me a hug and tell me, “This sucks.”
As National Infertility Awareness Week draws to a close, I leave you with this: I am not my diagnosis. The Husband and I are not our infertility. We are strong. We will face this struggle head-on. To those of you who are struggling and suffering, I’m here. I will grieve with you in your sadness and celebrate with you in your joy.
You are not alone.