This week is National Infertility Awareness Week and I feel the desperate need to write about it. Infertility is not a club that I ever thought I would belong to, I was certain that I would follow in the fertile footsteps of the women in my family and pop out babies like it was going out of style. I vividly remember talking to my mom after we had been TTC for OVER A YEAR and her comparing it to it taking 3 months to conceive me. To put it in perspective, she was 30 at the time AND had never had to time anything to get pregnant before. She told me it seemed like it took forever. I'm surprised I didn't ring her neck ;). But, that's the thing with suffering from infertility, it's not something a lot of people "get". I can't tell you how many "just relax" or "it's all a part of God's plan"comments I got. It was infuriating!! And then when we decided to go through IVF because we had a MEDICAL issue that prevented us from conceiving, I got more judgment because I was so young (24) and some of our friends/family weren't sure how God would feel about us doing IVF. It wasn't so much that all of my friends were getting pregnant all around me and so I felt left out or misunderstood by them; I was actually the first of my friends to get pregnant, it was more that I felt so left out from the rest of the world. No one understood why not getting pregnant was such a big deal. No one understood the crazy emotions that came along with months of TTC and taking pills and shots and having one too many intimate moments with the transvaginal ultrasound. The meds made me moody and bloaty and I put on weight and the one thing that I usually did to de-stress was now off the table--running. So, I got miserable and fat and angry and lonely.
And then I found a whole world of people out there who knew exactly what I was going through. Even if I didn't have the same diagnosis and even if I didn't pick the same treatment plan, reading IF blogs helped me see that I really wasn't alone. Sure, I might have still been fat and miserable and angry, but lonely I was not. I could read the stories of other women and couples that had gone through the same miserable experience of IF. These people, out there on the internet, knew what it was like to live your life in 2 week increments (2 weeks until ovulation and then 2 weeks to see if the treatment had worked). It didn't matter that loads of people in my real life didn't understand what I was going through or why I was being a crazy person because there were real people out there in the world who knew exactly how I was feeling. Even now I face criticism and questions and judgment over the fact that we chose to pursue IVF multiple times to have our family. I face deeply personal questions about when I think life begins and why did I *need* to be pregnant and shouldn't I have "just" adopted? Thanks to other IF bloggers out there, who are willing to share their story, I am better equipped to share my story. Better equipped to help educate the world about the experience of IF and all the choices we are forced to make and the scrutiny we face simply because we have a MEDICAL problem.
I'd be lying if I said that some of the questions/comments I have received didn't bother me. I have been hurt by well meaning friends and family. But knowing that I'm not alone in this journey through IF and that I have a place, a community, where I belong has made the world of difference because sometimes a simple "me too" is all we really need.
Why do you share your story of infertility?
What is one of the hardest things you had to face when you were diagnosed?
How did you "find" the world of IF blogs/bloggers?
What do you wish people understood about IF?