Don’t Ignore the Pain…
As I briefly mentioned in my previous post – this week is National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW).
I dedicated a whole page to our experience with infertility, and included some insight into the disease … so I’m not going to go into all of that today… This is not about educating people about the facts of infertility… (ok – yes, part of bringing awareness to a cause is providing facts – but you can go to my infertility page for that)…. it’s about enlightening those unaffected by infertility… it’s about trying, in some small way, to help people understand what it feels like to not fall pregnant after years of trying to conceive.
I have never experienced a miscarriage… or lost a baby… I cannot imagine the pain and grief that causes….
Also – I have never knowingly lost a fertilized embryo … in other words, I have never experienced a failed IVF or FET procedure….
The one thing I have experienced, is the grief of a failed cycle…
I will never forget the first time I thought I was pregnant….
I was almost two weeks “late” and was nauseous and throwing up, although I did not get any positive pregnancy tests.
When I realized I was not in fact pregnant… the pain and grief I felt was so intense it seemed irrational. The loss was so real to me that I was convinced I’d had a miscarriage. This was my first real encounter with the pain of infertility…. it was the first time I’d let myself truly hope and imagine what it would be like… for 10 days I thought I was going to be a mom. Of course – i did not experience a miscarriage… but that was the only way I could justify and explain the pain I felt. Although I did not lose a baby that month – everything I had imagined for my future was lost…and now I knew what I was missing out on… that naive excitement…. that joy and celebration….. in one night — it was gone….and I wanted it back….
At that time, I did not know that I would continue to struggle and experience that pain for another 31 months.. so, after a week or two, I picked myself back up and kept going, kept trying, kept believing and hoping…. only for that hope and future I had imagined to drift further and further away.
The pain of infertility may seem irrational or exaggerated to you — but, to those suffering it – it is like suffering a loss each and every month …
You may not understand it, you may not agree with it, you may think it’s too much — that is fine…we are not asking you to understand… we’re just asking that you do not ignore it.
I am happy to say that I am in a good place — since we stopped trying to conceive, I have been able to let go of the disappointments and hold on to hope for the future… I am not sure what the future holds for us… I hope it holds parenthood…. but for now…. I’m letting go of the future and enjoying the present.
Click here to read some short personal infertility stories from those “in the trenches”
Click here if you want to know how to “not ignore infertility”… what not to do around those who may be struggling with infertility, and what you can do
Click here if you are struggling with infertility and want some tips on how to raise awareness
And of course — you can find an abundance of information regarding infertility here.
Oh – and if you would like to help advocate…. you could always add a “twibbon” to your twitter or facebook profile pic… and share some facts about infertility with people around you…. resolve is also a great source for ideas on how to help raise awareness for infertility.
- http://www.resolve.org/infertility101 (Basic understanding of the disease of infertility.)
- http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/about.html (About NIAW)