Monday, April 25, 2011

National Infertility Awareness Week: The PAIN associated with Infertility

Bear in mind, that I am SO blessed and SO lucky to have finally been given a beautiful daughter.  But, the PAIN that is associated with infertility is unforgettable.  I post these so that you can either A) relate to the pain and be assured that you aren't crazy for feeling that way OR B) UNDERSTAND what a friend or family member may be going through and try to be supportive of their feelings.  Some of the feelings WE feel both physically and mentally:

Angry:  There are SO many times we feel angry.  We feel angry when a long awaited cycle is cancelled (because your body is yet again not working right).  We are angry when we sit and ponder WHY this has to be happening to us. WHY our bodies aren't working like everyone elses.  We are angry when we are given bullshit diagnosis's.  We are angry when friends and family aren't supportive, etc.

Annoyed:  We get annoyed when "fertile" people complain when their back is hurting from being pregnant.  We are annoyed when you complain about ANYTHING relating to pregnancy!!  We wish that you would see how LUCKY you are to be pregnant and we would give ANYTHING to be able to experience the morning sickness that YOU are complaining about.  We are annoyed when you don't realize what a true blessing that baby keeping you up in the middle of the night is.  WE WOULD TRADE YOU PLACES ANY DAY.

Bitter:  We are bitter at pregnancy announcements.  It happens.  It's hard to see pregnancy announcements day after day on facebook.  MANY of us cancel social networking accounts because of this.  Put yourself in our shoes, please.

Disappointment:  This happens A LOT.  Imagine this:  Walking into your doctors office after shooting yourself in the stomach for 7 days in a row in the stomach, only to be told that the medication wasn't working the way it should and your cycle has to be cancelled.  The disappointment is have worked SO hard only to be told to "forget it". 

Discouraged:  We feel discouraged often and we constantly need reminders of "hope" from our fellow infertile friends that it WILL happen. 

Miserable:  There are SO many ways we feel miserable.  Physically we feel miserable when our ovaries feel like they are the size of grapefruits after being pumped with a crazy amount of drugs to make eggs..this sometimes even results in having to go up a size or two in your pants because of being so bloated.  OR, there are the times you are so miserable and bruised on your stomach, legs, butt, and arm from being "shot up" every day.  Giving yourself shots every day and getting blood taken every other day for monitoring makes us look like we are heroin addicts.  It HURTS.

Guilt:  Whether the infertility be because of the man, woman, or both, the guilt can cripple a relationship if it's not talked about.  For example:  I felt SO guilty for not being able to provide my husband with a child.  I felt like I was keeping him from his dream.  I honestly thought about leaving him because the guilt was so terrible.  Who was I to keep this man who would be an AMAZING father from being one?  This weighed heavy on my heart, and I know that it does every single person who is battling this right now.

Indecisive: Do we keep trying to conceive? Do we attempt IVF?  Is adoption for us?  Should we use donor sperm?  Should we use a donor egg?  Do we live childless?  SO many decisions that affect your lives. 

Embarrassed:  We feel embarrassed because our bodies don't work right.  We feel embarrassed in the beginning when we have to open our legs to 5 different doctors in 1 week because THAT'S who has the early shift.  We feel embarrassed to talk about it because it seems like we are the ONLY ones who are going through this hardship.  That is what this week is about..getting the word out so that we don't have to be embarrassed any more!

Skeptical:  We are skeptical if a procedure or medication is going to work.  Cycle after cycle  we see a negative sign over and over again, yes we are skeptical. 

Lost or Alone:  We feel lost in this world.  We feel that our calling to be parents has been lost.  We feel lost because we have no one to talk to.  We feel like we are the only ones.  Did YOU know that infertility affects 1 in 8?  Indeed we are NOT alone..but it certainly feels like it.  We feel alone when it seems NO ONE understands.  Not your best friend, not your friends, not your mom, not your siblings, NO ONE..including your significant other.

Pessimistic:  I can honestly say this was me more times than not.  The WORST thing you can say is "it will happen when the time is right".  Pretty much anytime this was said to me, my eyes rolled.  My doctor would think "this is the month" but do you think I did?  Absolutely not.  5 years later I knew better.

Fatigue:  You wouldn't believe how tired the stress and medication can make you!  It is EXHAUSTING to go through the testing, the meds, the 2ww (two week wait before your period after ovulation), and not to mention if it's a failed cycle..when you're PMS'ing.

Frustrated:  We are frustrated because no one seems to understand or know the right thing to say to us.  We are frustrated because our cycle is another bust.  We are frustrated because our bodies aren't working the way they should.  We are FRUSTRATED.

Terrified:  We are terrified at the fact that we may NEVER be parents, can YOU imagine never getting something you are working SO hard to get?  Terrified at the proposed procedures or medications your doctor wants you to try next. Wouldn't you be terrified to give yourself a shot every day?  I guess this is worse for some people than others..but it's VERY scary at first especially!

Anxious:  During the 2ww (two week wait) after ovulation, we are SO anxious.  Anxious for our beta (pregnancy test by blood) or the date you are supposed to take a hpt (home pregnancy test).  These 2 weeks couldn't go by any slllooooowwwweeeeerrrrr. 

Crushed/Heartbroken:  Nothing hurts worse than seeing a negative pregnancy test.  ESPECIALLY when you thought for SURE that this month was it.  This was the first time I physically could feel my heart HURT.  You spend the 2 week leading up to the big day by thinking every single pain or twinge is a sign that you might be pregnant..only to realize you couldn't be less pregnant.  We feel our hearts breaking also when we realize that the baby we have finally conceived is going to miscarry..I have seen this happen to WAY too many of my friends.  My heart aches for them.

Offended:  We are offended by insensitive comments.  It's not cool to say things like "so, are you pregnant yet?" or "it will happen" because here's the thing..YOU don't know DON'T give us false hope!  We are offended by your complaints of your kids keeping you up at night, we are offended at your insensitivity to the fact that we can't conceive what we want most.

Grief:  I am SO lucky to have not suffered through a miscarriage, BUT, many of my friends have and grief is something they have to deal with for a VERY long time.  Too many of my friends have tried to conceive for years only to it result in losing the baby.  Grief fills MY heart for I can only imagine how they feel..Lord willing, I will never have to feel that.

I have made a pretty decent list, but you all need to know that this doesn't even cover HALF of what we feel.  This week is for Awareness, so that's what I'm doing, I am making you aware of infertility and how it affects those going through it. 

Remember that infertility affects 1 in 8, so chances are you KNOW someone who is feeling all of the things listed above.  PLEASE be more aware, choose your words wisely, and be there for us!!



Single Mom 2b said...

This is an excellent post. You make so many of the points I'm trying to formulate in my own NIAW post. Thank you for the inspiration, I love to find people that successfully came out on the other side of IF to have their child! #hope