Here is where I document all things Foxy!
"The secret to being happy is accepting where you are in life and making the most out of every day"
"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born." Isaiah 66:9
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Today I will write about something very near and dear to my heart (that may be the wrong words). It's National Infertility Awareness Week! Not that infertility is anything to rejoice about, but I am happy to know that awareness is at least increasing! For years people didn't talk about cancer either, as if it were contagious if mentioned, or as if anyone had any control over it! I pray that the level of awareness for infertility can be raised as well. Infertility is not contagious (though many people who went to college where I did around my age, think something may have been in the water), nor is it something that can be controlled. Infertility affects all kinds of people, fat, skinny, tall, short, athletic, sedintary, healthy, unhealthy, happy-go-lucky, pessimistic. Infertility has no shame, no agenda, it's not hereditary in most cases (there are some genetic markers in some rare cases), and it shouldn't be taboo. Women and men who face this awful disease experience stress levels equivalent with cancer and death of a loved one (thanks Leah).
I just want to give some of the feelings that IF people feel. There is the death of a dream, even if you go on to get pregnant eventually and have a healthy baby, your road wasn't like your friend who got pregnant month two trying and had no problems. Your view of your body is never the same, and you never trust it again. You feel ashamed, as this is what your body was MADE to do and it's not working, and though you know you can't do anything about it, you're ashamed and feel like less of a woman/man. You become a jealous person, a very jealous person in lots of cases. I'm not typically a jealous person, I believe that I live a pretty charmed life, but I am jealous of the majority of pregnant people and have been since September of 2008 and even some before then. It's not that you're not happy for others, but you want what they have so badly, you can't control it, it's primal. (You can read the stories in the bible of Sarah, Rachel, and Leah, and the things they did concerning having children, and know it goes back ages in time). You are frustrated and hopeful, then lose hope! With each new test or thing to try, you gain hope, but are frustrated, and when that things doesn't work, you are again hopeless. It is a yoyo, rollercoaster, time warp that you hate, and yet you can't get off of it EVER. I know people who've gone on to have children and their children are grown, and they still feel, infertile. Infertility, though it may resolve, lasts forever on your heart. You wouldn't expect someone who had beat cancer to forget it and move on, you would probably even expect them to continue to fear it slightly, you wouldn't expect someone who lost a love one to forget them and move on, and yet the emotional and psychological ramifications of infertility are as strong and most people try to sweep it under the rug.
I know as a non-infertile, it's uncomfortable to you, and you don't know what to say, and you don't want to make an IF uncomfortable, but ignoring it doesn't help either.
You can say things, things that are helpful, which tend to be simple questions, (please leave out suggestions, we know you're trying to help, but if you are infertile, you have already thought of ALL of that, even if you can't admit it to yourself). A simple, 'How are you feeling?', 'Any yucky days you've had that you'd like to vent about?', 'Would you like to talk about where you are in your process?'. Those kinds of things make us feel heard, not judged (because no matter what we feel judged), or contagious!
I give examples and encourage things, as I know so many people don't know what to say, and I know that it's awkward, but I also know that our lives can feel so lonely, so avoided, so unheard. I do not pretend to know about divorce, or losing a parent, or a child (that was born), or anything that I haven't experienced, as that's not my area, so please don't think I think I'm all knowing. I just pray that the experiences I've had can help someone else, whether it's to help another IF, or BLM feel no so alone, or to help those that love us know what to say, that's my mission, that's my goal, that is the legacy I want to leave for the children I've lost!
Thanks for reading, thanks for following suggestions and helping others. I have people call me often and say things like "my friend's friend lost a baby, what should she do?" or "what should I say to 'person' who has lost a baby?", these things mean the world to me, as I feel like I'm helping and I thank you for being such big wonderful people that you're willing to learn and get out of your comfort zone for the sake of someone else! Blessings to all of you, God is using you in His ministry!
Wife, daughter, sister, now mother after infertility. I continue to struggle with infertility and the scars that will always remain. I am the mother of two angel babies in heaven, and one miracle on earth!