This being National Infertility Awareness Week, I am of course compelled to write about my experience. Infertility is a life altering diagnosis you live with for the rest of your life. It may not be life ending on its own, but its effects reverberate in your day to day life, for the REST of your life.
2 years ago I shared my personal story of how infertility contributed to my nervous breakdown.
Let that sink in.
We’re now 9 years into the struggle to build our family. Think about where your family was 9 years ago. Picture none of that ever happening.
Medical experts have found that women dealing with infertility suffer the same levels of anxiety and depression as those diagnosed with high blood pressure, HIV, and cancer. Listen Up and realize most of us suffer in silence. The statistic is 1 in 8 couples are dealing with infertility. For every person, as open as I am about it there are 10 sitting in silence.
People often thank me for sharing my story. For me, it’s just a natural thing to do. I wouldn’t be ashamed of discussing any other diagnosis or disease, why should I feel ashamed to discuss infertility?
Does discussing it seem sad? Of course! I’m dealing with something sad. A complete organ system in my body is not functioning properly, and as it currently stands, my insurance is treating it like a nose job. That’s a sad state of affairs!
Does it make other people uncomfortable? Sometimes. But their discomfort has everything to do with them and nothing to do with me. People don’t like discussing sad things, or things they can’t fix. We as a species want to fix things for people, and when we can’t we feel helpless.
Do I get tired? YES! I get tired of the questions, of educating, of repeating myself. But someone has to do it. Every time I get tired I remind myself that the only way to create change is by doing, and someone has to be willing to do it.
So what can you do? Be supportive. Realize you can’t fix this for us. Don’t offer advice, just lend an ear. At the end of the day, whether someone is vocal about their infertility story, or quiet, all we really need is support. For someone to recognize our pain, and accept our grief as it is.