All of me

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Research = Being Educated = Understanding = Love And Support

on January 23, 2011
Lately, I feel like I’ve become a self-proclaimed activist for infertility. It bugs me that people aren’t more aware of how this affects so many women/men/couples and families around them and, worse still, there’s little to no understanding on how to give the proper support and encouragement to make this process easier on everyone.

I was just fowarded this site a couple of days ago –

http://www.resolve.org/support-and-services/for-family–friends/when-infertility-strikes.html  and think it’s the best thing I’ve found so far. It gives so much insight as to what someone is going through, how infertile couples can cope (especially through the holidays) and what friends and family can do to help support this difficult period of time.

Speaking personally, I don’t feel like there’s enough knowledge being shared. This is a medical condition which affects the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of the person going through it. This is something that in some cases never gets resolved, leaving a couple childless (at times), and forced to come to terms that they may not get to experience the one thing they want more than anything in the world.  What I also find interesting, yet also a tad disappointing, is that this site was forwarded to me by another woman going through infertility in which she had to find and show her family so that they would understand and give her the support both her and her partner needed. In turn, it is me who is infertile, sharing this with those around me to help them gain a better understanding. Shouldn’t it be the ones who love you finding and searching for those things instead?

I think in some ways it just hard for people to imagine not being able to have children without assistance (or sometimes not being able to do it at all due to genetic reasons). I mean, procreation is partly what we were put on this earth to do, right? Sometimes I know I wish it were that easy. So if that’s why women and men were primarily placed on earth to do, you can imagine the feeling of disappointment to the purpose of mankind or the guilt of feeling like a failure that plagues the heart and mind of so many people around the world because their bodies can’t do the simplest of tasks – the exact thing they were designed to do. Now imagine that already existing guilt and pressure to ‘perform’, finding out that, instead of being normal and fertile, you instead have a severe birth defect (or two, coupled with genetic defects, plus difficulties for your partner as well) that hinders this task and you’re expected to just walk out in the world like nothing’s wrong? Walk out to give full support and happiness to those around you that have perfectly working ‘parts’ and feel no hurt or grief for yourself (or at least not that will be seen by those around you).

How is this right? Like I said earlier, maybe it’s because it’s something people mourn secretly because they’re ashamed. I know I constantly feel ashamed, feel guilty that I’m so sad and mourning a child ‘that may never be’, and that I’m considered selfish when I try and be flexible with what’s going on around me to try and save my own emotional strength and energy. But you know what? It’s not selfish. That I’ve been learning. It’s important for people to think about themselves once in a while. And it’s just as important for other people to give that support as well.

That’s why I love this site. It parallels a lot of emotions that deal with infertility to the same caliber as other emotional times. And it is the same thing. It’s not a minor roadblock. It’s an extreme emotional rollercoaster that never really goes away, even when pregnancy is achieved.

I’m not asking people to walk on eggshells. I’m asking people to be aware that some comments you might make may affect those around you dealing with this horrible situation and you might not even know it. Or you do know it, and when you think you’re helping – you’re really not. Please also know, if you are pregnant, we are happy for you – elated usually. But we do have to overcome our own grief first. And it’s not about you – it’s us..dealing with our own emotions so that we can help support you too. Taking the time to be able to see you, talk to you, hold a baby, show joy, and work through everything we’re feeling, is a testament to how much we love you and how much you mean for us to be able to swallow so much hurt and pain – to get past all that negativity and sincerely celebrate such a miracle and blessing.

Please, again..take the time to go through the website. Learn something new so that maybe in the future you can help make someone’s day a little bit better and help them jump one more hurdle.


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