Infertility is a weird burden.
It isolates you from so many, because you’re walking a path they cannot always understand. And often times the path they are walking is the one you long for, which isolates you even more. My go-to comparison for infertility is that it’s like a race, except while every other person is running it on firm, straight, solid ground, those of us with infertility are running the race in the ocean, a current constantly pushing us backwards. It’s impossible to keep up and while everyone else is crossing the finish line, we’re still just trying to make it past the half way mark.
So many of us who struggle hear a wide array of “helpful” tips from well-meaning people.
Things like, “It’s God’s will.”, “When you stop trying, it will happen.”, “If it’s meant to be, it will be.”, and let’s not forget “You should just adopt.”
I know that often it’s harmless, utterly and completely, because people just don’t understand how deep the grief of infertility goes. But there are instances where people honestly look at us as lesser, or as though we should just get over it…easier said than done.
Thankfully, there are people who understand.
I spend a lot of time speaking out about our struggles. It’s far from something I’m ashamed of. I am who I am and over the last 3 years I have learned to embrace it. I’ve spent time trying to educate people on how my infertility doesn’t define me, doesn’t make me any less human or any less of a woman. I mean, how can I expect people to even try to understand if I don’t speak out about it?
My inability to create life the “natural” way is not my fault, nor my husband’s, it just is what it is. However, while it doesn’t define me, it has shaped me in to the person I am in this moment. It has made me grow in to a strong, compassionate, empathetic and brave person. I have looked absolute heartache and despair in the eye and I have risen above. But, I do suppose I am naive to expect the same out of the rest of the population.
Infertility is not something you can truly grasp until you’re walking through it.
With that being said, the bonds I have seen formed from those of us struggling are some of the most awe inspiring friendships I have ever witnessed. The support that is shared between SISTERS suffering through infertility is amazing. We share in each other’s grief and heartache, but we also celebrate each other’s successes and joy. No jealousy, no hate, just pure and beautiful support for those travelling down the same road.
In a world so filled with uncertainty it’s uplifting to know that there are people experiencing my pain and disappointment right along side me, rooting for Aaron and me to finally make it across that finish line.
In the last 3 years, I have formed a couple really wonderful friendships.
Oddly enough, thanks to infertility. I have friends I’ve known since high school, who I love with my whole heart. I have friends from University who I spent many a night sharing laughs with over drinks. I have friends who I have met in adulthood, who I have shared my fears of the real world with.
But then there are my friends I have made through the struggle with infertility. They haven’t made me love my other friends any less, but they are the people who can understand one aspect of my life better than anyone else.
To have another soul who understands your pain, because it is their own, is a major comfort.
I have a wonderful friend who lives in Australia, and though we have never actually met, she knows more about my journey to parenthood than most. She has been there for me on my lowest days, pushing me forward, helping me heal after another negative test. I have been able to share in her joy as she welcomed two beautiful rainbow babies in to this world.
I have another friend, who, thankfully, lives much closer, who I share my disappointments with when things don’t go my way and testing is pushed back because our health care system can often times be overbooked. We vent to each other when we’ve had low days or when people make us feel about 2″ tall. She supports me and hopes for me more than she does herself. And when she was finally blessed with her son I had nothing but love for her and him.
So while infertility is hard, the support from others going through it alongside me is priceless. Rely on others who understand your pain and educate those who don’t. Try not to always take people’s advice to heart, instead explain why it’s not always that easy. True friends will support you regardless and will be willing to hear what you have to say.
I guess the point I am trying to get across is to not let the isolation take over. Allow yourself to open up to others who are experiencing what you’re experiencing. Let’s stop running the race alone. Instead, let’s push each other across the finish line and not let the current continue to take us.