Today I am going to talk about decisions and the importance of respecting them. Sharing my infertility journey has had its pros and cons from the get go and while I am happy that we are so open about it, some days I wish we weren’t. And want to know why? Because some people don’t know how to respect boundaries.
Everyone’s infertility journey is similar and different all at once, but I’m sure some of the following can be related to on some level.
1) Respect our decision to not attend baby showers
This is a tough one for those of us on this infertility/loss journey, because these parties are solely focused on the new life that will arrive or has just arrived. While we may be happy for the new mother and excited for the arrival of the baby, attending a party that celebrates this new life may be too much for us. It is not because we would wish the outcome any different, it’s because it hits a little too close to home and we need to protect ourselves from some pain. Plus, we don’t want to attend and then turn into a blubbering mess in the bathroom and take away from the excitement and happiness of the party. It also needs to be mentioned though, that if we do choose to attend the shower, we should totally get some sort of prize. Kidding, but realize that it is a big step to go to one of these parties and it is usually done out of love. As a rule, I personally don’t attend baby showers anymore. If I am close to the mother, I will send a card and a gift separately, but opt out of the party. Sometimes a little note explaining why I am not attending is necessary but since we have been so open about our journey, most people know why I am not there. Whatever we decide to do, respect that decision and don’t put pressure on us one way or another. The decision is ours and that is okay.
2) Respect our decision concerning treatments
When we have been on the infertility road for a while, there will come a point when decisions need to be made regarding treatment. Making these decisions can be so hard and take a lot of thought, they are not usually made on a whim. Fertility treatments take time, they take money, they are emotionally and physically draining and they basically consume your life. Everyone needs to make these decisions for themselves and they definitely don’t need unsolicited advice. What works for one person, may not work for someone else. One person may choose to do IVF while someone else may decide it’s not for them. Hearing the opinions of others on the ethics or expense or whatever of these treatments doesn’t help and usually crosses the line of appropriate boundaries. If someone is to the point of treatment, it is usually because everything else hasn’t worked. Unless this person asks for your advice or opinions, keep them to yourself. For me, we researched and asked questions and discussed with our doctor what our options were and then made the decision as a couple as to what we felt comfortable with. It is hard enough to make these decisions without someone else weighing in. The decision is ours and that is okay.
3) Respect our decision to stop trying
Deciding to stop trying for a biological child is never made lightly. Never ever ever. It has usually involved sleepless nights, lots of tears, many talks and a whole bunch of doubts. Each couple knows where their limits are and when they need to step back and say enough is enough. You should never ever tell someone differently. If I have opened up to you and confided in you that we are done trying, you shouldn’t try to convince me otherwise. Don’t tell me that once we stop trying, we will miraculously get pregnant. Don’t tell me that if we adopt, our miracle baby will arrive. Don’t tell me that if I only tried “this” I would be healed. Don’t tell me that stopping trying means I am playing God. Really, don’t tell me anything. If you really want to say something, say “that decision must have been really hard to make, I’m thinking of you”. That’s it, that’s all we need. The decision is ours and that is okay.
I find writing posts like this slightly draining. It’s hard to write what I really feel and put it into words without making me sound like I’m attacking people. So please, if you are reading this post and are finding yourself offended, know that is not my intention. I am not singling anyone out or blaming people for things, I’m just trying to share some of my heart and help others learn. Yes, I have used some real life examples but I usually know that the person is coming to me from a good place, with genuine concern. So don’t take anything too personally, just take what you can from what I write and remember I write from my heart, which is definitely not a perfect place.
Just please remember to respect our decisions. That is all I ask.
Jenn, The Canadian Housewife