Anyone suffering from infertility knows how tough these dreaded questions can be.
For me, I experience a lot more of the secondary fertility questions like “when are you going to have more kids?” I try so hard to be mindful and understanding that it is not intentional and often a conversation starter, after all, I have a 6 year old son, why wouldn’t I have another one to fit the idealistic family image? Just because it isn’t intentional, doesn’t mean it hurts no less.
Through the years, I have spent a lot of my time and energy focused around the advancement of my career, especially so during my infertility struggles. It’s funny, because typically people withdraw from their day-to-day activities as they suffer in silence. For me, I went in the complete opposite direction. I dove nose-deep into something that I felt I had control over, which ultimately came with a heavy cost.
The fact that I focused a lot of my energy at work came with a ton of ‘selfish’ judgement. “How can you be so selfish to let your son be an only child?” and “Your career will still be here tomorrow; your family should come first’. Well, if anyone who truly knows me, would never question the notion of my family values, and there is NOTHING in this world that comes ahead of it.
So… how do I cope without losing my mind?
I initially used to shrug it off and give very vague responses like “we’re trying” or “it takes time” and quickly switch the subject. However, all that would do is create more stress and anxiety in my head and often cause me to drift into other zone. Over the course of the last year, my responses have started to become a bit bolder, and it’s been quite entertaining to say the least.
I have been very direct with my responses that state I’ve been trying for years and unfortunately struggle with infertility. I also point out that my son was conceived through IVF. The look on people’s faces is priceless. However, I do feel badly as I watch their expression change from wide-eyed to deflated embarrassment.
Truth is, people just don’t know. They don’t know what to say or what not to say. It is no fault of their own as they’ve never experienced this type of thing before.
A huge goal for me throughout my journey is to help create awareness of infertility, especially to those who have never been directly impacted by it. My goal is to be the voice that our community needs to help equip our loved ones with the insights into our world and how they can help be the anchor we need them to be, and maybe, just maybe, help avoid the wrath they are about to walk into with a stupid comment they believed to be ‘helpful’.