20. Have you ever bonded with someone IRL (in real life) over infertility, even for just a few minutes? It could be a family member, friend, neighbor, or even the clerk at the grocery store who noticed your OPK and vitamin purchase. Tell the story.
I’ve said before, I don’t know a lot of people IRL who are going through what I am going through. I recently met someone who blogs too and it was so refreshing to meet her because when I explained about my estrogen levels dropping Christmas Eve, I didn’t have to explain what that meant. Don’t get me wrong, I like educating people. I love support from fertiles and infertiles alike. But it is nice, whether talking to someone IRL or my new blogging buddies that I’ve never met, to just tell them what is happening and have them understand COMPLETELY.
Over Christmas with the family, I got a chance to really connect with a family member who’s been there. I won’t say her name, because not everyone is an attention whore like me, but let me tell you, it totally made my Christmas less sucky. It’s been awhile since her last miscarriage, and she has a beautiful child now, but I could tell it still affects her: the infertility, the losses, the tests, the “nothing seems to be wrong” diagnosis. We don’t stop being infertile just because we have a child. Infertility becomes more than a medical problem, it is a part of who we are. We sat down together and told each other our stories.
In nursing school we had it drilled into our heads to never tell a patient, “I know how you feel.” The thought is that, we don’t know how things feel to others, because everyone is unique. I disagree. I keep to that standard in my profession. But I think when two people are going through something like infertility, they somehow find a connection, that that other person knows exactly how they feel. I’ve never been pregnant. My family member has experienced multiple miscarriages. But we both knew exactly how the other is feeling. Loss. Her, for her unborn babies. Me, for the potential loss of motherhood. Both of us suffered in silence, the whole time I was aware of her struggles. I never said a word to her in those years. The outcome could have been so different if I would have walked up to her, gave her a hug and simply said, “I’m so sorry.” Instead, I said nothing, not wanting to make it worse for her (as if I could be so conceited to think that I could make it worse than it already was). What I really was doing was protecting my own uncomfortableness. Once again, because of this stigma infertility has in the community, we choose not to say anything, because it’s easier. Who ever though suffering in silence was considered a strength?
So it was pretty much fan-tas-tic to talk to her and vent frustrations. She told me, if I ever wanted to get together and chat, or shop, to let her know. Ha. Little does she know, I will actually take her up on that.