This post is part of the 30 Day Infertility Blogging Challenge. You can read the whole series by clicking here.
6. Discuss how you found your way into the ALI (adoption, loss, infertility) community, and what being part of it has meant to you – good and bad.
I started this blog at the end of April 2012. Before that, I was reading other blogs from women who were (surprise!) just like me, having a little trouble in the reproductive plumbing. So many blogs. So many couples trying to conceive, or TTC, as we infertiles like to call it. (We are lazy in our writing because we spend most of our days having timed-sex, popping pills, and going to the doctor.) Though I knew few-let’s be honest, nada– couples going through the same thing in real life, here on the Internet, were vast quantities of cyber-buddies in the same boat we were. They would say things such as:
- “My family says I need to relax.”
- “My co-workers think I am too stressed.”
- My friend told me I should try *this* position. Like that will work.”
And I thought, holy shit, that’s MEEE!” Finally, people who had the same feelings I did. I spent many nights reading blog entries to Chris (who, let’s be honest, probably wanted to just have some baby-making-free sex isthattoomuchtoaskdamnit!) and wowing over all the women who shared their stories so freely and without holding anything back. For years, I hid this, assuming everyone was right, that I was just too stressed out. It took me reading all those blogs to come to the decision that IF (sorry, I was just checking my ovulation schedule and was too lazy to write that out) had nothing to do with me as a person and my stress, and everything to do with a medical condition.
You wouldn’t tell someone with diabetes that they should just relax and it will go away. You wouldn’t tell someone with kidney failure that their kidneys will recover if they just weren’t so stressed. If someone was diagnosed with cancer, you wouldn’t tell them that its just not in God’s plan for them to go into remission yet. So why do we tell people who are struggling with infertility that they will have a baby if they just believed! relaxed! went on a vacation! prayed to God! more?
Many people who are infertile are diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, low motility, endometriosis. These things are corrected with medications or surgery.
And then there are those who are diagnosed with “unexplained infertility.” There is no reason found so far. Tubes are clear, stellar semen analysis, ovulating with or without fertility medications. They just can’t get pregnant. These are the ones who suffer the most. The ones everyone tells to “just relax.” That “it’s not in God’s plan yet.” My reproductive system is a little messed up and not working properly and everyone tells me that I am stressed out, that I am being withheld a baby because it’s not “my time.” (This is not a rambling. Wait for it. I am about to wrap this all together).
The good about finding a community of people:
- Education. These blogs and websites were proof that my issues were medically-related. There was nothing wrong with my psyche. It motivated me to share my own story.
- Support. I learned I wasn’t alone. I could ask questions to people who have been there.
- Comic-relief. Infertility sucks. But here were people laughing about it, and making light of something that would otherwise make them cry in a ball on the floor.
Along with that, comes the bad. No one wants to learn that there is something wrong with them. I hear many stories that end in a bundle of joy. But then I hear the stories where there are still empty arms. Ten years, fifteen, twenty years of trying. Those who determinedly press on. Those who mourn a child they will never have. I become paralyzed with fear that I will never have a baby.
The thing is, we aren’t stressed. We aren’t too uptight. We are grieving for our unborn miracles. We are grieving because our bodies are not doing what they were naturally made to do. We are grieving because we cannot make our husband a daddy, or our mom a grandma. And then someone, a stranger, a friend, a relative, tells them they could have a baby if they just tried harder.
I have become a part of a community. It isn’t something I ever thought I would join. But finding this community has pushed me to come out of the infertile closet and stop being so damn secretive. It has made me stronger through my tears. It has made me stop apologizing for my body isn’t doing. It will make me a better mother and wife for all I have endured. And as much as I have fought against it, infertility is a part of me now. It is something that will never go away, even if I have one child or four. If I can change even one person’s mind, for them accepting infertility as something out of my control, it will make this easier to go through. <3