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Wordless Wedneday and 30 Day Challenge- Day 25

25.  Talk about a time when you made someone on your life understand more about infertility.

I’m a nurse, so I like (and spend a lot of time) educating people.  Infertility is a tough one.  It’s not a diagnosis of diabetes.  People understand diabetes.

Diabetic: “Hey, I guess I have diabetes.  I have to do my own insulin shots now.”

Other Person: “Oh wow.  That sucks.  My dad has diabetes.”

Infertility education is a bit more tricky.

Infertile: “My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for three years now.  We’ve just started seeing a specialist.”

Fertile: “Oh wow.  That sucks.  You know, my friend is going through that.  She’s been trying to have a baby for two months now and she doesn’t know what’s wrong.  Have you tried relaxing/standing on your head/taking a vacation/adopting?  You know, it took me about six months to get pregnant.  My husband and I tried *this* position and that’s how I got pregnant with little Johnny here.  You know, maybe if you just stop trying it will happen!”

The first thing people want to do when they find out about someone’s infertility is offer advice.  It’s human nature.  For tips on what not to say to an infertile, click here.  Infertility makes people uncomfortable.  It especially makes people who have three kids uncomfortable.  After all, they have what we want.

There are a lot of my Facebook friends that read my blog.  95% of them (or more) are fertile.  They can’t possibly know what it’s like to be in my shoes.  They are currently pregnant, have one baby, or two to three children.  I do have some specific times when I educated people on infertility, but having this blog has really been a means for me to express myself.  Unless they know someone close to them who has gone through it, they probably all have a relatively limited knowledge of IF.

I normally am an over-sharer.  Things don’t shock me.  True, I went into this public blogging idea knowing the whole world can read about my lady parts, including ex-boyfriends, (I guess more power to them if they want to read this) and my parents.  Yes, I let my mom read my blog (Hi, Mom!).  But I can’t think of a better way of spreading IF education to many different people unless I bare it all (literally and figuratively).  And I have received such amazing support, both from my friends and family who were there from the beginning, as well as people I have grown closer to as a result of this baring-of-all.  It doesn’t matter of they don’t have kids yet, or have five.  It doesn’t matter to me.  What’s important is I am (hopefully) changing viewpoints and showing the fertile world that IF is not “all in the head” and what a wonderful way to accomplish this than letting the world read my most private of personal journals. 

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Jenny
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I think what most people don't realize is that infertility isn't as "simple" as a disease like diabetes. There isn't any one treatment that will work for everyone and, quite often, the reasons for the inability to conceive remain a mystery. There's so much more involved than "just relaxing!"

I think it's great that you're so open about it. It takes a lot of courage to educate others about something that affects you so intimately.

JustHeather
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I agree with what Jenny said, infertility and its reasons aren't so simple and once size fits all. And as you said, it is human nature to what to offer advice, even if it is unwanted. I have been quite open with my friends about our problems TTC since the beginning, my family only later on and others after that. The worst was one friend who insisted (over and over) that she knew exactly what I was going through because her sister had problems getting pregnant (this friend got pregnant on her first try on her wedding night). It took… Read more »

Risa
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Yep, I agree. People don't have to "know what we're going through" to be there for us. Just like you said, empathizing is sometimes the best thing, to just be there.

Risa
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Thanks, Jenny. This blogging stuff is kind of a two-for-one: therapeutic, but educational at the same time. 🙂

Anonymous
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Anonymous

I love reading your blog Risa. I hope that you continue after the 30 days. I have a friend and a couple of cousins who are going through a lot of the same issues and it's nice to hear your perspective. When I was on Clomid I also had mood swings. They were not fun! Steve sure put up with a lot.
Love and Health to you and Chris!
Love,
Jess