I almost missed National Infertility Awareness Week this time around. Maybe it has something to do with our travels and general busyness. More likely, it has something to do with the fact that I've been in a bit of a funk recently, not really knowing where I stand in the blogging world or in the real world. So actually, the subject Don't Ignore is perfect.
After last summer's kerfuffle with a friend, I've sheathed my infertility sword. I no longer post comments or articles on F-B regarding infertility, and I no longer bring it up when talking to people. If it does come up, I avoid going into detail since no one wants to hear it, and apparently it makes me the Negative Nelly of the universe. Most of my interactions involve people asking about Baby X anyway. In fact, there's some people who really could care less how I'm doing, they just want to know all about him.
I've tried to bury it, slam the door shut and to concentrate on raising Baby X. In short, I've tried to ignore it these past months. It hasn't worked too well for my mental state, possibly explaining why I feel like I'm going through life with a chip on my shoulder, but I'm not sure how to handle it. No one, other than S seems to understand that infertility sticks around for the rest of our lives. Basically, the world has moved on, and I haven't. Don't get me wrong, the pain fades, the stabs aren't as sharp anymore, but it's still there with every pregnancy announcement. Social media doesn't help in this regard either. It's fairly commonplace for me to find out someone is pregnant by noticing a picture on F-B. We still can't decide to have a baby, and 9 months later a bundle of joy arrives. For us, having a baby requires interviews, classes, fingerprinting, physicals, and money. All that is before we get to the match and the situation that brought about the match. Even the second time around, it's not that easy.
The best advice I can give for those of us who have been in the trenches and did succeed in becoming parents through various avenues? Don't ignore the fact that infertility will be with you forever. Once the bouncing baby boy or girl is in your life, you may expect all those crappy feelings and reactions to go away, to fade into the background. They fade, eventually, I hear. Maybe one of these days I will find some sort of peace with my broken body. That day is not today.
The best advice I can give for families and friends of couples who battled infertility and succeeded in becoming parents? Don't ignore the fact that infertility will be with them forever. Taking the time to be discreet about announcing pregnancies to them takes you about 5 extra minutes. That 5 extra minutes will be forever appreciated.
To learn more about Resolve's National Infertility Week and Project IF, click here
To learn more about infertility, click here