Yesterday also marked the start of National Infertility Awareness Week. This year, the theme is Resolve to Know More.
So my goal is to write a post each day this week to help bring more awareness to infertility. Today I'm going to start by re-posting a post I wrote back in September about Infertility Etiquette. Resolve also has a great link on infertility etiquette. If you want to check it out, click here. Resolve also nails the pain of infertility right on the head when they say:
I don't expect anyone who hasn't experienced infertility to understand this pain, but I am asking them to try to understand the emotional state it causes. Below is my previous post and below the previous post is my 30 week update.Infertility is, indeed, a very painful struggle. The pain is similar to the grief over losing a loved one, but it is unique because it is a recurring grief. When a loved one dies, he isn't coming back. There is no hope that he will come back from the dead. You must work through the stages of grief, accept that you will never see this person again, and move on with your life.The grief of infertility is not so cut and dry. Infertile people grieve the loss of the baby that they may never know. They grieve the loss of that baby who would have had mommy's nose and daddy's eyes. But, each month, there is the hope that maybe that baby will be conceived after all. No matter how hard they try to prepare themselves for bad news, they still hope that this month will be different. Then, the bad news comes again, and the grief washes over the infertile couple anew. This process happens month after month, year after year. It is like having a deep cut that keeps getting opened right when it starts to heal.
Infertility etiquette...who knew there was such a thing? Well, there is and anyone who is going through or has gone through infertility would agree with me (or at least I think they would) when I say that everyone should know it.
Shortly after my hubby and I had undergone our first transfer, during our two week wait, I was completely dumbfounded by something a family member announced. Our entire family knows about our struggle with infertility so when we have gatherings, I assume I won't have to try and dodge anything that would be upsetting to me. Well, I was completely shocked when I was told that someone I don't even know is pregnant. The look on my face probably said it all. All I could manage to spit out was "that's nice" when what I really wanted to say was "do you just realize what you said to me?!?! How do you expect me to be happy for someone I don't even know? Woo hoo, yippee, hooray for them...not really."
Later on when this issue was addressed, I was the bad guy because I was being selfish and I should always be happy for everyone. Yes, I should be happy for everyone but these things need to be addressed in a delicate manner when it comes to me. I'm not saying I don't want to hear about it, because I do. I want to share in the happy news if it's a family member or friend who is blessed with the miracle of pregnancy, but in all honesty, I don't want to hear about a complete stranger's pregnancy. If you are so elated that they are pregnant, please share this news with someone who knows the happy couple or someone who is not me. And if it is a friend or family member, please be delicate when you tell me. Please understand that yes I will be over the moon happy for you, but I will also be sad for myself and will need to have a pity party on my own.
Another thing I am sick of hearing is "God has a plan for you" or "You need to be patient and wait for God's perfect timing" or "Maybe God didn't want you to have kids" (am I really that horrible of a person that God would make me infertile because He thought that I would make a horrible mom?). When people mention God, I wish there was a door beside me so I could slam it in their face and get on with my day. Don't get me wrong, I am a strong believer in God. God is my Savior. I know God has a perfect timing for everything and that God has a plan for me. I know that the reason why we are infertile was to be blessed with the adoption of our son. If we were fertile, we would have never adopted. And the reason why the first baby we were hoping to adopt did not end up going through is because God had planned right from the beginning for us to be J's mommy and daddy. I understand all of this and this is why I don't need someone to remind me of this.
On a daily, weekly, monthly (especially monthly), and yearly basis I mourn the loss of a child who would have a combination of my features and my husband's features. Each month when my cycle starts up again, it's heartbreaking for me because I always hold on to the hope that maybe, just maybe, we are pregnant. All I can do is sit there and cry, have my pity party, and move on with my day and grieve the loss of a child we may never know.
I think the one thing that upsets me the most is when a pregnant woman complains about her pregnancy. Are you really going to complain about how you are feeling while your body is growing a miracle inside of you? Be grateful that you are able to know what this experience is like because let me tell you, I would do anything to have morning sickness for 9 months straight, swollen feet that have doubled in size, aches and pains. Anything pregnancy related, I would love to have because it would mean I was actually pregnant.
Finally, if I don't talk to you about, don't bring it up to me. I know everyone is just trying to be supportive and let me know they care. The best way to do that is to just be there when I need you. In the meantime, pray for us. You don't even need to know what to pray for...God knows everything and He will know exactly what to do with your prayers.
How far along? 30 weeks 1 day
Total weight gain? 25.6lbs...I haven't weighed myself since my last OB visit
Maternity clothes? Yes
Stretch marks? Not yet...
Sleep: This past weekend hasn't been the greatest because I'm used to having a bed to myself since my hubby is a night worker and since he had the long weekend off, I was forced to share for 4 days straight (which isn't easy when you are tossing and turning a lot)
Best moments this week: Having my sister in-law give me a manicure (my first one in 8 months) and watching J go on an Easter egg hunt.
Miss anything? Having my bed to myself
Food cravings/aversions: Oranges
Gender: It's a BOY!!!!!
Labour signs: No
Symptoms: Heartburn seems to be my only symptom that wants to stick around
Belly button in or out? In but it is stretching
Wedding ring on or off? Off
Happy or moody most of the time? Happy
Looking forward to: Having the bed to myself again tonight
I cannot believe we are 30 weeks already. Only 10 more weeks to go...I can't wait to meet this little guy.