Have you ever noticed that when it comes to infertility, sometimes it can really feel like just when you think you can’t take anymore something happens that makes you realize that you can and probably will have to take a lot more. And I’m not just talking about the physical side of things, I’m also talking about the emotional side of this journey.
I’ve had many of those days, days that were so painful that I just wanted to curl into a ball and die. They’ve gotten fewer and further between as I’ve “matured” or “toughened” along this journey, but I remember the early days, where everything hurt.
I remember just after my first miscarriage receiving the news from my SIL that she was pregnant, she was hysterical, crying, besides herself, she wanted an abortion, she came to me of all people to help her. Something I managed to talk her out of, but it hurt, it hurt so much to have those conversations, to persuade somebody to voluntarily keep something that was so cruelly taken away from me.
Then 8 months later, I was pregnant with my second pregnancy and like a total martyr I decided to host my SIL’s baby shower and wouldn’t you just know it, I miscarried the day before the baby shower. So all the photo’s show her beautifully pregnant and me blotchy and bloated and swollen from cramps and crying. I thought my heart would break.
When we got the news that my first IVF had failed, and believe me, that was like NO OTHER failed fertility treatment before, nothing could compare to that, I thought I was going to die from a broken heart, two weeks later we got the news that my SIL was pregnant with her second baby. I thought it would kill me. We were on holiday with my parents in Cape Town, I cried so much I gave my poor Dad sleepless nights because he couldn’t bare to see the pain I was in.
Those are just a couple of the many many many excrutiatintly painful situations that I have some how managed to survive, some of them were more painful to cope with than others, one other situation was so painful that for the first time in my life, I wanted to commit suicide, I just wanted the pain to stop and if it meant ending my life I was prepared to do that. If it weren’t for the love of my husband and the professional support of a therapist I was seeing at the time, I may not be here today.
Its really painful to see so many of my IF friends, especially the newbies battling with all of the above. With the pain and insecurities and the cruelty of it all. I’ve reached a point where I’ve actually told my fertile friends how I want to be treated just to avoid some of the horrible situations I’ve been faced with in the past. I’ve told them not to just assume that my whole life revolves around infertility, that there are days I don’t want to talk about it, I’ve taught them how to gauge my mood by my responses to questions and when to continue on the topic of my infertility and when to drop it. I’ve also told them how I want to have the news of their pregnancies broken to me because of some reason fertiles seem to think that the best way to tell an infertile they’re pregnant is in person, over a lunch or something and I hate those situations, it feels like being trapped. I prefer to receive a text message with the announcement, this gives me time to cry and be sorry for myself and deal with my emotions before facing the person and expressing my joy at their wonderful news. I just find that’s the easiest way for me and lets face it, easy is a good thing when it comes to infertility, I don’t see it as shameful to look out for my emotions, I’m already rubbed raw as it is.
Now, my friend Cindyis going through a really really rough patch, she’s just received one of those painful announcements that makes us crumple to our knees. Please go show her some love!