The Monday Muse…

By Word of Mouth Blogging

My dear friend Nicole, a fellow infertility warrior and all-around great person, asked me to stop by and share some musings on the silent hell that we call “infertility”.

We’ve discussed our journeys, shared tales (both good and bad), and enjoyed a glass or two from afar while recounting our experiences.  Although my greatest wish would be that none of us would ever have to go through any of this, I also wish that I had found Nicole earlier in my journey.  Sometimes another person at the end of the line can really pull you through even the most difficult days.

I’ll give you a little bit here, but then you’ll have to go over there to finish reading…

“Most days, socializing seemed impossible.

I quickly came to loathe the obvious discomfort around me.
They tip toed around me, watching for signs of distress.  They didn’t dare bring it up, and they ran for cover when I did.
I couldn’t stand the words meant to reassure…that were not very reassuring at all…
Your time will come.
I just know the next one will work out.
If you just relax, it will happen soon.
Enjoy the trying!
But the worst part…was the silence.
The averted gazes when I dared to utter the word “miscarriage”.
The blank stares when I attempted humor in the face of stress.
Force-feeding your husband pumpkin seeds, to increase sperm production, is a little funny, after all…
Yes, I knew about the message boards on various websites.  And, sometimes, I might have even stalked them a little.
But they were full of things like TTC, IF, RE, HCG, BFN, BFP, LTP, MC, and the list goes on.  Decoding the posts was enough to make my head spin.
It was all just a little overwhelming.
And there was the leader of the pack phenomenon.  Because each message board seemed to have a clear leader.  A warrior above all warriors who knew everything about everything and was clearly the most infertile.
I couldn’t handle the stress….”
Please stop by By Word of Mouth Musings to continue reading…Nicole is a great person to have on your side.  Get to know her while you’re there!

Breaking the Silence

It shouldn’t be a silent epidemic.

 

It shouldn’t be a secret club.

 

It shouldn’t cause feelings of shame, guilt, and hopelessness.

 

It shouldn’t end friendships, strain marriages, and result in family strife.

 

It shouldn’t…but it does.

 

It should be on the front page of every newspaper and in every magazine on a regular basis.

 

It should inspire others to stand up and fight together, even if it doesn’t affect those others directly.  Believe me, it will someday.

 

It should be discussed at cocktail parties, holiday dinners, and while waiting in line at the supermarket.

 

It should be covered by insurance companies nationwide and all across the world.

 

It should…but it isn’t.

 

Infertility is a silent epidemic.

 

Infertility causes couples to retreat, hide out, and become completely isolated.

 

Infertility results in a loneliness that can’t possibly be described.  Words are simply insufficient.

 

Infertility causes people to feel like outcasts.

 

Infertility causes people to shut down and remain silent.

 

I speak for the silent.

 

I know that pain.  I know that loneliness.  I know that unspeakable darkness.

 

I know the horror of finally opening up, only to be met with, “God has a different plan for you.”

 

I know about the fight for more tests, more medications, and more options.

 

I know about the hefty American Express bills and the hormones that can cause feelings of rage in a moment’s notice.

 

I know about loss.  Four times over.

 

I know about the intense need to have just one person who truly understands.  Yes, I know a thing or two about the isolation that is infertility.

 

But I also know the feeling of making it to the other side.  Twice.

 

I know that I am one of the lucky ones.

 

I know that it was medicine that got me there.  And that a plan by someone else’s God had absolutely nothing to do with it.

 

And I know that the support of my husband was the only thing holding me together during most of our journey.

 

I know about the power of support.

 

I know that I made a promise…a promise that I intend to keep.

 

I made a promise to break the cycle of silence and isolation that surrounds infertility.

 

I speak for the silent, so that the silent can continue the fight.

 

Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system.  There can be one cause, multiple causes, or the ever elusive “unexplained infertility” (no known cause).  Whatever the cause, it is a disease.  There is no blame to be placed or reason for shame.

 

You wouldn’t walk away from a friend discussing cancer or heart disease, would you?

 

Please, friends of the infertile, start listening.  7.3 million Americans need your love and support.

 

Listen.  Talk.  Ask questions.  Provide reassurance.  And, by all means, speak up.

 

It’s time to break the silence…

 

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Infertility is a Disease

Infertility is a disease.

 

Infertility doesn’t discriminate.

 

Infertility doesn’t care where you live, how much money you make, what you look like, where you came from, or what kind of car you drive.

 

Infertility might hit you a little harder if you are over 35, but it can still get you when you’re 25…so infertility doesn’t really care about age either.

 

Infertility isn’t political.  It doesn’t care how you vote.  And you can’t vote to make it go away.

 

Infertility is not even a little bit religious.  It will find you if you’re Jewish, it will find you if you’re Catholic, it will find you no matter your religious choice…it will even find you if you choose no religion at all.

 

Infertility is not religious.  When I hear a story about a women who was fired from her teaching position at a Catholic school, a job she held for seven years, because she used IVF to finally start her family with her husband, it makes my blood boil.

 

No one chooses infertility.  No one expects to be infertile.  No one chooses IVF…unless they have no other choice.

 

Infertility is a disease…a disease that is sometimes treatable.  When I hear about a woman who was in the fight of her life to save her twins (18 weeks gestation) but was repeatedly told to terminate (despite the fact that there were no signs of infection but there were signs of life) by the very doctors who were supposed to help her, it makes my blood boil a little more.  Refusing bed rest to a patient in need is just unacceptable.  She lost her babies on May 3, 2012 at 19 weeks and 4 days.  Her heart is broken. 

 

Perhaps her doctors knew what the outcome would be, but she and her husband chose to fight.  They chose to try every little thing to bring their babies into this world.  They didn’t deserve to be bullied by doctors and nurses who wanted to make choices on their behalf.

 

Infertility affects everyone.  When 1 in 8 couples are struggling with infertility, the fact is that most people know someone affected by this silent and emotionally devastating disease.

Infertility affects mothers and fathers, brothers, sisters, children, co-workers, and friends.  Infertility reaches far beyond the couple undergoing treatment.

 

We don’t choose infertility…infertility chooses us.

 

Please stand by us.  Please reach out to us when we are down and listen when we need to talk.  Please remember that we didn’t make this choice, and we are suffering in more ways than one.  Please be kind, but not silent.

 

Enough with the silence.

 

Infertility is a disease.  It’s time to start treating it as such.

 

 

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