Someone recently asked me a question that left me speechless, which doesn’t happen often. Introverted by nature, I’m almost never the proverbial life of the party, but I almost always have something to say. Particularly when it comes to infertility.
Anyway, in this particular moment, this person wanted to know the following: ”What is the worst part of infertility?”
As I stood there, staring through her, I struggled to find an adequate answer. The question was innocent enough. I suspect that she was gathering information to try to understand how to better help a friend in need. But infertility is different for everyone, and thus it’s nearly impossible to find one specific strategy that helps across the board.
I didn’t want to react too quickly, as I could sense that her intentions were good. I didn’t want to use sarcasm or rely on quick wit, as I tend to do at times. I wanted to make sense of the question and provide an answer that had meaning.
And then it hit me: Time.
Infertility is a lot of things and brings out a lot of emotions. There negatives like you wouldn’t believe and silver linings that somehow make their way through the darkness, just when you least suspect it. I’m 150% stronger than I ever wanted to be thanks to this lousy uterus.
But the one thing that infertility takes from everyone – across the board – is time. It takes days, months, and years of your life. It takes moments of calm. It takes moments of happiness. It takes everything you once had and changes it. Sometimes you reemerge better on the other end, but sometimes you don’t. It takes events you would have attended but didn’t because you couldn’t answer the questions one more time. It takes family gatherings that were once fun and fills them with stress and anxiety instead. It takes time away from caring your body, your mind, and your soul.
Infertility sneaks into your life under the cover of darkness and steals time left and right.
How can you fix that for a friend? You can’t. But you can be there. You can help create moments of laughter over wine, chocolate, and silly movies. You can walk together, soak up the sun together, or catch a favorite band together.
You can return time to your friend stuck in the great time suck simply by being a friend.
Time is the thing that we all seem to have the least of these days, and we can’t afford for infertility to take what precious time we do have.
Help restore time. Be a good friend.