While traveling down the different paths of our infertility journeys we encounter many people who offer advice. The majority of these suggestions come from our close friends and family because they are aware of what we are going through since we made the decision to let them in on our little infertile skeleton in the closet. For those who we choose to tell, there will always be a major disconnect between what they think is going on and what is actually going on.
Looking beyond the comments that are off-the-cuff (see the article Why don’t you just adopt? posted below), lets delve further into some conversational pieces that arise now and then. Two specific examples that we have encountered illustrate our point.
First, we have a couple of close friends (have drifted as of late though) that went through infertility problems and tried IVF. Both were successful on their first try. Originally this gave us hope because they did the treatment prior to us starting our journey. At first, they were very sympathetic, understanding and full of useful information in regards to process. Now that we have gone through the medical ringer a few failed times, the relationship and conversations have changed. A snippet of the last in-person contact we had went like this;
Successful IVF Couple: “So how are you guys doing / handling everything?” Us: “We’re trying to get by you know…(distant)” Successful IVF Couple: “We totally know how you feel.” Us: “Did your treatments end up with you having children (sarcastic)?” Successful IVF Couple: “Yes, but…” Us: “Then you don’t know how we feel because you’re not in our situation, it worked for you. You got your children (upset).”
While they might understand the medical process aspect of what we’ve gone through and what we are still going through, at this point they have passed us by in emotional feelings going from bad to good. We are stuck with bad.
Our friends and family might have the best intentions and only a small few might inquire as to our feelings just to be nice. Reality is that since they’ll never understand, why should they bother to take time to hear us out completely? On a more negative note, do they really care at all?
Second example; we have some relatives that have actually said, “We cannot pretend to understand what you’re going through.” That is true enough. We have tried to explain to folks that want to listen how we are feeling emotionally over and over again. Lately it’s not worth the pain. Every time we have to talk about it, it just takes us down another step on the depression ladder. If they wanted to really understand more, they would do their own research online or in books as infertility battles are very well documented. Maybe since it does not affect them directly, the motivation is not there. Maybe it is a time issue.
And why wouldn’t they have the time to research our feelings and issues? Oh yeah, they’re busy with their kids.
Infertility is the New Black is looking for people who can relate emotional stories about the unsuccessful quest to conceive to contribute to our blog. So come on, let it out! Please use our Contact Us page if you are interested.