1 in 8 Couples.
7.3 Million Americans.
Prior to our infertility joyride, I was oblivious to the struggles that so many people face. People that I know, people that you know, neighbors, teachers, co-workers, rich people, poor people, celebrities, politicians, people that already have kids. I promise you, someone you know has gone through this.
Once I started talking ‘fertility’ with people, I was blown away at how many people had gone through treatment to conceive their own children.
So why is everyone staying so secretive?
There is definitely a stigma attached to infertility. For me, there were many reasons I kept our details private.
- I didn’t want people to feel weird talking about their own kids. Just because it’s harder for us to get knocked up, it doesn’t mean I’m not happy for my friends who have experienced pregnancy, babies, etc. Am I jealous that it was easier for them? Of course. Am I spiteful? Absolutely not.
- The unsolicited advice. While I know it comes from the heart, all the “just relax”, “it will happen”, “try a bottle of Jose Cuervo” comments reeeeeeeeeally start to
make me want to punch peopletake their toll.
- I don’t want sympathy. I don’t want people feeling sorry for us, or viewing us differently. Or thinking that it was my fault, or my husband’s fault. It is what it is, and we’re good with that.
If you know someone dealing with fertility issues, the best thing you can do is let them know you’re part of their support team. Be compassionate and understanding. And if you haven’t been through it yourself, please don’t offer advice. Or suggest adoption. Just don’t.
In the short life of my little blog, I’ve already discovered a number of people I already knew that are also battling right along with me. We’ve also gained the support of strangers that are genuinely excited for us and are cheering us on.
By speaking up, I have already gained more support than I ever could have imagined. And it’s a wonderful feeling.
So, on that note, Happy National Infertility Awareness Week!