This morning I saw a tweet describing an exchange between a well intentioned, yet badly informed person trying to give advice to a person in the throws of infertility. “Relax, don’t think about it, have your husband wear boxers…” Oh, dear. I could feel my self involuntarily cringing. I know these words and I know their reception and it’s not pretty.
Yes, today I can worry about my fertility and my perfect cycle that is an average of 28 days. BUT! There was a time that this was not the case. A time where Fish and I were very relaxed and excited about the idea of a sibling for Clarabelle and we planned and giggled and were so happy about the idea of making our family grow. A year and 3 pregnancy losses later, the happiness was gone. There was very little laughter and the planning became an obsession. I cried a lot. Fish stressed a lot. He was not the “problem”. I was. I was broken and no amount of reckless abandon or boxer shorts was going to change the fact that we did not have a precious little baby in our lives once again. I needed medical help.
This realization led to painful procedures, exposing our private lives to a multitude of strangers, and foregoing spontaneity. Then I became pregnant and we had to worry about another loss. It’s kind of hard to relax when your husband is administering hormone shots to your ass every night, but you do what you have to do. We did what we did and we were lucky enough to get Pixie. Happy Happy! I can honestly say that every moment of sadness was replaced with such a love for that little girl. I can’t even describe it.
Infertility was a part of our story, but not the final chapter. Nine months after having Pixie I found out that I was 2 months pregnant with Sprite. The shock of a lifetime. This is where things get a little tricky and I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t have the strength to correct people when they would say things like, “See, just think if you had been this relaxed when trying to have Pixie. Think of the money you could have saved!” or “God knew that you were ready for another.” or “You must have really wanted this one.” I should have told them the truth. That it doesn’t have anything to do with stress level or who’s deserving, or who wants it more. Infertility is real and it is vicious. It can break the kindest of hearts and bring grown men to their knees with helplessness.
Don’t ever try to trivialize the suffering or complexity of infertility to someone you know or, especially, someone you truly care about. Acknowledge their disappointment, understand their want. They don’t need advice, trust me, it’s been given. They need open arms, an understanding nod, to be heard. I promise.