The below is a readers very emotional, raw piece.
Around 1 in 7 couples may have difficulty conceiving. This is approximately 3.5 million people in the UK.
I’m sure after you read that you took it as fact (which it is), why is it then when a couple experience infertility, their emotions are immediately discounted?
I myself am part of the 3.5million.My husband and I have been for every test and appointment to try to understand why I am not falling pregnant. I have been probed and poked, each test coming back without any issues. We fall under the frustrating category, unexplained infertility.
It has been six long, hard, painful, gut wrenching, vomit inducing years of trying for a baby.
When we started trying for a baby in my heart and mind I was ready .If someone asked me whether we were trying for a kid and I responded yes I was met with, “you are too young”. After a year of trying I went to the doctor seeking help. I received the necessary tests but each time I was reminded I’m still very young.
Strange though, each month when my heart broke because I did not fall pregnant I was not young enough to feel the pain that cut through my heart.
Fast forward a few years, exactly six in fact and we have today. I’m still not pregnant and have started my tests and check-ups all over again .Once again hoping for the best. I’m still met with the response, you are still young. I feel like saying “How about you go through this for 6 years. Let’s see how f$$$ing young and fresh you feel afterwards”. Instead I smile and say, “That’s true”.
This is a chronicle of a few individuals I have met along my journey trying to conceive.
Nobody thinks falling pregnant will be difficult. It’s just part of the process of life. Go to school, go to university and get a degree. Get married, buy a house and car, have kids.
You don’t second guess it, it’s a given.
But just like other things in life it’s not always that black and white.
The problem is with every other aspect in life we have some idea on how to deal with it because someone we know has been through it .The sad reality is no one talks about infertility! It’s spoken about behind closed doors, in hushed tones.
So just a recap, I can’t fall pregnant, I desperately want a baby. So being the driven person I am I dig deep and do everything in my power to make this pregnancy happen!
That includes regular sex, eating the correct foods and investing each month in the correct vitamins. I’ve tried acupuncture, yoga, Pilates, reflexology, wet cupping, visiting a magician, praying and drinking herbal teas from different countries. I do a cleanse, recover from the cleanse, pray, keep my legs up after sex for exactly 20 minutes without moving, drink more tea, eat lots of honey, dates, soak in hot baths and just try my best to stay calm.
I’m so f$$$$ calm I should be floating!
Ps, I have to mention I genuinely think I am an intelligent, confident woman. I try daily to be a good person until I’m met with assholes and every bit of my education and moral values leave me.
I meet people who say shit like “no baby yet? Hurry up!” Believe it or not this was said to me by someone who struggled to conceive herself. The idiotic comment was a bit much for me, my response was I’m not trying!” .Even though I had been trying for 4 years at that point.
A common comment that’s made when you fight the shame and actually open up that you are struggling for a baby is that so & so tried for 10 years or 19 years etc. My heart goes out to those women and I feel their love and happiness after waiting patiently all those years!
This comment is meant as a comfort, to not give up. It’s almost never said from a place of evil. But the result is catastrophic for the person on the receiving end.
It’s a sort of emotional avalanche.
It starts with embarrassment. You feel so embarrassed for having thinking it’s safe to speak about your infertility.
It moves on to shame, shame that you feel hurt when you have only gone through it for 6 years and can only be considered a true veteran in 4 years. Oh yes, this is part of my 5 year, long term goals.
Then you find yourself trying to validate your pain amidst the embarrassment and shame because deep within you, you know what you are feeling is genuine. You are not making up this pain .You are not trying to get someone’s attention or pity.
It ends with a wave of nausea and regret. Nausea from pushing your emotions deep into a temporary abyss, only to be released the next time someone announces their pregnancy.
The feelings of regret arise because you forgot the last time you were honest you were met with the same response by someone else and you promised yourself you would not open up to anyone again. Ever.
I have a group of people I speak to about my fertility journey .Including my husband this group is 4 people! I love them and trust them and feel comfortable speaking to them about it. If anyone else asks me about it I do my best to respond in a polite way because it’s usually coming from a good place.
I’ve been asked “How are things with the baby planning? You don’t mention it at all so I don’t know whether it’s a no go topic .If you don’t want to talk about it that’s ok”
A genuine question from a friend and I respond the best I can .Uncomfortable but fine. I can do this. Then she shows me her true intentions “So you have not given up?”
Say what! Repeat the f$$$!
No I have not f$$$ing given up.
Even if I want to give up I desperately want to love a child of my own and push on through. No I have not f$$$ing given up!
Instead I reply “it’s not in my control and if it’s meant to be it will happen and if not then that’s what’s meant to be”.
By the end of that short conversation I am heartbroken and exhausted.
I respond the only way I don’t how, like a sneaky bi$$$h “I’m enjoying my life in the meantime”.
I know this will shut her up because she does not want to hear about my travels, my spa days and other treats. She wants confirmation my life is empty and soul crushing. Sorry to disappoint.
Do you see me showing off about it! Do I make you feel my life is better than yours? No, because it’s not. Every person is on their own beautiful journey. The route may simply be different for each individual.
You don’t see me asking you “are you not taking a long haul holiday somewhere this year?” “Are you not buying a flashier car?”
Do I ask you the rude, inappropriate questions? No! Because it’s none of my f$$$ing business!
Each person is struggling! It’s so easy to be bad, to be lazy, and to be mean. Yet each day we wake up, pray, go to work, smile at the assholes that make us sad and genuinely try to be the best we can be.
We do not need a nudge to make things harder than they already are.
So these are just a few of the most ridiculous situations a person without a child is put through. Trust me there’s so many other conversations that will make you gasp but this is enough for today.
I wrote it because I was devastated that I was not pregnant this month and instead of the usual pain I felt fury. Fury that my pain is real but people think they have the right to discount it! Newsflash, you don’t!
Infertility is just another test in life, as is losing someone you love, losing a job, a marriage breaking up. Each situation has a different level of pain depending on the circumstances but the common factor is pain.
This blog would not be complete without a mention of the unsung heroes, the ones with the best hugs, the hearts of gold, the tear absorbers& snot wipers. Our husbands. They are usually navigating this journey without any guidance. Most men, especially in my culture don’t even speak about this with each other .Yet their “Daddy” instinct to protect kicks in and they do their best to protect us from the Baddies. I pray for them from the bottom of my heart. I pray for their success and joy.
Remember this the next time your instinct to be an asshole kicks in, babies are a gift from God. We have no control over it. God gives to whom he wills, when he wills. Stop making those who are on that journey have to answer for God’s plan.
We are normal human beings, living fulfilling lives, doing our best while being tested in a different way than you.
You have a choice, whether to be a comfort or another test in a person’s life. Choose wisely. Don’t be a d$$k!