The familiar ache that sometimes happens in my gut and chest was happening again tonight. That ache that tells me that something is missing. I don't know what triggered it. I know my triggers. It happens when I'm surprised with things like hearing about friends' babies or seeing pictures on Facebook, hearing another pregnancy announcement, seeing my Pinterest page completely full of someone adding ideas to their "nursery and baby" boards, and pretty much just being at church... But I didn't come across any of them today. It's also a weird time, since it's not at the end of another unsuccessful cycle. That is when I am most sensitive. I'm pretty good at handling things the rest of the month now, which has come after a lot of practice and time.
I know people have gotten offended when I have mentioned that I'm sensitive about these kind of things before. When I say, "I need to leave church early today, I'm sorry," or "I wish you the best with your baby shower, but I regret to say that I cannot attend," I have had some pretty offended and non-understanding reactions.
Once, on my personal blog a long time ago, I went through a brief crisis and wrote about how I was having a hard time because I had had a really bad day and had several triggers all at once. I wrote about my feelings and how I was hurting, and wrote that I was annoyed at how much oversharing occurs on Facebook. I did not blame or condemn other people for making me feel that way, and actually admitted that I was being sensitive. I said that while people are free to do as they wish, I still didn't understand why people turn their Facebook pages into shrines about their babies. Someone, who decided to write it as "anonymous" so I wouldn't know who it was, wrote a very harsh reply, chastising me for my feelings, and saying that I had no right to feel that way or say those things about mothers. They said that once I was a mom that I would feel completely different and understand, and do the same exact things, basically telling me that I would eat my own words later.
After I read that comment I swiftly deleted it, then proceeded to cry for a while. Why is it that, in general, infertile women and men are not shown much sympathy and caring? When people hear that a woman cannot conceive a child, careless and insensitive things are said to her. When I am having a hard day and feel a lot of emotion at once, my feelings get brushed off, and I'm told that I just need to "get over it." Infertility is defined as a disease- a real medical issue. I didn't choose this any more than someone would choose to have any other disease. Would you tell a visibly sick person to just "get over it"? When I had my miscarriage, the most common thing people said was, "Oh, well, you'll get pregnant again later," in a flippant way. I just lost my child. My baby died. Would you say, "Well, your mom will just get remarried and you'll have a father again later," to someone who's father had just passed away?
People are just not aware and educated about infertility and how it can affect a person. They just don't know what to say, or what to do to help. I hope I'm doing my part in educating you, my family, friends, and strangers. Be a support. Be understanding. When in doubt, just ask. "What can I do for you?" "What do you need?" And the best thing to say, "This really sucks. I can see it's really hard for you." Just lend some validation and lots of hugs. Please don't offer unsolicited advice, please don't tell me a story you heard once about a women who was infertile and did something that got her pregnant, so it's sure to work for me, too- I have a plan made up with my doctor that I need to follow, and please don't tell me that I'm just stressed and need to relax, and then I'll get pregnant. It's no more helpful than telling a person with cancer that if they just relax, they'll be healed.
I appreciate the love that I have received from those in my life. There have been times when I felt the comfort I needed, and those times stick out in my mind almost daily.
I have reworded this post many times, and can't get it to the point where I don't feel like I'm being harsh or lecturing. If you feel that way after reading this, I'm sorry. It was not my intention at all. I really just needed a place to express how I'm feeling, and was trying to help others to know what I need when I'm feeling down. Anyway, I want to end this post with a little bit of dark humor. I found this video very amusing, probably because I have heard at least half of these things from people. I feel that laughing and finding humor in things helps a lot.