PLEASE NOTE: If you are struggling with infertility or are currently trying to conceive and you DON'T want to read about my pregnancy (which I totally understand), I recommend starting at the beginning of the blog (March 2010) and reading from there. I find out I'm pregnant in June 2011 so there is a lot of trying to conceive posts in between that you might find funny, helpful or relatable. Wishing you all the luck in the world!
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
You're NOT Alone (No, Really)
As I pondered décor choices, my therapist asked, “Why do you still think you feel ashamed of having fertility issues?”
“Because everyone else around me can get pregnant without a problem!” I answered.
She gave a long sigh. She tends to do this a lot during our sessions.
She said, “You’re using one circle of friends who did not have fertility issues and are broadening it out to say that all women are able to have children except you in order to unconsciously justify your anger, jealousy and sense of unfairness. You don't know ‘all’ women! You know just a teeny percentage of the entire population. Furthermore, if what you said were true, we wouldn't have developed an entire industry the sole purpose of which is to help women get pregnant.”
This was an exceptionally thought provoking and logical point. However, my reaction was, “Yeah, yeah, yeah… eat my jealous infertile shorts.” I can be a difficult, if not an amusing patient.
Approximately one in eight couples in America have fertility issues and since I’ve reached out to the infertility community at large, I’ve met many men and women who have had issues, continue to have issues or who have had children despite their issues. It’s pretty clear that I’m far from alone in my struggle to conceive.
I know that consciously… but it would appear my subconscious has yet to get the memo. Pinocchio may have had Jiminy Cricket for his conscience but I’m beginning to suspect a bitchy mosquito is mine. She's sucking the life out of me and whispering, “It’s just you loser!”
All in all, my therapist has a point. It’s not that I’m ACTUALLY alone. I just feel alone. My question is why?
At the risk of pissing off one person or another, I actually think it would be easier for me to have a terminal illness than to admit to certain people in my life that we’re having trouble conceiving. I certainly don’t want a terminal illness nor do I mean to say that infertility is worse than someone with a terminal illness. I just think for whatever god forsaken reason in my mind that it would be easier to say to someone, “I have cancer” than it would be to say to someone, “We’ve been trying to have kids and we can’t seem to have them.”
The only reason for this that I can surmise is that shame and fault are inexplicitly attached to infertility. If you’re sick, it’s no one’s fault. If you tell someone you can’t seem to conceive, one of the first questions tends to be, “Is the problem with you or your husband?” Someone or something must be to blame whereas if you tell someone you’re sick, no one would ask, “You’ve got an illness? Why would you go and do a thing like that???”
So, if you feel that something is your fault or that you failed in some way, you’re less likely to talk about it or admit it to people… thus… you feel more isolated and alone. That’s my theory anyway. Well, that and as per my therapist, I like to justify feeling like sh*t. Go me!
The thing is, similar to any illness, infertility isn’t anyone’s fault. It’s simply the hand you’ve been dealt and for the life of me, even though I’m fairly open with friends and family who I know won’t annoy me about it, I would love, LOVE, to not feel like it’s just me in this.
Until I finally accept once and for all that there are COUNTLESS others out there like me and that no one is to blame for this hilariously irritating trying to conceive debacle (or H.I.T.T.C.D. for short), I’ll continue swatting away at my inner bitchy mosquito and redecorating my therapists walls. Hey… we can only do the best we can, right?