Oooooooh how some days are easier than others. If you are, or have ever struggled with infertility you know what I am talking about. Some days you can give yourself so much credit for being level headed and patient with the process and with what life has laid out for you. AND then there are the days that make you want to pull out your hair in frustration, cry yourself to the bottom of a container of ice cream and get mad at anyone who crosses your path; and those who are pregnant: BEWARE…I’m a ticking time bomb.
I love sharing in the joy of my friends pregnancies and subsequent children. My godson is one of the biggest joys in my life and I wouldn’t trade his sticky kisses for anything but there are days when one more pregnancy announcement might just send me over the edge. I have a girlfriend who was married in March and literally was pregnant the first night of their honeymoon (AKA the next day!). Another just confided in me that, despite her strict and dedicated efforts to prevent pregnancy, is 5 weeks pregnant – completely unplanned and possible unwelcome. I have to say, I’m not sure I can console another friend through termination. All debate aside on the right and wrong of abortion; I struggle with the fact that I have been the one people turn to in such a time of need, especially when they are aware of my situation!
[NOTE: I work in a field where I see unwanted and uncared for children on a daily basis. Whether or not you agree with abortion is a very touchy subject and one that I don’t fully know my own stance on. What I do know, is that I support people who need support through a difficult time; whatever the circumstances. Please do not use the comment section as a platform for your opinion of abortion, there are many other places on the internet that will be more welcoming for that topic.]
I have sat through friends discussing fears on whether they struggle with fertility because it has taken them two months to conceive….give me a break. I know that most people don’t understand the real struggle of infertility and that they are allowed to have their own fears and concerns; but to me I feel they are positively clueless. I do not hide my infertility from my friends and I refused to be ashamed of the hand I have been dealt; therefore, I share my situation with my friends. Yet, it seems as though I might need to start laying down some rules. Let’s see…
1. Don’t complain to me when you are not pregnant after your first month of trying. Medical advice suggests trying for at least a year before being concerned or seeking advice from a Doctor. I have wanted to be a mother since before I can remember, I have been with my husband for over 6 years and still get to play the waiting game before I can even START TRYING to have a child, in a Doctor’s office. Think twice about who you are complaining to please.
2. Caution yourself on how much you complain about your pregnancy symptoms to me. I can tolerate a lot, but please have consideration. I understand you are going through a lot of changes and uncomfortable things. I would trade you in a heartbeat. Not to mention, I know all about those hot flashes you are experiencing, the bloating, the weight gain and many other symptoms; however, mine don’t result in a child – just more agony.
3. Once you have your beautiful little rascals, please don’t spend all of your time complaining about the difficult challenges of being a parent. I, again, understand that you are exhausted, frazzled, overwhelmed, stressed out and exhausted…again, I would trade you in a heartbeat. I daydream about having to wake up in the middle of the night to a child crying, to falling asleep with their warmth on my chest, to changing diapers, hearing their first giggle, and all of the other difficult and wonderful moments that having a child brings. Appreciate the life and love that you were able to create and enjoy all of the challenging moments that the amazing ones bring you.
4. Please don’t tell me that it will happen when it happens, that when I get my own experience I will be overjoyed, etc. I know I need to be patient and I know that I will be so appreciative of everything if things turn out one day. BUT I still don’t know that egg donation will work for me, that I will be able to successfully conceive and carry a child to term….and unless you’re my doctor, you don’t know either.
5. Please don’t ask me to attend your friend, sister or second cousin’s baby shower with you just because you don’t want to go alone. No matter how happy I am for those who I love dearly in my life, it takes A LOT of strength for me to attend their baby showers, let alone someone I’ve met twice.
6. When having a tough day…don’t under whatever circumstances sarcastically utter the words “oh, I bet you just can’t wait to have a toddler of your own one day after seeing this!” Just an FYI, I really can’t wait. It sucks waiting.
Please don’t think that I’m oblivious to how hard parenting is, how difficult it is to be sleep deprived and dealing with an infant screaming the top of their lungs but unable to verbalize the reason. I understand this just as much as I understand that I don’t fully know the difficulties parents face on a daily basis because I am not a parent. I just hope that one day I will have the opportunity to better understand.