This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. Their theme this year is Don't Ignore Infertility. We are charged with starting with "Don't Ignore..." and choosing an aspect of Infertility to tackle. Go HERE for more information or to participate.
I have a friend, well she and her husband are our friends. They're a funny, energetic couple who are successful in their professional lives and in their marriage. They love each other, y'all. Seriously, Love with a capital L. It took them a long time to decide that they wanted to try to have babies (or rather a baby, singular). But they did. And then Infertility reared her ugly face.
And, for some reason, this has hit me really hard. I've watched other friends dealing with infertility. Hell, I've lived with my own for almost 10 years. But, for some reason, seeing these particular funny, dear friends starting to sift through infertility has hit me differently. Seeing these two people who took such care in deciding whether they "should" be parents, who will be the most loving, hilarious (in good way!) brilliant parents and will teach their children to care for others and just be good people, to see them struggle to get there is so upsetting for me.
Now, I absolutely have faith that they will make it through this and will have a sweet baby on the other side. But I so wish there wasn't this awful path on the way to that baby. I know their faith and the strength of their relationship will get them through through this ordeal. I just wish they could be spared the pain. While I see them dealing with it gracefully, I'm kind of a mess at times.
I wish I could articulate the reasons why their struggle is so upsetting to me. Like, even to myself I wish I could articulate it. I guess it comes down to secondary trauma, or even PTSD. Seeing this friend - for some reason - dealing with her own infertility, brings up all those same feelings for me. It's a re-traumatizing of sorts, I suppose.
I have always been sensitive to others' pain. Now, I don't mean that in a "hey look at me, I think about other people all the time" kind of way". I mean it in a "if I see you crying and you're in pain, I'll probably start to cry, too" kind of a way. I'm pretty sure I have my mom to blame for this.
At any rate, I think there are times when I can pretend that my own pain with IF is gone. That I've dealt with it and am okay. And I suppose for the most part that's true. But, when seeing other people, especially dear friends, head down this same road, it hits me in the gut again, and I am transported back to that time when the IF pain was constant and frequently overwhelming.
And so, the thing that I don't want people to ignore about IF is that it doesn't just go away. It's something we carry with us. Something that we can't just forget about. Something we can't just let go of. Just ignore. Just because we have children. It's still there.
Today's Lesson: Infertility sucks. It changes your path in life, for good in some ways, not so much in others. And it doesn't just go away when parenthood is achieved. Hit up these sites for more information about infertility in general, and NIAW week specifically.