Do you know of anyone struggling with infertility?
If you answered yes, will you commit to talk to them about it? To pray with them? To write them a little note of encouragement every month? Every month is an emotional rollercoaster ride. Every month. You try and not get your hopes up, but you do. You think to yourself that maybe THIS will be the month. But then everything around you comes crashing down. And sometimes, you just cry. Alone. Because no one really understands. They mean well. They really do. You get advice like: just relax, the timing just isn't right, it will happen, you can always just adopt. And while there is a little bit of truth in each of those statements, they cut into your heart like a knife. What you really want to hear is, “This sucks. I'm here for you if you just want to cry, and eat a whole pint of ice cream, or a dozen donuts. I love you, friend. You're not alone in this.” Because you feel alone.
If you answered no, I bet you do know of someone. They might be the couple who always says they aren't having children because the reality is too painful. Maybe it's the friend who is always too busy to attend baby showers or the one who sits in the corner at the baby shower and doesn't say much. The truth is, infertility affects approximately 10% of the population. Infertility is blind. It affects people from all socioeconomic levels and cuts across all racial, ethnic and religious lines. So chances are really good that you have a friend, co-worker, or family member who is or has struggled with infertility.
The Invisible Pain of Infertility
Infertility is personal. If you are trying to get pregnant, then you are having sex. No one wants to talk about sex. It's too embarrassing. And again we come back to the fact the couple who is experiencing infertility is alone. But it affects 1 in 8 couples!! They aren't really alone. But no one is willing to talk about it. It's not really something you want to bring up on your double date. Talk about a downer. But we do need to talk about it. Infertility needs to come out of the closet.
Infertility involves loss. An infertile couple never gets to experience the excitement of the positive pregnancy test and telling all their friends and family about their exciting news. They never get to experience the joy of seeing their baby for the first time via ultrasound. They may dream of being parents, and every month that dream seems further and further away. And they may experience feelings of low self-esteem because they see themselves as broken. They can't seem to do what most people can accomplish so easily.
So the next time you're tempted to post an old pregnancy test as an April Fools joke, think about the pain that you may be causing some close friends. Talk about infertility. We need to get the word out about the reality that is infertility.
Read our story, more about infertility and the struggle of secondary infertility, or purchase my eBook detailing our infertility journey and other stories from couples who have walked the same road. If you have a story that you would like to share, please let me know. I would love to help you tell your story!!
*All of my statistics came from www.resolve.org. An excellent resource on infertility.