Recently I came across a post someone else had written. I can't take credit for it, but liked it enough to share. It was from the "Infertility Sucks" facebook page....yes people there are facebook pages out there on this stuff. It may amaze you. But so many couples are exhausted from suffering in silence and social media is a great way to not feel so alone and isolated when so many times we are. The post, among others I've read from various people, really amaze me on how much people who can't make babies feel the same, even though our stories are different. I'd like to share:
"10 things your friend with infertility never tells you:
1) I cry alot (but I still smile)
2) I appreciate hugs. Not advice
3)Yep, it hurts EVERY time (still)
4) I put my feelings aside for others because I feel guilty
5) I am sad for me but so happy for you
6) I need days alone just to grieve
7) I still want to be included in stuff
8) I feel like an outsider sometimes
9) I don't want to hear you complain about your pregnancy
10) I appreciate you telling me your pregnant 1:1"
After reading this list, I decided it pretty much sums up most of what I feel in a nutshell. My grief and sadness are much like a rain storm. Some days it's a light drizzle, while others it's a heavy downpour, coming in waves and never seems to end. Sometimes it's predictable. But many times, like weather, it's unpredictable. I may expect a sunny day but it turns out to be a rainy one. Sometimes you can prepare for it and sometimes it catches you completely off guard. And on a rare occasion, I see a rainbow. It's not the best analogy but one that most can relate to.
I went through the list and thought about how each one relates to me and my personal experience. For some people it may shock you that I DO cry alot. Sometimes it's the hormones that I have to inject into my body, but mostly it's because I'm sad. I can't control what is happening to me and it's simply not fair. It's hard on my body, my relationship and my emotions. It's a hard pill to swallow when everyone around you seems to be able to have so easily what you are killing yourself to get. Lately I am learning that crying is not because I am weak, but because I have been so strong for so long...and I am tired. Sometimes the strongest ones are those that smile and cry through the pain.
As far as advice: trust me, we've heard it ALL and are spending our life's savings to get the greatest advice of all. A hug or "I'm sorry it's not fair" is simply enough. We aren't expecting you to fix it.
Number 3 is a big one for me. After reading alot of posts, articles and blogs, I was happy to hear I'm not alone. The pain of our struggle NEVER leaves me. The scar will always be there. Not one day goes by that I don't think about it. Some days it's a mere passing thought, while others it weighs heavily on my mind and heart. Ironically even after having a baby, the pain simply does not disappear. Oh how I wish it did. It's amazing how simple it is for these emotions to flood back when something reminds you of it.
If you announce a pregnancy please remember that my reaction may not be what you hoped for and what everyone else's is. If it is, likely I am mustering every bit of courage I have not to break down and cry in front of you. I reserve that for my own privacy and to make you not feel bad over something you can't help. You should be happy. And remember I am happy for you too....just terribly sad for myself. It's another reminder of what I want so badly too but can't have. I feel like a shit that I can't be the friend I want to be, ask questions and be more involved. It's not that I don't care, because I do, but my own grief takes over me in ways I so wish I could control. This is why I appreciate you telling me in private...so I can prepare myself as my emotions are sometimes uncontrollable. I feel selfish for all of this and this makes me feel like a bad person sometimes. If you only knew what it was like, I hope you would understand.
The sadness of not being able to make a family is incomprehensible. My best words couldn't even begin to describe it. I am so glad, my friend, that none of this you will ever have to know firsthand. I am not asking you to feel sorry for me, but on occasion give me a "free pass". There's alot on my plate. Few things test people's faith and their relationships. I can tell you this one is big. No husband and wife should have to endure the stress. I ask that you "sit with me in the darkness" as I know you can't fix it for me. I ask that you have patience. Maybe one day I can return the favor.