When you are the first in your world to go through something, there are going to be inevitable consequences. People won’t understand. They won’t say or do the right thing. They might doubt your rationality for your acts. They will think you are wasting your money and/or time. They will talk behind your back. They will be happy they are the ones not doing it.
Or they might be jealous in some way.
For me, IVF was a first for my husband and I and our extended families. We were the guinea pigs of this medical experience in our personal worlds, and when we think back upon the journey, there were many unforgettable moments.
When I virtually met Meg Keys and was introduced to her book, The Waiting Line. What To Do (And Not Do) When Someone You Love Is Struggling With Infertility, I was curious. As the person who has experienced infertility, and now it is a huge part of my career, I was completely caught off-guard at how hard this short read would hit home for me.
Almost every line was something I could remember experiencing as my husband and I struggled with infertility. Some actions I was even guilty of. For example, when we were secretly trying and not wanting to talk about it with the world. When we were told IVF would be our best option at trying to conceive and felt alone and scared and broken. When we lost our baby with our first transfer and were devastated. When I was obsessing over adoption because I felt as if I couldn’t carry a baby. When our rainbow baby pulled through and our family of three is perfect for us.
All the things people did, or didn’t do, said, or didn’t say, that was mentioned in this book made me reflect on my personal experience because I know now that I wasn’t alone. Other people have felt and experienced the same things I did when I was fully emerged in IVF.
And even though my family is complete with our son, I still go through infertility experiences everyday. Comments people make; thoughtless remarks about “only child”; the idea that pregnancy could happen again for me “naturally” (God, I hate that word in infertility. Really, as if my son isn’t natural?!?).
I am an advocate of infertility awareness, and I want to strongly recommend everyone to take 15 minutes and read The Waiting Line. What To Do (And Not Do) When Someone You Love Is Struggling With Infertility. So you don’t know anyone with infertility? You never went through it so you don’t care. You don’t have the time…
Excuses…are exactly that.
Make the time and be mindful of those around you. You never know who is next to you that is silently hurting inside because of infertility.
And if you do have children, and it came easy for you, and you love to complain about how hard having them around is…be mindful of those who don’t have children. Who would love for a day to complain about their baby because that would mean they have a baby. Who want to be a mommy or daddy so bad but their bodies, or financial reasons, or medical diagnoses cannot seem to make this happen.
Young or old, no children or a full house, take a moment to read this book.
Because we are in this together.
Awareness starts with you.