Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Lesson On Etiquette Again

Even though I have posted this before, I feel as though it needs to be said again. I have friends who recently have had the most absurd things said right to their faces without that other person thinking of the consequences of their words. Some of the most ignorant still remain as "just relax", "just adopt", or "there are worse things that could happen"...ok that last one really gets on my nerves!!!! I found an article last week on infertility etiquette. One of the things I like about this article is that it talks about how people dealing with infertility go through grieving differently. Here's an excerpt:

Infertility is, indeed, a very painful struggle. The pain is similar to the grief over losing a loved one, but it is unique because it is a recurring grief. When a loved one dies, he isn't coming back. There is no hope that he will come back from the dead. You must work through the stages of grief, accept that you will never see this person again, and move on with your life.
The grief of infertility is not so cut and dry. Infertile people grieve the loss of the baby that they may never know. They grieve the loss of that baby who would have had mommy's nose and daddy's eyes. But, each month, there is the hope that maybe that baby will be conceived after all. No matter how hard they try to prepare themselves for bad news, they still hope that this month will be different. Then, the bad news comes again, and the grief washes over the infertile couple anew. This process happens month after month, year after year. It is like having a deep cut that keeps getting opened right when it starts to heal.
As the couple moves into infertility treatments, the pain increases while the bank account depletes. The tests are invasive and embarrassing to both parties, and you feel like the doctor has taken over your bedroom. And for all of this discomfort, you pay a lot of money.
A couple will eventually resolve the infertility problem in one of three ways:
  • They will eventually conceive a baby.
  • They will stop the infertility treatments and choose to live without children.
  • They will find an alternative way to parent, such as by adopting a child or becoming a foster parent.
Reaching a resolution can take years, so your infertile loved ones need your emotional support during this journey. Most people don't know what to say, so they wind up saying the wrong thing, which only makes the journey so much harder for their loved ones. Knowing what not to say is half of the battle to providing support.

Another favorite topic is when women complain about their pregnancy...seriously never do this in front of me, especially not right now!

Don't Complain About Your Pregnancy
This message is for pregnant women-Just being around you is painful for your infertile friends. Seeing your belly grow is a constant reminder of what your infertile friend cannot have. Unless an infertile women plans to spend her life in a cave, she has to find a way to interact with pregnant women. However, there are things you can do as her friend to make it easier.
The number one rule is DON'T COMPLAIN ABOUT YOUR PREGNANCY. I understand from my friends that, when you are pregnant, your hormones are going crazy and you experience a lot of discomfort, such as queasiness, stretch marks, and fatigue. You have every right to vent about the discomforts to any one else in your life, but don't put your infertile friend in the position of comforting you.
Your infertile friend would give anything to experience the discomforts you are enduring because those discomforts come from a baby growing inside of you. When I heard a pregnant woman complain about morning sickness, I would think, "I'd gladly throw up for nine straight months if it meant I could have a baby." When a pregnant woman would complain about her weight gain, I would think, "I would cut off my arm if I could be in your shoes."
I managed to go to baby showers and hospitals to welcome my friends' new babies, but it was hard. Without exception, it was hard. Stay sensitive to your infertile friend's emotions, and give her the leeway that she needs to be happy for you while she cries for herself. If she can't bring herself to hold your new baby, give her time. She isn't rejecting you or your new baby; she is just trying to work her way through her pain to show sincere joy for you. The fact that she is willing to endure such pain in order to celebrate your new baby with you speaks volumes about how much your friendship means to her.

The full article is from Resolve's website and it sums it all up better than I ever could! Check out this incredibly written article on infertility etiquette. And please, keep all this in mind whenever speaking with someone because 1 in 8 struggle with infertility.

Monday, May 16, 2011

I Have Babies In Heaven?

I never knew this until now. This is something I couldn't even wrap my head around until someone point blank said it to my face last week. I have apparently not understood a lot of the talk on the infertility websites until recently. There are a lot of women grieving the loss of their "babies" and saying they will see them in heaven, or they have "x" amount of babies waiting for them up there. It never really clicked for me. I didn't think about it like that. I just assumed they were talking about miscarriages. But, then I thought more. No, they are talking about their embryos that didn't attach. Well, that happened to me too. Still didn't dawn on me completely. Until I was explaining how in our last IVF attempt we had 3 embryos transferred but none of them took. OH! Well I am a believer that life begins at conception. Duh...that means I did have three lives inside of me, they just didn't attach and grow because something wasn't right. But I still had three lives inside of me. Hmm. My husband and I do have three babies waiting for us in heaven. Wow. Never thought of it like that before. Why is that, I ask myself? Is it because to me, I had to put everything in a neat little box and wrap it with a bow to keep my emotions in check? Is it because my worst fear is a miscarriage after going through everything we possibly can to have a child? Maybe. Maybe I just couldn't handle all of that on top of the IVF not working so I pushed those thoughts out of my mind. Still now, it is hard for me to understand completely. But somewhat comforting. That I actually had life inside of me, even just for a little while. That thought will be reassuring going through the two week wait after my transfer this time. I will be pregnant until somebody proves otherwise. Let's hope that's not the case.

The more I think about it, the more it all unravels in my head. There's the innocent prayer like I prayed when my grandmother died: Lord, please keep them safe up there with you until I get there.  (Like they aren't already safe in heaven...hello!) The humorous thoughts in the wake of Osama Bin Laden's death...will I accumulate 72 babies up there waiting for me? There's the sad plea: I wish they could be down here with us just so we could see their beautiful faces, hear their laughter. Don't forget the angry outcry of WHY COULDN'T THEY JUST HAVE ATTACHED?? But then I remember of course there's a reason for this all and that I won't understand it until I am further down the road. So I am just left with my thoughts and my faith. Hopefully this time will be different. Hopefully this time our babies will dig themselves in for a nice long stay and we will get to see their faces. Even if it's just one face, we will be happy with that! So I guess no matter what, next year I will celebrate Mother's Day, right?