NIAW: Resolve to Know More

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I wanted to participate in Resolve’s “Resolve to Know More” campaign, but I was having a hard time putting thoughts into words. There is so much that I want the general population (ie. people who don’t suffer from infertility) to know, but where does one start?

Also because I am an anonymous blogger this post probably won’t be seen by many people outside of the infertility community. I will not be posting on Facebook, or tweeting about it (although, I don’t mind if other people do!). But for those who may stumble across my blog, or one day when I feel safe and comfortable enough to share it, this is what I want people to know. Not necessarily do’s and don’ts (such as the obvious, don’t tell them just to relax, or stop trying), but things you should consider, with anyone really, because you never know who is that 1 in 8.

  1. Infertility is a disease; a medical condition. No amount of ill-considered advice is going to change that.

  2. Other people’s fertility hurts my feelings. I know it’s not their fault, that’s what our bodies are meant to do. But I can’t do it, and it is upsetting to me.

  3. Strangers, friends and family speaking to me as if I am ignorant because I don’t have children is hurtful. Ie: You’ll understand/you’ll change your mind/you’ll know better…when you have kids.

  4. Infertility affects every part of my life. My relationship (physical and emotional) with my spouse and others, my self-esteem, my mood (all the time, up and down), my future plans (or lack thereof, because I can’t plan past the next treatment), and we can’t forget, my bank account.

  5. If someone doesn’t have kids it is not appropriate to ask them if/when/how many children they plan on having. Even if they do already have a child/children, don’t. I don’t ask you what your salary is, or your sexual preference. Please do not ask me about the status of my uterus.

  6. The point of marriage is not (necessarily) to have children. Sure, it is generally the by-product of marriage, but not the sole purpose. And not everyone wants to get knocked up on their honeymoon. Keep that in mind, and see #5.

  7. Fortunately (for you), and unfortunately for us (suffering from IF) you cannot understand what this is like. You may have an idea from what we’ve told you, or you’ve read. You’ll know that it is horrible, and be able to sympathize with the fact that we are in pain. But there really is no way for you to fully understand. The psychological effects have been compared to having cancer. Keep that in mind.

  8. If you are someone I have let into my IF world, sometimes I will want to talk about it, and sometimes I won’t. Respect my fickleness, and please be patient with me. A secondary note to that one, don’t ask me every month if “it worked”. I will tell you when it is appropriate for you to know.

  9. I am not ashamed of being infertile, but I deal with enough trying to hold myself together while managing IF, never mind fielding questions/ignorance/pity from other people. That is why it is none of your business.

  10. I will emerge on the other side of IF, no matter what road we take to get there or if it ends up including children or not, but I will never be the person that I was before. Unfortunately, I have visited a very ugly, dark place. Pain will change a person, and I will have to break free of my broken self to emerge anew.

Please visit the links below for more information on infertility:

http://www.resolve.org/infertility101

http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/about.html

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