Tuesday, February 18, 2014

6 Truths My Fertile Friends Taught Me about Infertility

When I was first thrown into the category “infertile” I felt overwhelmed with grief and pain.  I thought about my friends who had kids and assumed they had no idea about my pain. I choose to feel isolated.
Opening up about infertility to my friends who are in the different phases of life I have learned valuble truths about woman.  Below is an example of what 6 out of a couple dozen have taught me.

  1.  My friend Stormy,who had just lost her mother and was now facing life at 30 without any parents sent me a message about supporting and loving others around us, no matter the situation it opened my eyes that others around me were grieving and suffering. Don’t have a pity party  alone, others are grieving also, find them. Love them. I will always be grateful for her wise words.
  2.  In a conversation with my friend, Elizabeth who had 6 kids, (of course I was jealous), she just mentioned “really, you never have to worry about being pregnant? Oh wow, that would be fabulous.” It was then that I realized that fertility could be a double edge sword.  The brief conversation changed my thoughts about timing.  I gained sympathy for others, who were blessed with children that came in a time not planned, and might have been overwhelming.
  3. While talking with my single friend Christie, who shared with me that when she does find someone she wants to spend her life with, baring children will no longer be an option. Many have missed opportunities and they have to let go of their family dream.  We cried together about what will never be. My sympathy grew for those who had lost the opportunity to bare children.
  4.  My friend Kim, shared with me her struggle with choosing to have a hysterectomy, at the age of 26, although she had 3 boys who she loved. Having so many girl problems, it was recommended by her doctor, to have the procedure.   She had second thoughts and struggles, but knew it was best for her health and well being. I realized many have to close the door on fertility, even though they are still young.   Years later, in a new marriage I have watched her find her way through adoption, a very rough road for her.  It is heartbreaking watching a good mother, fight so hard for children to bring into her home.
  5. What really opened my eyes, about the truth every woman faces their own fertility, was in talking to my friend Becky, she had 4 children, they were older, she was older and now going through that hmm “change.”  She shared with me her unexpected grief and sorrow in letting go of that part of herself. I recognized the grief of getting older.  Now I watch her trying to support and help her daughter go through IVF, to start her own family.  She feels helpless watching her daughter go through this, and wants to help her daughter find some peace in her life.
In talking with these ladies and several others, (mostly who were sitting in my salon chair).  I have come to know that somehow in growing up and preparing for this prime time of my life, with birth control conversations, and pregnancy discussions, family planning advice, no one said, the truth, 
 Every woman has a point in her life that she feels the grief of this.  No matter the circumstances, our own choice, age, body failing or the many other reasons, every woman feels a lack of control over something so important. 

I no longer categorize myself as an infertile woman.  I categorize myself as a woman, who has already discovered the truth about fertility. I decide how much I will hold onto the hurt.  How much I will reach out to other woman and talk to them about this truth.  I am always a better person listening to someone else share with me their journey of motherhood, and very grateful we do not have to find these truths on our own.

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