Monday, February 10, 2014

It has been a while....

I am pretty sure no one probably ever checks here anymore.  I feel like a lot of what was going on in my life in the last six months or so were things that I wasn't wanting to share publicly.  So, I just didn't write anything.  Things have been happening in my life.  Big things.  Life changing things.

I am going to be a mom.

That last sentence brings a tear to my eye.  It has taken us a long time to get here (though maybe short compared to some others who are still waiting, still hoping).  There were moments, even last fall, when I didn't think it would ever happen for us. 

When you are in the trenches of infertility, you often ask yourself how do you know when to stop.  There are those who try every treatment under the sun, and bring themselves to the brink of financial ruin and have nothing to show for it (other than an empty bank account/pile of debt and a lot of emotional scars).  If you would have told me about people like this a few years ago, I probably would have scoffed and wondered how anyone could do that to themself.  But after going through a small portion of it, I understand what it's like to desparately want a child and to be told that the chances of it happening naturally are slim to nil. 

I am thankful to have kind, supportive friends and family who do not ask us insensitive questions or make comments that hurt.  I have read about all sorts of garbage that people with infertility have had to deal with from those who should be supporting them.  For some reason a lot of people do not see infertility as a medical condition.  Would you look at someone with cancer and tell them that they shouldn't take treatment, because if they are meant to live, it will happen?  For a lot of people with infertility (1 in 7 couples deal with infertility!), it is a matter of hormonal inbalance, blood clotting disorders, immunilogical disorders, sperm quality/quantity, or sometimes the complete absence of sperm (just to name a few!).  It is not just women who have waited too long and their eggs are too old.  That can happen, but there are some women whose bodies are going through a sort of menopause which stops them from conceiving and they are still in their 20s and early 30s.   

And for goodness sake, please don't ever tell someone that they should 'just adopt'.  Adoption is a beautiful thing.  There are so many orphans and unwanted children in this world that need to be adopted.  But adoption is different than having a biological child and you have to prepare yourself differently.  It is not the answer for everyone.  It is not simple, quick, inexpensive, and there is often no guarantee of a child at the end of it.  I often feel, when I hear people telling those with infertility to adopt, I wonder why is it up to them to step up and have the moral obigation to adopt.  I know that some people who have biological children of their own, still adopt children as well.  But there are a lot of people who say 'hey, let's start a family' so they have their biological children without having to stop to even consider the idea of adoption.  I am not saying adoption is a bad thing, but just never tell someone that they should 'just adopt'.

One other thing I have learned from my experiences in the last few years is NEVER pressure someone about when they are going to have kids, even jokingly (or for that matter, when they are going to get married, or go to university, or get a better job, etc).  I remember one of my first massage clients after I graduated.  She was a lady in her mid to late 40s.  In my profession, sometimes you just try to make small talk to get to know your clients a little bit.  I asked this lady if she had kids.  She said no.  That was the end of that discussion.  She did become a regular client but she never mentioned it again.  I don't know if it was upsetting for her to be asked.  I know for me, when I was occasionally asked by a client if I have kids, it wouldn't upset me, but depending on the day it would make me sad.  I know that you can't be aware always of what is going on in everyone's lives and try not to offend them.  But think before you speak, and be aware that there may be more going on in someone's life than it looks like on the surface.

I am not trying to be a downer.  But what we have been through has opened my eyes to a whole world that I was unfamiliar with before.  I have learned a lot, and I feel like I have gained a lot of compassion for those who are not able to have children on their own.  Especially those who are unable because of financial barriers.  Fertililty treatment is expensive and because of that a lot of people are unable to persue it.  And in the end, even if you can afford it, there are no guarantees of success.

1 comment:

Jay said...

Well said! I feel like there was probably more you could have included but then you would've started getting long-winded, like me. :-)

Regarding the cost, it still bothers me that society can pick up the mess of a lifetime of addiction, bad choices and the responsibility but, just like the good students in elementary school, no attention is paid to them when they are the ones that deserve it.

I'm not saying we should not help people get their lives back on track but I feel like it should not be at the cost of those who have not made poor choices or harmed others in the past.