So, this week is National Infertility Awareness Week. The campaign asks bloggers to start a blog with the words Don't Ignore. So, here goes.
Don't ignore your Heart. So many of us that deal with Infertility learn to put our feelings in a place where they are unreachable. It's a protection really, and I'm well known to do it myself. But we must remember not to ignore our heart, ignore those feelings when they need to creep up. We need to allow ourselves to feel, to really feel, what infertility is doing to us, what it is taking away. That raw open wound that is easier to hide away, but facing it allows you to grow from the experience and move on as necessary. It allows you to say Goodbye to those little souls you've lost, to those babies that could have been. It allows you to keep moving forward, pushing towards your goal.
Don't ignore Hope. This is a tough one. Without hope we can't make it through. With hope we are torn down time and time again. Without it we think we can move through the motions of making a baby with nothing attached to it. With it we allow ourselves to put everything we have into doing what must be done, into doing all the things that may just work for us even if they haven't worked for someone else. (or maybe they have, and that's why we're trying it).
I wish I could write as eloquently as so many of the bloggers that I follow. When I think of these posts, it seems like I can get my thoughts all straightened out, but when I put it 'on paper' it never comes out just right. I don't know if I really get my point across sometimes. This is no different, but what I'm trying to say is that without heart, and without hope, the attempts are so much more difficult. Yes, easier in some ways because you can distance yourself. But in the long run that is so bad. After months or years it wears you down and will eventually break you. If you remember to let your feelings have their time and place, if you remember to keep hoping when it seems impossible, then you will be able to make the right treatment decisions for your given situation, and then you will be able to live with those decisions and the possible outcomes.
Please remember those in your lives that do not have children. If they've never told you it's because they don't want children, then that may not be the case. They may have spent much time struggling to reach that dream that for some is so difficult to reach. They may still be trying, they may be mid treatment cycle, they may have just failed another, or maybe even just found out the last one worked but they're not ready to tell yet. They may have recently suffered a miscarriage, or another miscarriage. They may have finally chosen to live child free. They may be struggling on the path to adoption, waiting for the call to come. One never knows the struggles that someone is going through, and this is one of the most difficult there is. It's life changing in so many ways. It makes relationships stronger and breaks them up. It wipes out savings accounts, racks up debt, keeps someone from buying a house, going back to school, taking a dream vacation, or quitting the job they hate; maybe even to be a stay at home parent to their first miracle.
Don't ignore the human side of infertility. It's not all about stats, it's all about people and their dreams.