Out of the nothingness that results from unsuccessful infertility treatment I’ve wanted to create something so that the increasingly invasive treatments and the related loss, damage to dreams and relationships and lingering sadness will not all have been in vain. Through this blog and my developing book I hope to make a small difference, to leave a worthwhile legacy, to shed some light on a much misunderstood topic (more on the misunderstandings in a later post).
It’s a delicate balancing act because I don’t want to deflate the hope of those who are in the midst of infertility treatments but at the same time I want to make it clear to those who can procreate just how complex and difficult living infertile in a fertile world can be.
Connecting with the infertile crowd has not been a problem. The millions of couples who inhabit this community — while mostly invisible or dismissed by the fertile community — are entirely welcoming and kind to anyone who has had to face the devastating realization that making a baby with the one you love is not likely to occur naturally — if ever. I’ve also heard from quite a few sensitive and caring readers who have experienced miscarriage and even from those who hadn’t had reason to dwell on infertility before stumbling upon my blog. All have made it clear that there’s little understanding of this experience.
Reaching the larger blissfully unaware population of moms and dad is the holy grail because they are the ones in the best position to ease the pain of their quietly suffering colleagues and neighbors with simple gestures of empathy. Each time I hear from a reader who wants to help in the cause I rejoice. Here are excerpts from two emails I received from Antonia, the latest recipient of my “Act of Kindness” award:
I have 3 children, but have very briefly known the obsession of trying unsuccessfully to conceive, and the sorrow of miscarriage. Nothing, nothing, nothing compared to what you and what your readers have gone through, or are going through, but enough to give me a sympathetic heart, and a great admiration for someone who bares her heart and soul in the cause of making the issue a little better understood. I have added you to my blogroll…because I do enjoy your writing, whatever the subject matter, and because I want to help the cause on its way a little.
And on the subject of well-intentioned but unsolicited advice:
“I do feel for you so much, I just had to say something. I can’t believe people who leave comments saying ‘Have you thought of adoption?’ If I were you, I would barely be able to restrain myself from replying ‘Goodness me, what a great idea! Do you know, in all the 11 years that I have been dealing on a daily basis with infertility and considering all the various options, do you know, I have never thought of that. Thank you so much for such a wonderful and thoughtful suggestion.’ I know that blogging lends itself to superficial browsing and quick comments – I’ve been guilty of that myself. But honestly. If you see it as part of your role to educate the fertile world about the agonies of infertility, you must sometimes feel you have a very long way to go….”
Yes, my dear Antonia, I do sometimes feel exhausted by how far we need to go. I would prefer to have a happier cause to champion but, as we all know, we don’t always get the luxury of choosing which life experiences come our way. We do, however, have a choice in how we choose to respond to them.
Thank you to all of my readers for your compassion and your willingness to give the subject of infertilty more than a superficial look. Feel free to pass this link along. If you’re a mom or dad who does read this blog, please don’t be shy
about commenting. You’re a very important part of the equation.
Note: On the subject of adoption, there are two very good discussions here at Miss E’s blog and here on Sharah’s. Both help to explain why it’s simplistic and false logic to assume that adoption is the inevitable and easy answer to infertility — just as signing up for a dating service is not the first step one takes, if ever, when losing a spouse.