And we have a winner! Matthew Miller from Maybe Baby dropped by this morning and logged comment number 3,500 on Coming2Terms. A round of applause for all who have taken the time to share thoughts and questions during the past 20 months that C2T has been on the scene.
What an amazing series of conversations we’ve had. The depth and richness of the content contained on this site is due in no small part to reader insights. Your heartfelt and compassionate contributions speak volumes. While we have been socialized to speak in hushed tones (rather than roar) where the “I” word is concerned, we sure have quite a bit to say on the topic.
In light of that I’d like highlight a few comments. They come from readers representing a diverse set of opinions across the fertility and infertility continuum — some aren’t even sure where they may fit just yet. For instance, when I started C2T I worried that no one would be interested in reading a blog about a woman who flunked infertility treatments but this comment was one of many that kept me writing:
Your experience is just as important to the IF community as someone who
ended up pg after treatment. I’m thankful that you’ve decided to
put this out there. If all we ever see are happily-ever-after type
pregnancies after IF, then it creates a false hope for a lot of women.
I’m here because I know that this might or might not work for me, and
I’m glad that you’re here to provide a voice of reason from another
type of ending.
Then there are those navigating between two worlds …
I just found out I am pregnant after IVF, which I am obviously very
happy about. I still do not feel like there is enough education and
information out there for the public regarding infertility. I wish that
it was a little more out in the open so that we women didn’t have to
feel ashamed or feel like we are “less” of a woman. The more that
people write/speak about it, the more the public will recognize it and
understand the process. I work with physicians and they didn’t even
realize how much of a grueling process it really is!
There are also thoughts from women who didn’t face infertility firsthand but worry for friends and family who are:
I’ve been reading your blog for a long while now. I am 30 with a new baby and my sister is 41 and has been ttc for a few
years now. I wanted to understand more about what she has been going
through, without pushing her into a discussion that could be too
painful for her. I’m not sure I’ve been the perfect sister, but I’m trying really hard.
And, we’ve moved the needle in the health care system, too. There’s this from a male med school student:
IF can be devastating to women, some more so than others. As a guy, I
can’t begin to understand that need for children that women have, and
yes, it’s a need. It’s like losing a family member that never was, and
can even rob the most successful women of meaning in their lives. I’m
glad there’s at least a discussion forum for support for these people,
considering IF is likely to always be swept under the rug by a society
which doesn’t even like to acknowledge it. As a student in
medical school, I’ll continue to pay more attention to this issue and
the sensitivity it requires from doctors at least.
Perhaps the most rewarding comments come from those willing to learn and open their
mind about how to view people fighting infertility. Check out this comment from a few days ago:
I wanted you to know that you have totally changed my understanding of
infertility. I don’t have children but hope to some day. I have no idea
if I am able to have them or not. When I read the NYT piece I was with
the commentators who said ‘just adopt’, especially since my husband and
sister are adopted. What changed my mind? Reading your writings and the
questions they made me ask myself such as: ‘So why aren’t I adopting?
Why do you want your own birth children but don’t want these people to
hope for the same thing?’. I would like to adopt but also hope for
birth children. Thank you again for opening my mind and, hopefully, making me a slightly more thoughtful person.
She’s not alone. I’ve certainly learned a thing or two as I’ve navigated my way around infertility. Hard to believe but there was a day once when I didn’t have a clue. With a great grandmother who delivered 14 children, I was convinced fertile myrtles ran in the family. Go figure!
What are some of the ordinary or not so ordinary things you’ve figured out as you’ve either witnessed, experienced or just started trying to make sense of this subject? This is an equal opportunity blog — all comments welcome! Let’s keep the conversation going …