From your fertility big sister:
I’ve talked about the, “Why don’t you just do IVF?” and the, “Why don’t you just adopt?” dismissive, frustrating comments from people who believe they’re being helpful when they’re really not. We’ve thought about it all. If we aren’t doing those things, we’ve decided against them. Please, don’t even ask.
What I haven’t talked about yet is the most dismissive comment of all:
“It’ll happen,” is the fertility equivalent to life’s general, “Everything’s going to be okay.” Everything might not be okay. It’s the comment you’ll hear, hands down, the most when you’re trying and trying… and trying. It’s the epitome of empty promises. The truth is: it might not happen. Be okay with that and enjoy your life anyway. Easier said than done, right?
You’re at your most vulnerable when you’re going through fertility, and you’re so desperate to hang on to every word when someone’s telling you you’re going to get pregnant. You want to hear, “It’ll happen.” You don’t want to think of the possibility of it not happening. You look at other women who’ve made the choice to move on from treatment to heal and you’re like, “Ugh, not me.” If you’re not jaded yet, you’ll want to hear all the miraculous stories of conceiving against all odds you can get your ears on. When you tell someone every twinge and symptom you feel, you’re looking to hear you’re pregnant now and the wait is over. (I’ve been there myself many times. It turns out my symptoms were correct and something was going on, but it wasn’t pregnancy. My hormone fluctuations due to my diminished ovarian reserve were providing me with just wonderful pre-menopausal-esque symptoms. 🤪😓) Whoever tells you that it will happen or you’re pregnant based on symptoms alone, without a doctor’s confirmation, isn’t God and they have no idea. They want you to relax and shut up.
They don’t understand how much this hurts for you. They don’t understand that it’s the worst fucking pain imaginable. 1 in 8 couples experience fertility struggles. 1 IN 8!! That’s so many! You’d think there would be more awareness and better support avenues, but there’s not. We are dismissed, we are shunned, and in many cases, like mine, we aren’t believed when we know something is going on with our bodies. People just won’t stop telling you, “Relax. It’ll happen!”
They can go fuck themselves.
Even if you do “relax”, it still might not happen. I truly believe your anxiety and stress mean nothing in the grand scheme of baby-making, especially over years and years. Babies are conceived during times of war, which I imagine is the most stressful time to do just about anything. Anxious women have babies all the time! Especially in this day and age when anxiety is so prevalent.
What does mean something is going to the doctor when you get the intuition to do so, getting the right doctor for you who actually listens to you, and you can absolutely, without a doubt, afford fertility treatment because the green numbers in your bank account say so. DO NOT GO INTO DEBT TRYING TO CONCEIVE. That is the stupidest decision you could ever make for yourself now, and for the future of your family. If you can’t afford it, you have no business trying to have a baby to begin with–that means you don’t have the funds to take care of the baby once it arrives. Babies are expensive! You’re taking care of another human being who’s completely, 100% dependent on you, which I feel is sometimes forgotten by women with “baby blinders” on. And, you can’t forget the most important part: You still have to support you and your partner regardless of a baby being in the picture at all.
I imagine you’re thinking right now, “There’s no price on a human life.” You’re right. There isn’t–on those who are already here on Earth with us, living, breathing, surviving, adventuring. That saying doesn’t go for those not here. Paying for fertility treatment is gambling, like you’re taking money out of an ATM to throw into God’s baby-making slot machines in Las Heaven. You have to go into it with a strict game plan: the suitable finances for your choice of treatment and the appropriate boundaries for how long you plan to put yourself through the heartache, mental strain, physical discomfort from the medication and procedures, and medical bills, and you and your partner need to be on the same page for every one of those criteria. Once one person is screaming “mercy” to stop everything, the other has to be on board. You can’t force someone to have a baby if they don’t want to anymore–it’s too big a life change to take lightly for someone else.
And, if the planets align and the clouds part to blue skies, and you are pregnant, all your problems won’t go away. Life won’t be rainbows and unicorns and infinite lottery winnings falling from above. Taking care of a baby is hard work, and fertility depression doesn’t disappear the second your child is conceived. You still have to heal from the years of heartbreak you experienced before pregnancy and child birth, and possibly post-partum depression after the fact. You’re a new person now, and you need to honor her.
This post isn’t frilly, it isn’t sweet. Frankly, if you’re a person who needs to hear this, I probably pissed you off. Honesty is worth more than empty promises. Empty promises only bring you more false hope and pain, and drag out the healing process.
You can heal with the truth.
You can move on after surrendering to the truth.
To the truth, ladies. 🥂 Only ever truth.