As I sit here in the middle of all these people I don't know, I intentionally avoid eye contact with everyone. An inner dialogue rages on in my mind. I have heard this dialogue thousands of times before. It always goes something like this:
"You don't belong here."
"You know they look at you different."
"You have nothing in common with these people."
Inevitably someone recognizes I am new here. As they make their way over to me, I feel my suit of armor latch into place, especially protecting my heart. Its been damaged before, so the armor around it is very thick.
After the normal pleasantries of where we live, where we are from, and our names, the conversation, like always become more pointed and probing questions into our personal life.
"How long have you been married?"
"No, but we are hoping soon."
"Oh just relax, and it will happen."
There it is. The unsolicited advice. The usually well intentioned, but uneducated advice.
In my perfect world, there would be nothing wrong with screaming at them something like this:
"Did you know I have a disease that prevents my body from ovulating? Did you know I have to constantly work on ovulating? Something your body does all on its own, and you don't even have to think about it? That you would NOT be relaxed if you were in my position, that you would be far from it? And you are telling me in all seven years that I have been begging and pleading the universe to send me my own little bundle of joy that I have never been relaxed?? And I wonder, would you say these words to someone who had cancer, a heart problem or someone with diabetes? Just relax and this disease will take care of itself?? No...."
But instead I screw on my fake smile and just nod until they inevitably drift back into the crowd. The crowd where I feel an outcast because I can't join in the conversations of delivery and the trials of raising a child. No. I do not belong here.
I use this story to educate other out there. If someone you meet says something similar to you, the best advice is always just to show support and love. How different would this story have ended if this person had said
"I hope its soon for you too."
Unsolicited advice, no matter the subject, is NEVER welcome. And its never received well.
* Infertility affects approximately 10% of the population.
* Only 15 states have a state mandate requiring insurance companies to cover infertility claims. Whereas most insurances will cover a mother giving birth, for all her appointments and delivery. * Every year thousands of these couples spend THOUSANDS of dollars on treatments that may yield no child.
* There are far reaching consequences to not building a family (in any way), such as who will take care of you when you are old?? These are questions that run through even the young and childless minds at times.
* Couples with infertility feel isolated, alone, and broken most of the time. Even by friends and family. They need to be included the same way as they would be if they had children.