*On April 25th, I took a huge step for myself and posted the following on Facebook. Five months later, I am still glad I did, but haven't gotten from it what I had hoped. But here is the post from that day, and I will soon follow up with an update of the 5 months since.*
My broken heart can’t keep this inside any longer. Please, I beg of you to read this all the way through before you give any comment. We are fragile right now, and we don’t want to be broken more by people’s careless words.
We have been trying to start a family for a couple of years now. With each month that has passed, our hearts have hurt more and more and the secrets have become harder and harder. Infertility isn’t something you expect, especially as a woman. We grow up dreaming of being a mommy. We just assume it is a natural way of life and therefore will just come easy. Wrong!
For the first year to year and a half, we just kept thinking any time it would happen. But as we passed through that first year, each month started to feel like a year, yet it all was going by way too fast at the same time. Nephews turned one. Friends had babies. Nephews turned two. People who had no kids when we married, now have two kids while we still have none. It’s extremely hard to watch.
And oh, by the way, there were reasons we haven’t told but a handful of people.
1)We were still longing for the complete excitement and surprise in announcing a pregnancy. That simple blessing of surprise that has been taken from us.
2)We don’t want the unwanted advice. It doesn’t matter if you think its good advice. It probably will suck to us. It will probably make us mad or feel more hurt or broken. There really isn’t good advice to give people dealing with infertility unless you have TRULY experienced it yourself. Only then do you learn things to say and things to definitely not say.
3)We don’t want your judgments. This decision is ours, and God’s, and not a single other person’s. It’s not for you to say if we should or shouldn’t want or have kids right now. It’s not for you to say if we can afford to. It’s just none of your business. We didn’t or won’t tell you when you should start a family, so don’t do it to us.
4)It makes me feel broken/ashamed/unworthy. Talking about it is hard. Thinking about it is hard enough.
Now, where was I? I sought help for this about a year and half into it. Since my first doctor’s appointment about it, we have both had every test and all have come back fine. So our label is unexplained infertility. We put off medicated cycles and assisted cycles for quite a while. We were still convinced it would happen anytime on our own. And, on our own sounded so much better than the other choices. Then my faith started running lower and lower.
In March we took the leap. We had the money put aside and the courage to step forward into medicated cycle with IUI (intrauterine insemination). On March 24th, we went in thinking that day would be THE day. On April 7th, we knew that even this medicated IUI cycle had failed also. Now, my faith is next to nonexistent. My optimism… it’s long gone. We have not given up complete hope yet. But each day is a tremendous battle for me right now. And hiding the pain, plastering on a fake smile, and going along as though everything is fine just isn’t working for me anymore. I don’t want to lie about where we are anymore, when we have appointments with the specialists. I don’t want to pretend my stress/pain is because of something it’s not any longer.
I want to be out of the infertility closet.
I remember last year’s National Infertility Awareness Week. I remember not having the courage then. I remember still having hope that I would be pregnant or have a child at this time a year later. But here we are. Still childless. Sharing this is more for us than anything. It’s to lift the burden of secrecy, because the burden of infertility itself is heavy enough. Less is more, when in regards to burden. I am not sharing this for sympathy or advice. The only thing we ask of anyone, is to pray for us. And if you have questions, you can ask. But please be mindful of how fragile I am right now. Be careful of the words you chose to say. Remember what your mother always said: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
And to those precious few who have been cheering us on from the sidelines while we gained the courage to share with all: thank you! Thank you for respecting our wish for privacy about it. Thank you for listening. Thank you for being our cheering section. And above all, thank you for the love and prayers. You have been the rainbow through this storm.