It must be spring because everyone is suddenly pregnant, or posting a photo of their new arrival on Facebook. At this time of year with Spring, plus Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Infertility Awareness Month all wrapped up in one big bundle, family is everywhere. The triggers for infertility patients are seemingly endless. Even I am feeling it this year and we adopted our children 13 years ago. I guess that’s proof the emotions of infertility never go away.
With spring comes the constant reminders of people who have suddenly succeeded at getting pregnant. That’s hard for so very many people waiting, or in the process of undergoing treatment for infertility. Excruciatingly painful for people who have just experienced a miscarriage too. When the winter clothing comes off, the pregnant bellies are everywhere. Other people have a choice in how and when they start a family. Some people get to choose to have 4 children, or 5 children, even just one child! For infertility patients, choice and control disappears.
This year I decided to ask infertility patients in Ontario what they want people to know. They had so much to say that I am going to break this into a two or three part series.
This is part one:
Nine Things We Want You To Know About Infertility:
These are their words:
1. Jill – I’m not embarrassed. I just keep it from people because it seemed like too much pressure when we are going through treatment.
2. Mel – It affects every single aspect of a couple’s life, stress, health, finances….it can be incredibly isolating at times. To have even one of those stressors removed for example, the financial burden, would help exponentially.
3. Emily – It seems so taboo.. But once we mentioned that we did ivf, it must’ve just opened up the flood gates for questions and inquiries.. And it gave them hope, even just a glimpse of a positive light, and reassurance that there’s nothing to be ashamed of.. We are beyond grateful and blessed with twin girls.
4. Stephanie: So many people say “why don’t you just adopt?” Adoption can be a very expensive, long and invasive process too. Sometimes longer than fertility treatments, and much like fertility treatments- you are guaranteed nothing. We also want the opportunity to experience pregnancy.. Rather than suggest adoption – which we all know about, ask us if we have explored other avenues?
5. Jennifer – it’s not always a female problem. Almost half of infertility is male factor. Let’s get talking about that too.
6. Lara – Never ask ANYONE “when are you going to have kids?” Since 1 in 6 have problems with infertility, you can be pretty much guaranteed that you’re going to make this comment to an infertile couple eventually, and it’s like a kick in the gut every time.
7. Christina – it is not God’s wish that I be childless. Stop saying things like – maybe it’s meant to be…
8. Erin – People who have had a child still suffer the same emotions as those who haven’t. Secondary infertility is just as devastating.
9. Emma – The insecurities, stress, and overwhelming emotions with the illness of infertility don’t just disappear after you have one child (especially if conceived with help- IVF). Are we blessed to have one? ABSOLUTELY! Does that mean our hearts don’t want more? Heck no. The struggle doesn’t end- it’s still there taunting and haunting you.
In Ontario Infertility patients have a group called Conceivable Dreams to help advocate and support people going through the process. If you are struggling with infertility in Ontario you can follow this group on twitter (@IVF4ON ) We tweet and share our messages with #ivf4ON #onpoli hashtags.
You can follow some of the advocacy and events for infertility patients in Ontario by watching this site: http://www.conceivabledreams.org/ I am community manager for this group and as such I am compensated. I support infertility patients in Ontario. All of the patients mentioned here were happy to give voice to some of their feelings this month. If you want to be added to our private Facebook support group email me email@example.com please indicate subject line (Infertility) in your email.