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Thursday, April 26, 2012

National Infertility Awareness Week

That's right- it's National Infertility Awareness Week! I realize I'm a little tardy to the party being that it's already Thursday, but as I always (ok, never) say, better late than never, right? (Wrong.)

The theme this year is "Don't Ignore Infertility," and bloggers are supposed to write posts around that topic. However, I think you would all agree that I do a fairly decent job of "not ignoring" infertility year-round, so I decided to be a rebel and not stick to the assigned topic. I know, who am I and what did I do with the real Amanda?!

Nonetheless, I do want to share a few tidbits/thoughts:

- This is a funny post I recently read on 999 Reasons to Laugh at Infertility about how much sub-fertile people like to listen to complaints from people about pregnancy symptoms (Disclaimer: it's obviously totally ok for pregnant people to complain, and to my pregnant friends: please don't stop talking to me! I just thought this was amusing/relatable!)

- On a more serious note, a friend recently shared this article about what NOT to say to a friend who's struggling with infertility. Other things that you should probably avoid saying/doing:

1. Don't one-up the person with your own infertility story. 
(Example: "We have been dealing with infertility for a little over a year and are just starting our first round of Clomid. It's really tough." 
Response: "Oh, honey, that's nothing- it took us 4 years, 3 failed IVF's, and 1 miscarriage before we finally got pregnant with little Jimmy!")

If you have been there, done that, then you can be a sympathetic shoulder to cry on and a much-needed source of support that can actually relate. You are not making us feel better by telling us why your journey was so much harder!

On a related note, definitely do not one-up the person with the infertility story of someone you know. Telling me that it took your friend 10 years to conceive a baby does not exactly fill me with hope.

(To clarify, I do always appreciate hearing others' stories that end up being successful... it is just helpful to put the emphasis on the happy ending rather than how miserable it was up until that point!)

2. Don't belittle their struggle by pointing out how much worse their situation could be.
People have actually done this to me and I sincerely believe they thought they were being helpful. Yes, there are many difficult trials in life (terminal illnesses, divorce, the death of a loved one, etc.), and I'm all for having a good dose of perspective every now and again. However, while I agree that it is very sad that so-and-so found out she has cancer, I don't think that makes my own situation any less sad or difficult to deal with. And again, it certainly doesn't make me feel better!

3. Tread lightly on the topic of adoption.
I know this is a controversial topic, so I will keep it brief. I am of the opinion that adoption should be a call, NOT a consolation. Brian and I do not want to adopt a child simply because we aren't able to have children of our own. If we decide to adopt (which, by the way, is a very personal decision!), then we would like that decision to be made as independently from our infertility issues as possible.

That's all for now. I don't mean for this to sound negative, and I know that it can be tough to find the right words to say, especially if this is a road you've never walked down. For me personally, just having someone listen and check in on me to see how I'm doing is more than enough... and of course, baked goods don't hurt, either :)

Happy (?!) National Infertility Awareness Week to you all!


the blogivers said...

Good post. As usual though, just sorry you have reason to write it :(

Brittnie said...

Well said. I'm going to check out that website.

Chrissy said...

Great post---people say such dumb stuff sometimes!!!

Erika said...

Nicely said! I think all humans should be required to read our blogs so that they will act less idiotic.

Brittany Sciba said...

Thanks for sharing! :) Love you!

Courtney Squillante said...

That was a great post!! And like Allison said- I'm sorry you have to write it!

Leah said...

I am glad you wrote this because I suffer from saying the totally wrong thing to people who are suffering like ALL the time. I am gonna look at those links too.

LBrecher said...

well written!