It’s a common situation.
You are out with your five best girlfriends having dinner and drinks. Three of the five are married with kids. One is single. The other is a newlywed. Everyone turns to the newlywed and says “So, when are you guys going to start trying for a baby.” The newlywed smiles and makes a comment that hints the possibility is in the works.
As. She. Dies. Inside.
You see, she already had her first miscarriage.
Her friends then turn to their other friend who only has one child. “So, when are you guys going to have another baby?” She too smiles and evades the answer.
As. Her. Heart. Breaks.
You see, it’s been over 14 months of trying for #2. She’s actually on #4.
I’m friend #2. The couple who has been trying for over a year and has lost two babies.
Infertility is a disease that affects one in eight couples.
Infertility. The other silent disease.
Most people feel ashamed about their loss. We feel like failures. Like we are broken. We don’t talk about it. We rarely make our losses public. We grieve alone. But most importantly we don’t want to be offered remedies.
Please don’t tell us to “just relax and it will happen. ”
Don’t tell us to take a vacation and just stop trying. Because of course that’s when it will happen.
Please don’t minimize my infertility because I already have a child. Secondary infertility is just as real and heartbreaking as someone who has not conceived their first child.
Please don’t tell us to adopt. Adoption may not be a financial possibility for a couple.
Please don’t ask why we won’t try IVF. Most insurance companies don’t cover IVF treatment posing another financial situation for a couple.
Please don’t complain about your pregnancy. Being around a pregnant woman is hard enough. Bitching about something we long to have just makes us angry.
Please don’t ask us to make lifestyle changes such as changing our diet, cutting out caffeine, and exercising. You have no idea what we have tried or what the cause of our infertility is.
What can you do?
Be supportive. Listen. Provide comfort. Stop judging. Stop whispering.
Just be a friend.
April 21-27 is National Infertility Awareness Week. National Infertility Awareness Week® (NIAW) is a movement that began in 1989. The goal of NIAW is to raise awareness about the disease of infertility and encourage the public to understand their reproductive health. In 2010 National Infertility Awareness Week became a federally recognized health observance by the Department of Health and Human Services. National Infertility Awareness Week will be held from April 20 to April 26.
RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, established in 1974, is a non-profit organization with the only established, nationwide network mandated to promote reproductive health and to ensure equal access to all family building options for men and women experiencing infertility or other reproductive disorders. RESOLVE founded the National Infertility Awareness Week in 1989.
RESOLVE improves the lives of women and men living with infertility.
One in eight U.S. couples of childbearing age is diagnosed with infertility. RESOLVE addresses this public health issue by providing community to these women and men, connecting them with others who can help, empowering them to find resolution and giving voice to their demands for access to all family building options.
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