Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Many of my relationships have been on my mind lately...  I have mentioned before that I believe infertility has forever changed me.  Infertility has become a part of what defines me and it is something that I will (unfortunately) carry with me for the rest of my life... regardless of how it ends. 

Along with the pain, tears, hurt, anxiety, worry and many, many other emotions that infertility has bestowed upon me, it has also made its effects known by way of spoiling a lot of my relationships with others.  A little more than a year ago when I started to really worry about what might be going on with my body and as I started to ask myself why the heck I wasn't getting pregnant, I was very private with my struggles.  Other than my husband of course, a close friend and co-worker were the only two people that had any idea something was going on, and this was only because I somewhat sporadically shared some of my worries with them.  When my husband and I met with our RE for the first time last November, we decided to keep our infertility journey as close to our vests as possible.  We didn't want to announce our struggles with really anyone, as we had hoped they wouldn't matter... we truly believed our first IUI would work and at that point, why would we worry any of our family or friends about our bad luck with our encounter with infertility?  Right before our first IUI, I ended up coming clean to my parents and sister.  The frequent doctors' appointments and hormonal roller coaster that I was on from the Clomid cemented the fact that I needed some additional support, guidance and love from my family.

After our IUI's continued to fail, we decided to fill my husband's family as well as some additional very close family members in on our struggle.  I also started to slowly let some of my close friends and some co-workers, who I trusted, know what we were dealing with - and how it had, at this point, completely turned our lives upside down.  Initially (and sometimes I still feel this way), I really wanted to keep our infertility journey very private.  But as it progressed and we were on our way to our first IVF, we were filled with more hope than ever before, and we were convinced that IVF was just what we needed and that at the end of that cycle, we'd finally get to call ourselves parents to be!  Welp, here we are... seven months later... and I have no belly to boastfully rub and to talk ever so sweetly to...  All I have is a constantly bloated stomach full of bruised injection sites.

I digress... back to my relationships.  Yes, my relationships have suffered immensely, thanks to my infertility.  Part of me doesn't care and is totally fine with this.  Another part of me is terribly saddened.  You hear it all the time, that friendships come and go and that you're lucky to have at least one true friend in your life (I'm very thankful and beyond blessed for my one true friend - who I know is probably reading this!).  Truthfully though, I think perhaps I may have a couple of true friends... but that's about it.  And I think I'm the reason for all of my other friendships to have plummeted recently.  You see, once my husband and I decided we were ready for our family to expand, it was all I could think about.  As the months passed with no positive pregnancy test, my spirits were crushed.  During this time, as friends announced their pregnancies, it was difficult to be happy for them.  It was even more difficult to have to see them and to have to pretend to be happy for them.  I pulled away from oh so many social outings with my friends.  At first I did so beause what if I were pregnant?  If I wasn't drinking a glass of pinot noir, my friends would surely know something's up!  Then, as we became more entrenched in fertility treatments, my days became governed by doctors appointments, blood draws, ultrasounds, nightly pill-popping and giving myself shots in my thigh or belly (and sometimes right in my rear end!)... It became hard to go out for dinners after work or on the weekends - first, because of the crazy IVF-induced schedule that I was on and second, because I became (and am) so miserable, that sometimes putting a smile on my face and looking happy was such a feat that the thought of it alone exhausted me.  For weeks (and even still now), the only place I felt comfortable was at home, alone with my husband, where I felt safe - where I felt like I didn't have to think - about anything - where I wouldn't encounter another pregnant person or where I didn't have to worry about my eyes instantly welling up with tears should another friend announce that their family is growing (why them?  why not me?!). 

I pulled away from a lot of most of my friends.  But, don't get me wrong - I do have a handful of friends that know exactly what's going on in my extremely painful journey of infertility.  Some of these friends are ones who I'm grateful that I've told.  Sadly, others are people who I wish daily had not a clue about my husband's and my plans for expanding our family.  The reason for my regret is largely because of the way certain people have handled my confession.  I know that there are many bloggers out there who have written posts about what not to say to an infertile.  And I could actually create a post about this myself.  But the truth is, a lot of people don't know what to do and don't know what to say to someone who is in my situation.  And I get that.  I do.  But, sometimes I just wish that if you were a true friend, that this wouldn't be an issue.  And maybe I'm cold-hearted for even thinking about it this way - but my friends who have responded in just.the.right.way are people that I will be forever grateful for.  And I've started to realize that perhaps my friends who have responded in a way that has caused me a lot of hurt, well, are they really a friend?  Maybe it's OK that I've pulled away from these people.  It's a hard realization to come to.  Relationships... all relationships... change.  They grow, and sometimes they fail to grow, as a result of life experiences and situations that people encounter and face. 

All that being said, I'm most thankful for my family and for my husband's family who have embraced us, prayed for us and prayed with us, who have been beyond understanding and who have lent us some great shoulders to lean on (and to cry on) during this very difficult time in our lives.  Family members are your true friends.  And I'm lucky enough to have a few really good friends who have become family to me.

No comments:

Site Design By Designer Blogs