Have you ever been asked that awkward question “Do you have any kids?” or “So when are you going to get pregnant?” And when you do, it cuts through you like a knife? But you gulp and smile and say “No, not yet”. It’s just another reminder that you are facing the challenge of infertility.
But what do you say to someone who is actually going through that challenge? I have asked myself that question so many times, what would I actually like to hear when my cycle has been cancelled, the eggs failed to fertilise or I get another negative pregnancy test? I have heard so many times people say “I know my friend’s, dog’s, cousin’s cat who eventually got pregnant. You will get there!”or “There is always next time!”. Whilst it’s a nice gesture and I know they mean well, for me its was just another reminder that it happened to someone else and not me.
What I really want to know is that I am loved and everything is going to be OK! By OK I don’t mean I get pregnant, I mean that my life will be happy regardless of the outcome. The most amazing gift anyone gave me when I was in the grief of a failed cycle, was the largest hug possible and a reminder of the amazing things I have in my life already. I have so many blessings that I ignore, or take for granted when I am blinded by my craving for a child. I have a husband who attends every session with me, holds my hand through injections, drives miles to the shop to get me chocolate when all my hormones are over the place and I live another day to try and try again.
I realised that I find it really difficult to know the right words to say to someone who is experiencing a tough time. I find it particularly difficult to make it sound sincere and like I genuinely care, rather than just a halfhearted sympathetic “there, there”. Because truth be told, I am so usually wrapped up in my own emotions and just putting one step in front of the other, I can’t actually begin to appreciate someone else’s pain or problems. I suppose, selfishly, I don’t want to take on that burden either. It’s because of this, I realised when I am looking to others to help me through my pain, most people are in the same boat, just with a different pain or trial to mine. So I’m going to be sympathetic to those who don’t understand, but are genuinely trying their best. I’m going to aspire to be a rock to someone and remind them of the beauty that is all around them, even in that deep dark cave and in turn, I know it will lighten my own cave.
Just remember whatever trial, whether it be infertility or something else, you are deeply loved and although today may look bleak, take a look around and see what beauty you can find, as it is always there – we have just closed our eyes.