I apologize in advance for any feelings this post might hurt. Please know that it is not my intention to upset or make anyone feel bad, but I need to vent. This isn't about any one person and mostly it's directed to random strangers and acquaintances who feel the need to tell me I'm doing it all wrong. End of apology. Begin rant.
Day one of marriage: "So when are you going to have a baby?" Uh, hi and you are? Certainly not anybody who needs to be concerned about when my body balloons. It seems like as soon as Gary and I got married, no wait, even before we tied the knot people were asking us about our baby-making plans. That part wasn't too bad, but all I knew at the time is that I wasn't ready and when I told them as much that's when I got the "Oh, well we want to see some babies. Have a baby. You don't want to wait too long. The Lord put you on the earth to make babies, He'll take care of everything." Blah, blah, blah. You know, I do believe that women have a divine calling to be mothers and that if you put your trust in the Lord, all aspects of you life will be made easier, but I also believe that we were blessed with the ability to choose. I do not feel that when Heavenly Father commanded Adam and Eve to multiply and replenish the earth that it meant all of us girls should get married when we're 18 and then pop out 6 children by the age of 25. Congratulations to any woman who did that and kept her sanity. I wasn't anywhere near being ready for children when I got hitched.
Fast forward to now. Hey guess what? I'm ready. Actually I've been ready for some time now, but my body hasn't been cooperating, for like two years. Enter a bunch of people who don't think before they talk. "So when are you finally going to have a baby?" Um, dude, made that decision years ago. Hasn't worked out yet, but you didn't pause long enough to think about that possibility before you decided to razz us. "Oh you know what I did? I started this special diet to remove all the toxins from my body and got pregnant 2 months later. You should do that." Hmm, pretty sure it's not because I have an army of "toxins" laying siege on my body. "Just relax, you're stressing about it too much." I haven't seen or talked to you in months! How would you know what I have and haven't been stressing about?! Yeah so basically through various chats, advice given and jokes made I have adopted a new rule, one that would serve many people well.
Note to self: Never jest with anyone about having a baby. Wait, scratch that, never say anything baby related. Chances are pretty high that you really don't have a clue what that couple might be going through no matter how good of friends you are, if you're even really friends. Maybe she desperately wants a baby, but her hubby is totally freaked out by the idea. They argue enough about it already without you adding a log to the fire. Or perhaps he's misfiring and they're having to deal with the thought of a sperm donor. The poor girl could have already had three miscarriages and you're there to pour salt in her wound. A professional may have declared the couple infertile with no chance of children. What if *gasp* both of their bodies function normally and they're just not ready for that huge, monumental step in their lives? Is it really any of your business? I know you all have your personal opinions about when the best time to have children is or the sure-fire way to become pregnant, but that's what they are, opinions, and unless otherwise asked, you should keep them to yourself. Is it really worth causing another person possible pain simply to satisfy your curiosity or ego? To give your two cents?
I debated whether or not I would share the details of my situation here and thought about a particular lady who has bombarded me with guidance since she discovered my non-prego problem. Being a bit of an health nut, she always tells me I need to simply exercise and drink water to get pregnant. Don't misunderstand, exercise and proper hydration does play a part and should be present in our lives anyway, but come on, it's not that cut n' dry and I've told her as much. The last time I spoke with the health nut, counsel came spilling out again, but this time I came back with what my doctor had told me and guess what? She didn't have so much to say anymore. If sharing means I can avoid more uninformed advice, then it's worth it for me. If sharing means you'll think more about the possibilities next time rather than drawing your own conclusions, then I'm game. I decided to dive in head first, but then I spoke with my husband.
GARY: That kind of stuff is private, reserved for family and close friends. The whole world doesn't need to know.
ME: I'm tired of all the comments and questions though, maybe this will alleviate some of it.
GARY: Maybe, and I can understand that, but why does the world deserve to know? Why do they need to be filled in on something so personal that we are strong enough to handle?
ME: When people ask, I don't know what to say and I feel compelled to tell the truth, otherwise they keep saying things that hurt without even knowing.
GARY: Well you can do what you want, but if they don't back off, I give you permission to tell them that it's none of their business, because it truly isn't.
So I thought about what my husband said and realized that he was right. He and I are strong enough to deal with the trials that come our way without sharing the specifics, but it doesn't mean that it's not hard. It doesn't mean that I don't get tired, that I don't hurt. So while I choose not to share the details at this time, I do want you to know this: I HAVE A DIAGNOSED MEDICAL CONDITION THAT IS WREAKING HAVOC ON MY REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS. Gary and I are pursuing our options to fix the problem, but realize that there is the possibility that I may never carry a child of my own. On that note, we are very optimistic that the treatments will work, it's just going to require more patience on our part (and our parents') as we travel this road.
It's tough dealing with the fact that I can't have children at this time, but the thoughtless comments definitely make it harder. Talking to a couple of other friends who have infertility issues, we agreed that we don't want people to necessarily ignore our conditions, all we really want is somebody to say, "Wow, that really SUCKS. I can't say that I understand how you're feeling, but I am so sorry." Don't talk about your cousin who had a hard time getting pregnant, or tell me to adopt, or "comfort" me by saying Heavenly Father has a plan for me. When people do that it's because they feel uncomfortable with the situation and instead of dealing with it, they paint this pretty picture where everybody eventually ends up happy to make themselves feel better. There is a lot of happiness in my life, but there's also a big hole where I desperately want a child to be. When you tack on all the other stories and suggestions and fluff, even though you mean well, all it really says to me is that I'm not allowed to hurt, I'm not allowed to feel bad, I shouldn't hug my knees and cry when I'm alone because hey, so and so "got pregnant after years of trying and so could you." That's great for so and so, it really is, but the fact remains that I'm not so and so and it's naive to think that just because it happened to her, it's gonna happen to me. Sure, I hope and pray that I do get pregnant, but if it happens it's not going to be because of your friend or co-worker. I'm an individual with specific details that make up my life and who I am, don't lump me together with somebody I don't even know and tell me we're the same. Don't feed me empty words and advice because, unless I ask, that's not what I'm looking for. When you say "I'm sorry, that sucks" that's what validates me, it validates my feelings, it lets me know that you're willing to acknowledge and accept my problem rather than ignore it. All I need is a sincere "I'm so sorry. If you need me, I'm here" to let me know you care and I believe that's what most suffering people need.