There’s an elephant in the room that I had no idea existed until recently. I thought I would address it so that people can stop feeling uncomfortable around me and my husband. I can only speak for the two of us though. Other couples struggling with infertility may be different.
We are perfectly capable of being happy for people who are pregnant. If you want to post a cute picture on social media of some baby shoes or a picture of your dog with a sign saying they’re going to be a big brother/sister, I’m going to like it. You deserve to have the love and support of all of your friends and family when you announce something so exciting. You might want to refrain from posting ultrasound pictures, however. Not because you’ll offend me, but because you’ll offend another friend of mine who firmly believes that uterus photos belong on your fridge and not on your Facebook timeline.
Our fertility struggles are no one’s problem but our own. We’ve chosen to share them with you to raise awareness for something that affects at least 10% of all couples. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again: I guarantee that Lee and I are not the only couple you know that are struggling to start a family. We’re not trying to make people feel uncomfortable or as though they have to walk on eggshells around us. We’re trying to start the dialogue so that other couples feel comfortable discussing their concerns as well. Infertility has been such a hush-hush topic for years now. Many men and women had to suffer silently through their pain because it was not publicly discussed. I’m trying to do my part, however small it may be, to change that. But let me make one thing abundantly clear: Our issues don’t stop us from being over the moon for any of our friends and family members that happen to be successful starting a family. Please give us a little more credit than that.
I’ve been through far worse shit than infertility and I’ve survived. No, you know what? I haven’t survived. I’ve thrived. I will not let my fertility struggles define me. I won’t let it define the relationship I have with my husband. And I would prefer if you didn’t define me in this way either. I have a lot of things to be thankful for, the most important of which is the love of my husband. If there’s an upside to all we’ve been through, it’s that we’ve developed a deeper love and appreciation for each other than we even knew was possible. This latest setback may have bruised us a little bit, but we are far from broken.
Lee and I are going to keep living our lives, loving each fiercely, and hoping that our dream of starting a family eventually becomes a reality. If it doesn’t, then it doesn’t. It won’t change the love we have for one another, or the excitement we feel for our loved ones as they start their families.
If you’re struggling with some form of infertility, do not be ashamed. Know that there are plenty of people in this world who understand what you’re going through, and when you’re ready, share your story with the world.