... or trying to. It is hard. It is so, so hard. Coping with infertility doesn't get easier with time, it gets harder. On any given day, I go through a host of feelings. Loss, grief, anger, heartache, anguish, acceptance, hope, fear. The "two week wait" as it is referred to, is the time between ovulation and waiting to take a pregnancy test. This time is probably the most conflicting for me personally. During this time I analyze each cramp, ache, twinge, headache, and on and on. I compare each feeling to months past. How do these feelings compare to the months when I was pregnant? How do they compare to how I felt when I was pregnant with Logan? With my baby in August? It is enough to drive a person crazy, and yet, I work extremely hard each day to not go crazy. Part of keeping my sanity, is being able to say these feelings and thoughts out loud. Or type them. This is a double-edged sword, however, because voicing these thoughts, worries, feelings, and frustrations elicit responses from the people I tell them to. It is human nature to try to help. To advise. To try to relate. But sometimes, just saying "This really sucks", "I am here for you", or "Thanks for updating me, I am thinking positive thoughts for you" is ALL. I. NEED. Period.
Recently I have been researching ways to cope with infertility and I came across this article. I found it interesting, because frankly, it made me realize that when I often feel frustrated by the things that people say to me regarding my infertility issues, this confirmed that I am not a bitch. I have found myself frustrated by things people say to me to try to make me feel better, and this makes me feel even worse because I then feel guilty for feeling that way towards those who I know are just trying to help. While I know that everything said to me has come from love, good intentions, and warm hearts, some things are just not the right thing to say. Just as there isn't a handbook on how to deal with infertility and loss, there isn't a handbook on how to deal with a friend dealing with infertility and loss, because every person is different, and every situation is different. Unless you are in those shoes, there is no way to know exactly what the person feels, thinks, or what it is that you can say to them to make it better. Sometimes, the person dealing with the issue just wants to vent, or pass along new information about where they are at in the process, without advice. I would say, for me, that telling me that the loss of my baby is "God's will", or that "something was wrong", is like salt in the wound. To me it is saying that something is wrong with ME, or that God is telling me that I am not capable of being a good enough mother for that baby that I lost. Some people say "Just look at how lucky you are to have ONE baby". Yes. I am undoubtedly lucky to be a mother to a beautiful son, but I also wanted that baby that I lost. Telling me not to worry, or not to stress about it is frustrating to me because it makes me feel like what I am saying and feeling and doing is wrong or bad; that I am causing our infertility by thinking about it too much. Unless you are in my shoes, you just can't know what it is like.
The author of the above linked article, Dayna Noffke says it best when she wrote:
"The best thing that you can say when I am having a hard time is simply, "I'm sorry you're having a hard time. Do you want to talk about it? Can I help you somehow?" More often than not, I can talk about it for a few minutes, feel better and get on with my day. And I will always do the same for you when you need it."
I hope that by writing this others can be helped in similar situations. I hope that another mother dealing with loss or infertility can read this and know that she is not alone in those feelings of frustration and solitude. I also hope that writing this can help friends of those dealing with grief know the right things to say. The support of my friends and family has been unending, and a million times appreciated.