April 24, 2012
Don't ignore your body. I feel so badly for women who wait (or have to wait) until they are 35+ to try to build their family. At that point, they already have age working against them, to say nothing of any underlying problems that impact fertility. I know its very feminist to take charge of your life and do things in the order *you* want to and not let that pesky biological clock influence you, but...well come on! You've got to at least be informed of what's at risk *before* you decide to put off TTC. Advocate for yourself. Question your doctors. If you don't have regular cycles, don't just pop birth control and forget it - find out WHY. Because the WHY might cause problems down the line and you want to know about that *now*.
Don't ignore the pain. You might be "out" as an infertile to everyone you know, or you might be in the closet from everyone but your spouse and doctor. Either way, don't ignore how you are feeling. Infertility sucks every damn day. Some days we put on a brave face and can laugh and smile about our trials. Other days a diaper commercial brings us to tears. Own your emotions, acknowledge them, they are *valid*. Thinking terrible thoughts about your uber-fertile friend? Feeling *really* guilty about that? Hey, me too. If we own up to these things and talk about them, whether IRL or in blog-land, then those thoughts can't control us, those emotions can't dictate our day. And don't allow anyone else to diminish your experiences or feelings! We should all take a stand against playing the Pain Olympics.
Don't ignore the impact of infertility on your life. It affects way more than just our ability to have children. It affects our relationships with, basically, *everyone*, especially our partners. It can draw people closer together, or tear them apart. It affects our family finances and financial decisions. New car or second IVF? It affects our physical and mental health, sometimes for the rest our lives. Those with diagnoses such as PCOS and endometriosis will almost definitely have other health problems throughout life.
These are our lives. This shit is for real! Being infertile doesn't have to define who you are, but only through education and understanding can we take control of our lives again. Ignoring the issue doesn't make it go away anymore than "just relax" will get us pregnant. If we don't advocate for ourselves, who will?
We have to make the world aware of our struggle because unlike them, we don't have the luxury of ignoring infertility, the sorority no one wants to belong to. Solidarity, sisters.
What is Infertility?