Sunday, April 24, 2011

National Infertility Awareness Week Myth Busting Challenge - breaking the silence

My current facebook status:
Infertility is a heart-wrenching, faith-questioning, relationship-testing, life-altering experience. April 24th begins National Infertility Awareness Week. Whether you, a friend, a family member, or a colleague has fought this difficult disease MILLIONS men and women face, post this as your status if you or someone you know has walked to hell and back for the chance to be a MOM or DAD!
Today begins National Infertility Awareness Week. It was designed to draw attention to this issue that so many people are dealing with, unfortunately they are dealing in silence.
One thing that continues to astound me is the amount of silence that is involved with infertility. So many couples do not talk about it, it's often kept from friends and family, and many suffer in silence.
Here is my question - Why?
Why is it something people feel like they need to be ashamed of? People are born this way, the same as being born with green eyes instead of blue. It's not something that needs to be pushed aside, people need support and the more the support, the better as far as I am concerned. 
As I have worked through this process and dealt with the stages of it all, denial, etc - I feel as though I am drawn to being an advocate for people with infertility. 
Where are the support groups for this? I looked at different websites and found that most of the support is online only. How does this help when you have found out for what seems like the 900th time that what you are doing hasn't worked and your heart is broken again? Writing is therapy for me (hence the blog) but it does not take the place of human interaction for the people who are suffering. Sometimes, the best way for me to deal with how I am feeling is just to allow myself to have a break down and cry session - you know: sobbing, wailing, going through a box of tissues as you attempt to make sense of it all. People who are going through this know how it feels and can help by being supportive of each other. 
I wish sometimes that we were not one of the millions of couples who were going through all of this, that we were just those people who could be in the same room with each other and end up pregnant. 
Then, there are other times I am so grateful for the struggle as difficult as it could sound. This terrible situation has forced us to be connected and honest with each other to a level that many people never achieve, I am glad for that. It has helped our relationship to be even stronger than it was before. No, it's not always easy and often I hate it, but we are more in love than we were when we got married because of the struggles we have gone through in the past year and a half and because of infertility. 
All I can hope is that other people are going to find peace for themselves, I am still struggling from day to day with this part. 
I wish for all of us that we can get the dream that has eluded us.
EDIT: I want people to know that I am not telling anyone they need to be as open to the world as we have chosen to be. PLEASE do not think that...I just don't want people to be ashamed or embarrassed that they are struggling with infertility and allow or disallow whomever they want into their journey. Please do not misunderstand my intentions with this - it was only directed at the general silence and shame some people feel due to this and how I hope they find peace. 
I did this post as part of the RESOLVE National Infertility Awareness Week and please feel free to go here for more information on NIAW and it's background. 

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