The title of our blog ‘Sawdust and Embryos’ is a reflection of two things that define our lives. Sawdust represents our creativity, carpentry, design, craftiness, etc. And the Embryos? Embryos represent an affliction that doesn’t define us, but absolutely has played a pivotal roll in our marriage, our family… our life. While trying to remain sensitive to our infertile readers, our little miracle baby girls are our world. And we want to shout it from the rooftops! But at the same time, infertility still lurks in the crevices of my heart. I hurt for my friends and family members that have unfairly been stricken with this affliction. Research shows that someone suffering from infertility has similar psychological effects as someone diagnosed with a terminal illness.
I was wasting time on Pinterest last night while Nick watched something uninteresting on TV, and I noticed that someone had pinned our Pregnancy Announcement Video. At first I was flattered that someone enjoyed it enough, or possibly was even inspired enough by our story that they felt compelled to pin it. Then I noticed that LOTS of people had REpinned it. And then I noticed a comment someone left on the pin. This is what it said:
‘whatever… it doesn’t happen for everyone’.
My first reaction was to feel defensive. How dare this person assume that it was so easy for me? She didn’t have a window into my immeasurable devastation and anguish. She didn’t see me working 90 hours a week, shoveling horse manure in subzero temperatures, crying and whispering under my breath ‘it’s for the baby’ while we saved for InVitro.
And then I felt really sad. Her comment is exactly what I would have said two years ago. I’ll be the first to admit that, although we always hear the wonderful success stories, for some people, it truly never happens for them. They struggle in silent unspeakable pain. Years go by. Tens of thousands of dollars are wasted. And those poor women grow old with an empty womb, empty arms… a permanent ache in their heart. This is an unspeakable tragedy. Every woman should be able to feel little fingers wrapping around her own, little footsteps in the kitchen, fingerpaint all over the walls.
I like to think that our story encourages and inspires others to FIGHT! But I know for some, our story is ‘just another success story that happens to someone else’. And those are understandable feelings. I’m not really sure where I’m going with this… but I wanted to make it known that this issue still weighs heavily on my heart. Please be compassionate and understanding when encountering a struggling friend. Their pain is raw and real.
|Image found here|
I know I’ve talked about this before on the blog, but I wanted to share some important etiquette for those that have a friend struggling with infertility. You may think you’re being encouraging, when in fact you’re causing more pain. The following article was found here.
Don’t Tell Them to Relax
I have lived this pain. I have taken so many pregnancy tests that I should own stock. This was me for 6 years. I started to resent hope. We never gave up, never stopped trying, never relaxed. After seeking fertility help and all other options failed, we turned to IVF. And yet also found salvation in Ukraine. I was very impressed by medicine in this poor country. Our medicine center was also in Kiev city. Our clinic even provides us with transfer any time we wanted. Now I look back and remember how much it hurt – emotionally to not understand why it failed. I also now look at the three children that followed those years of pain and just rejoice with joy. I will NEVER take for granted this life. Infertility made us so much stronger.
I ran accross this blog by complete accident. And I’ve never seen or read anything like this. It was so nice to hear that I wasn’t the crazy one who secretly cried at all the baby showers and at my siblings pregnancy announcements. I know family means well and all but, at least mine, would go out of their way not to tell me things about their pregnancies or babies. That’s hard. Reading the statistic you posted about the psycological feelings accociated with infertility are proccessed like being diagnosed with a terminal illness really struck me. Finally, I feel some justification for what I always felt were crazy or irrational feelings.
I was destined not to ever carry a child. I knew it at age 19. But that didn’t make it any easier….it just drew out the pain and longing that much longer. I think if I wouldn’t have found out until later in life it could have saved me some years of not thinking about it all the time.
Our only option besides adoption for having children was to seek the help of a gestational surrogate. And that’s just what I did. We had our first son, followed by a set of twin girls. 6 years later we had twin boys, only to have one of them pass a way after almost 2 months. It has been a long hard journey starting from the day I was told I would never carry children of my own. We have been blessed and lucky for the success we have had. KUDOS to all you women who FIGHT for what you truely desire and lucky are thoes who succeed. I envy all you who were able to carry your own babies and grieve every day with thoes of you who never will. As was said earlier, infertility is some thing we do think about and have to find a way to live with every day.
Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos says
Thank you for sharing your story. You’ve walked such a hard road, and my heart goes out to you! I’m so glad that you’ve gotten some miracles along the way. 🙂
While I loved the advice in this article, I would have to disagree with the last tip about Mother’s day. My husband and I have been trying for 4+ years to get pregnant. We both come from large families with many babies. So every year on Mother’s and Father’s day family members buy us gifts and cards. They seem to break my heart more than if they didn’t get us anything at all. I feel like do it out of pity. I know they just want to show that they care, but it still hurts. And a house plant as a gift was a constant reminder that I am not a mother.
I found this via Pinterest and just wanted to say thank you. I’m crying in my cubicle because of these true words. Reading them was like getting a hug right when I needed it. Thank you.
This is so true; I thought it took a lot of courage to go through this infertility journey (my boss was on the same journey as me), but as I told a classmate who travelled the same road, it takes a lot more strength to say “no more.”
Mrs. Lloyd says
This is so true for those of us who have suffered through infertility. Thanks for sharing.
I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now but I don’t believe I’ve ever commented. However, I wanted to on this post because my husband and I struggle with infertility. We’re waiting and saving money to do IVF, which looks like our last option since we’ve done several IUIs and I have a low egg reserve. I wanted to tell you that your story does encourage me. And I wanted to share with you the series I write about on my blog chronicling our infertility struggle. It’s called “Waiting for Grace.” (http://hannahbunker.com/waiting-for-grace/). Writing about our struggle and seeing how it has helped so many people, helps to make the pain a little bit easier.
And if anyone is reading through these comments a very dear friend of mine runs an online infertility support website called Dancing Upon Barren Land (http://dancinguponbarrenland.com/). It’s such a great resource and a beautiful encouragement for those who have and are going through an infertility battle.
Thank you for sharing your story. For me it does help to see that it can happen. 🙂
I, myself, didn’t have any trouble conceiving the old fashioned way, but now I understand I bit better what other couples go through. Thanks, Beth.
Nice Post, good advise. thanks, Mary in NY
This post takes me back to the not so distant past when I was one of these women, sitting at a coworker’s baby shower trying to hold back tears, crying while telling my brother and sister in law that I was happy for them when they announced their pregnancy….all the while I was trying to get pregnant to no avail. I have been fortunate, with IVF and a number of attempts I have been blessed with a daughter and twin boys, but I will never ever forget what it was like to deal with the pain of infertility. I still have irrational reactions to pregnancy announcements and baby showers.
Thank you for this post! My husband and I have been trying for about 2 1/2 yrs and its been a very painful journey. We’ve kept it very private and so without knowing it, people have made some very hurtful remarks that I will remember for a long time. I’ve read your blog for awhile and love the fact that I can relate to what you went through and also because we live in Iowa too! (the good ole midwest!) We are trying iui soon so hopefully I’ll be able to relate in more than one way! I wish everyone could read this article, it would save so much heartache, for so many couples. Also to Nicole, thank you for your comment, it brought tears to my eyes, I think it was what I needed to hear!
Elizabeth Whitver says
I never thought I had fertility issues. I could get pregnant, I just couldn’t sustain a pregnancy. But then I was told infertility encompassed so much more than just having problems conceiving. The blog you shared was so correct. Hearing pregnant friends complain about being pregnant, new parents complain about being a parent, or even friends saying they didn’t want to talk about my pain because it was too depressing was just heart breaking. I lived in constant anxiety that I would loose the baby in my last pregnancy. When I told friends and work at 31 weeks that I was pregnancy the fact that they were put out was frustrating, but I just had to remember they didn’t have personal connections to infertility. My husband and I were blessed March 9th with Samuel. 1 Samuel 1:20 “…and she called his name Samuel, for she said, ‘I have asked for him from the Lord.” I will continue to pray for those who are pregnant and those whose dream has yet to become a reality.
VERY WELL SAID!
Carla's Inspirations says
I started reading your blog for your cool creations. My husband and I are struggling with fertility for a year. I wish more people read articles like this so they don’t cause the tears and pain that they do.
THANK YOU!!!! THANK YOU!!! You have said what I can NOT say yet to people. This has helped.
When we were going through painful fertility treatments, a wonderful friend told me these words that kept me going, “God put the desire on your heart to be a mother for a reason. HE will somehow fulfill that desire. It might be through getting pregnant, adopting or caring for others children but HE is using this time to make you into the mother HE wants you to be.”
Same goes for people who have gone through miscarriage(s)
Also, I have learned never to ask a woman when they are having #2/3 etc
you dont know what struggles they have been through or are going through
This is a good post. I have one more to add: don’t constantly ask if they have had any luck yet. If they were pregnant and wanted to tell you, they would tell you!!
I am 5 months pregnant now, and we had no trouble conceiving, but kept it a secret for the first 12 weeks until our first ultrasound. I also have a friend who is really struggling (2+ years now) and I know from my experience and hers that if someone WANTS TO TELL YOU they will, and if not, keep it quiet. For us, it was annoying to have to field questions from every relative and friend out there (even though I was pregnant, it was my business to keep) and for my friend, I know since she’s not pregnant, she certainly doesn’t need the constant reminder asking her what the deal is. So stressful.
Very well said! That is one of my favorite articles and I read it often. After dealing with infertility myself and now having close friends unfortunately going through the same thing, I try to be extra sensitive to her needs.
Melissa K says
Wow….this totally took me back to when we were going through infertility. Everything is SO true. And I’m quick to forget it because as soon as I FINALLY became pregnant, I found myself doing the same things. What a great reminder, as I know have a lot of friends going through what we did. Also, what a great reminder that we are SO blessed to have our 2 little bundles!