Monday, May 23, 2011

An Open Letter To Anyone Who Thinks I'm Obsessing About This Whole Baby Thing

(which I do not expect to be any of the regular readers of this blog!  However, this blog is the place where I feel safe posting this)

Yes, you're right.  I do think about pregnancy a LOT of the time.  I do think about the fact that I may never be a mother a LOT of the time.  And it does seem like anything can remind me of this and upset me.  I do cry a lot.  I do get upset often.  And I do these things despite being in therapy and on meds to help me deal with it.  Yes, I am well aware that having a lower stress level would be good for me, DH, and my family and friends.  However, I have some questions for you in return.

Would you tell someone waiting to hear whether they have cancer that they should stop thinking about their possible diagnosis and courses of treatment?  Would you tell someone who is HIV+ that they are obsessing about their T-cells?  Would you tell someone with fibromyalgia that they can't go through life noticing most of the people around them being able to function without pain?

I would not dare to make these comparisons on my own.  After all, my tendency is to believe that I'm the only one who is too weak to handle what normal people handle every day.  Research has shown, however, that the stress levels experienced by women facing infertility are consistent with those experienced by people with cancer, HIV, and chronic pain.  Heck, of the two commenters on this blog post  who have experienced both cancer and infertility, one found the infertility to cause feelings very similar to when she had cancer, and the other found the infertility to cause WORSE stress than the cancer!  I know that is hardly a representative sample, but the anecdotal evidence here does support the research that has already been done.

I'm not trying to say that I (or any other infertile) has it worse than someone dealing with a life-threatening disease.  What I am saying is that infertility causes a significant level of physical and emotional trauma and that this deserves to be recognized.


  1. I have a chronic illness (Type 1 Diabetes, 23yrs), and I have fractured my back. Twice in the same place. Infertility is worse. :(

  2. Well said! Infertility is incredibly depressing to say the least. Take care :)

  3. Oh girl, my post (that I wrote last night) is VERY similar to yours today! I have had a few comments (mainly from the ICLW people) who feel they have to give their input on my situation. I don't mind comments, but don't be ignorant of my feelings either. I'm totally with you on this post! You're allowed to cry, to think, to react to the emotions you feel!

  4. Infertility is so hard and you are allowed to have these feelings!

  5. I'm a prime example of what happens when you don't allow your feelings to surface. Then you cuss out the washing machine, throw it around... THEN figure out what you're actually feeling. Or you bury your feelings so far down that they control you & your actions & reactions & you take it out on those you love the most, as I once did.

    So I'm proud of you for being in touch with your feelings, for expressing them & sharing them. You DO manage them daily. The meds & therapy help you stay sane but YOU'RE the one who does the daily work of managing your feelings, all on your own. And you do it very well.

    I know it hurts & it's such a strong hurt. It took 9 months to get pregnant with you & we wanted you so much, were so disappointed when my period came month after month. My hurt on this was short-lived but I've endured other, traumatic hurts over the years & I know how terrible it is. It is so to your credit, the way you handle this, & the way you mother others. I'm so very proud of you!