I am not loving the advice coming in my mail box these days from one of the fertility websites that I actually like very much. So I am not going to name names here. But for me these little off hand – meant to be funny, supportive and daily hits to the struggling to conceive leave me flat if not a bit annoyed me. I don’t advice people who are struggling to conceive to clean out their computer cache in case (God Forbid) some one found out that there is a “trying to conceive in the house”. To me the advice about hiding all of the “trying to conceive” supplies reinforces shame and embarrassment.
Why give tips on how to hide our “Trying To Conceive” state of being? Why reinforce shame? Why not instead give tips about talking about what we are dealing with -not hiding it! We need to move past this as a community. This is so last decade!
Today’s advice was once again around separating our infertile selves from our families because you know – we infertile types are “sensitive” and don’t like to be around noisy kids. We can only enjoy kids if they are ours! Everyone knows that!
I hate that kind of advice – and I always have. Hasn’t infertility robbed the struggling to conceive of enough? Why can’t we imagine not only being with the off spring of our families and friends but enjoying them?
There is joy and pleasure in family. Why not encourage our community to enjoy the pleasures of connection. Does anyone really feel better isolating from it all? For many of us – that advice would only end up making us more depressed in the long run.
Does it change the pain of wanting a child by hiding in a closet? I don’t think so. You still know what is going on outside of the closet, right? Now instead of joining in the laughter of children and the pleasure of your extended family – you are sitting on the back porch reading a book safely away from all of the chaos? Really? Won’t there be time for a quiet book later? Even if you are not pregnant or have a load of kids – you are an important part of a community. You are loved – and your family wants to share life with you!
Life is full of choices. We can wrap ourselves in gauze because we are frightened of moments the moments that might come up where we could possibly feel uncomfortable or sadness. We could avoid our sister in laws baby that is smiling, and not ours – or we can smile back at the baby. What might if feel like if you feeling allowed yourself to enjoy that babies smile? What if you made it a conscious choice to try one allowing?
You know – its fine to feel feel the pleasure of a babies smile and the yearning too for your own desire all at once.
Bittersweet is a flavor too. It’s good to put it in your mouth and taste it. Bittersweet is one of the flavors that are meant for all of – and there can be a deliciousness to it – it you allow it.
The sadness may be there whether we are sitting alone and wrapped in gauze in an attempt to protect our emotional wounds, or whether we embrace living and allow ourselves the pleasures of breathing in life and participating in the human family.
Infertility is a robber of so many things. Don’t let infertility rob you of your family and friends.
My advice? Pull up your big white panties and see what you can see, taste, and embrace. Feel it all. Don’t isolate and hide. You might have the best time of your life – even if you have moments of feeling uncomfortable. It’s okay to feel a little uncomfortable and to touch our feelings of longing. It is a part of being human. Everyone feels these things around something!
So gather with your family this holiday weekend. It’s where you belong – not up the street at the “adults only” bed and breakfast.