Monday, July 3, 2006

for anyone who has dealt with infertility

This includes me, and it includes many women I know, thanks to the strong communities that build up when you share that common bond. If you're reading, I want to tell you about this new blog by a couple who went through it, too. Now they have kids, and they're writing a book about infertility — for friends and family of those who go through it. They're pretty much using the blog as a way to gather material. As they explain it:
We are parents who have made it to the other side of the infertility chasm and we are currently writing a book to help friends and family who have not gone through infertility to understand the emotions and needs of those within the [infertility] community.
The blog is geared toward people who have struggled with infertility — in any way, shape or form. It's an invitation for them to tell their stories. And if you're lucky enough to have no problems in the fertility department, it's also a great place for anyone who ever wanted to walk a mile in those shoes.

Want to know how to tell your infertile friends your happy pregnancy news? ("The best way for me to receive this kind of news is over email and/or the phone, so I can hide my reaction just a little bit. That way I can make it sound happy and enthusiastic while I'm crying.") Want to know why sometimes they decline to attend your baby showers? ("It would just be too embarassing to breakdown crying in the middle of a huge crowd. People don't realize that the crying is not a sign of self pity, but of pain.")

The stories people are telling, in both the posts and the comments, are incredibly moving and real. Every time I visit this site, I find 10 different paragraphs I want to send to 10 different friends. At this rate, I think the book is going to be amazing.

I've listed it on my blog list on the left side of this page. It's called Stirrup Queens and Sperm Palace Jesters. Don't miss it!


Ellen said...

I love this quote:
"People don't realize that the crying is not a sign of self pity, but of pain."
I relate to the frustration with being accused of selfishness. And the discrimination from friends, all for the benefit of my feelings. And shrugging off my honest expressions of pain by being told I'm not the only one with problems.
In college, no one could understand why I cried when my good friends found a partner. They thought I was jealous and full of self-pity. It was more than just wanting a boyfriend. Inside I was screaming, "hello, how would you feel if you still couldn't look at pictures of the man who committed statutory rape against you as a teen, which sparked a slew of promiscuity disguised as a search for something meaningful that only ended in more heartbreak and fear of abandonment?"
While my pain is a far cry than the pain of IF (which I could face because of my PCOS), the treatment from others sounds identical to what I have gone through when I'm invited to wedding showers, weddings, couple-dominated parties and events and family gatherings. Or friends who no longer seek my once well-loved advice because they would rather relate to other people in a relationship. Or telling me "I'm next."

The Town Criers said...

Thank you! I found your blog tonight and then saw that the last entry was about my blog :-)

Please contribute everyone! The book is trucking along and it's been an incredibly cathartic experience to know that there may be one person out there who won't have to hear the stupid things that we hear about IF...

I can hope, can't I?

Carrie said...

I love this post, in fact, I was just exploring this blog the other night and was going to comment myself in my own blog (so you don't think that I sit and copy EVERYTHING you write LOL)
I am also thinking of many people I'd like to email much of the wisdom on is hard to understand, though, I think, unless one HAS gone thru what we have endured.
Hugs to you. Happy 4th.

Cynthia said...

You know I've never gone through this, Emilie, and I feel for those who have.
But as an adoptive parent, I heard and still do hear some stupid and hurtful things.
I had two failed adoptions and I used to go to a loss section on and post with women who had experienced loss.
Although I was not pregnant and I'm not trying to compare a failed adoption to infertility, but I deal with real lost and longing.
After my two failed adoptions, here are some of the stupid things that I heard.
* "Oh, they will just find you another one."
* "Well, you always knew there was a chance that he could have grown up and went with his REAL mama.It's better that it happened now before you got too attached."
* "Why do you want to adopt anyway? Don't you want a real child of your own."
* From a man... a stupid man... "If you really want a baby, I'll give you one."
* From another stupid man.. a friend's husband... "You know you don't have to adopt. I know a couple of brothas who would be glad to give you a baby anytime you want."

Emilie, I also think I owe you an apology. After my adoption was finalized and you sent me an e-mail congratuling me, I think I insulted you in talking about adoption. I remember how painful it was to be at my church, around other mothers and how I had to fake happiness.
If I insulted you, I'm sorry.
I often open my mouth before my brain has had time to warm up.

Emilie said...

Not at all, Cynthia! I never felt insulted ... I really respect anyone's choice to adopt children, and Steve and I may do it yet.