Sunday, February 8, 2009

Encouraged

I have been feeling very encouraged this past week, and this weekend's women's retreat added to that encouragement. I have heard of this IF journey referred to as a roller coaster, and I feel like I'm currently coasting relatively comfortably. I thought I should acknowledge that, since it is much easier and more common for me to write about the drops and lows!

I did end up having a wonderful talk with my friend who has been struggling with infertility. I found out they have been trying for SIX YEARS! Yes, six! My heart broke for her to hear that. Amazingly, her DH also had a varicocele and their main issue is male factor. Her husband had the same surgery mine did but it did not help. Sadness! She is excited about their potential adoption, but that sounds like it has been a whole new waiting game. They have been waiting for their adopted baby for 10 months -- I pray they get matched soon!

One interesting part of my conversation with her was the realization that, in a way, I "knew" more about infertility than she did. If we were applying for some kind of infertility "job," I felt like she had more experience and I had more education. It reminded me how different people are and we each deal with struggles in our life differently. She is not a researcher (she said so), hasn't read a ton of articles, doesn't read infertility blogs...so she has some gaps in her infertility knowledge. Perhaps she did not need that, but part of me felt bad for her...she even said at one point in the conversation that she still wonders if they could have or should have done more infertility treatments. It made me wonder if she has been wading through a sea of unfamiliarity and uncertainty that made an already difficult experience even more difficult. But I don't know, maybe her husband is the researcher?

I also got an impression that she and her husband have been very alone in this struggle. I can't quite describe why, but during the conversation I had the sense that she was processing some of the pain of IF with me...someone who can relate...and that that is something she hasn't had much of. She mentioned a friend who lives far away that has also dealt with infertility that she spoke with, but even that sounded minimal. Her piece of advice to me: Be open about your infertility. Seek support. She said it wasn't until later in their journey that they opened up about it more, and she wonders how many times they missed opportunities for support.

It struck me yet again at what a wonderful thing we have here in the infertility blogsphere. I know I have said before how thankful I am for each of you and your support, but after talking to this friend I was amazed by it. She has had to go it somewhat alone for the past 6 years, and I have you. Not only have I gained support, but I have gained knowledge about the medical side of infertility. THANK YOU!

Through this blog, I feel like I have had the opportunity to process the sadness and pain that comes with infertility as I go along, and I feel like I am in a healthier place because of it. I am more empowered to be my own advocate in my treatment. I am not wading through this dark pit as scared, confused, and alone as one could easily be. What a BLESSING!!

5 comments:

Sarah said...

Glad you had a nice retreat! :-) And your friend is sooo right. Im so glad that I got into bloggin about If, because I thinks it really helped. I think Id be one big puddle of sadness, if I could talk and vent about things! :-)

Melissa said...

That's awesome that you're feeling encouraged and that you had a nice time at the retreat.

My ex-SIL just started trying again and now she texts me weekly with updates. Before that, nothing, no one to talk to, thus the blog. :) It's amazing how simple it is to type out questions or read about another person's story and find so much comfort in it. :)

Betty Rubble said...

I ponder this, and have to say that each journey is different.

To pursue every infertility treatment, or to draw the line in the sand...to each is their own way.

While IVF is the way for some, not having IVF is the way for others.

Being open is the way for some, while being closed up and alone is the way for others.

We each have a cross to bear, and there are some who carry it alone and others who accept help along the way.

I am glad that your friend opened up and shared her experience--gaps in the "resume" and all.

April said...

so glad that you had a good time and that you have people that you can connect with :)

Caroline said...

Hi Hillary,

I'm so glad that you had that great conversation you were hoping for on the retreat. IF can be such an isolating experience. The blogging world is an incredible community of caring people. I am thankful for your friendship and support too!