Room For A Child

By: Kayla Zuidersma

 

“It’s like the worst roller coaster ride that you can’t get off of or maybe it’s more like a Ferris Wheel too because it all just keeps coming back around over and over again, time after time. It’s every emotion that resurfaces one after the other…it’s a journey nobody wants to be on…infertility…

 

I feel HOPE after I've ovulated and we've done what we could and even start to feel those signs of early pregnancy

I feel JOY at the thought of what life would look like as a family. 
I feel FEAR as time comes closer to when I should get my period, dreading another negative test.
I feel FAITH at the thought that maybe this time it will be different
I feel BROKEN when I see yet another negative 
I feel SHAME having to tell Jamie we've failed again
I feel HELPLESS because I don't understand what went wrong
I feel ANGER at others who had it so easy (ie. "we weren't even trying")

I feel HATE at the thought of having to try again
I feel FRUSTRATION that everything we've tried doesn't make a difference
I feel TIRED at the thought of trying again

 

And then the next month comes and it begins all over again, the roller coaster, the Ferris Wheel, over and over and over again…

 

And the struggles continue…every social event, with the main one being baby showers. All the mental preparation just so I can put myself in a situation where everyone is celebrating the one thing you want most, only they aren’t celebrating for you, it’s for someone else. But then again with all the attention on the new mom to be you begin to fade into the background. But the hardest of all is being around moms in general, especially being the only one without a child. Because the reality is that the conversation will always naturally go back to conversation about their children and then the feeling that you just don’t belong starts to creep back in. Even when people try to accommodate you in the conversation and ask you questions specifically, it still begins to feel like you’re a burden. I mean, how can you expect moms not to talk about their children especially when with other moms. But then again, how are you supposed to contribute to the conversation when all it does is remind you of what you’re missing?

 

And again the roller coaster starts, the Ferris Wheel, over and over and over again…”

 

 

 

1 in 6 Canadians experience infertility. That means someone around you is probably struggling with infertility and you might not even know it. Those words weren’t just any words but words from a beautiful woman on this journey we call infertility. This journey that robs couples of joy, happiness and hope as the days, months and years go on without any success. As they live their lives going through this vicious cycle that begins to consume their every day because the only thing they want more than anything in the world ……is a child…..their child. A child they have been praying for and longing for. The opportunity to be like everyone else…..to feel “normal”. 

 

But how can you help? You've never been through infertility before...You don't know what to say...What can you do if you know someone struggling with infertility? I encourage everyone to familiarize themselves with “Fertility Etiquette”.  These are common things you can avoid as a way to help minimize stress for couples struggling with infertility and to be more of a support person who respects and values their struggles and the journey they are on. Everyone knows someone who has gone on vacation and gotten pregnant or the story of when they simply stopped trying and got pregnant. It’s in our nature to want to provide comfort to those who are hurting especially those around us we care for but it’s important to understand that these stories aren’t always helpful and can in fact cause more harm. So I encourage you to take the time to go through the fertility etiquette list I have included below. These are simple yet very simple ways you can be helpful and respectful to those going through infertility while also being a support to them.

 

Fertility Etiquette: 

 

  1. Do NOT tell them to “just relax”… It’s the one thing they wish they could do among all the stress they are feeling.
  2. Do NOT minimize the problem….By minimizing the problem you are minimizing their feelings.
  3. Do NOT say there are worse things that can happen…Right now infertility is that “worst thing.”
  4. Do NOT say this is meant to be…Nobody wants to hear that they are not “meant” to have children. All they will hear is “you are not good enough to be a parent.”
  5. Do NOT say “why don’t you just…”…They have most likely heard every story or piece of advice already.
  6. Do NOT offer unsolicited advice… Nobody likes being told how to parent their child so don’t offer unwanted advice on how to get pregnant. The reality is they hear unwanted advice all the time!
  7. Do NOT complain about your pregnancy or parenting…Women who face infertility would be more than happy to throw up for months on end and would be willing to go through anything if it means they could have a baby, including the lack of sleep that comes with a newborn. 

 

If you know someone who is going through infertility make sure you tell them how proud of them you are, how they are doing great, how you are there for them. Show them your love and be a listening ear. Be the support they need. 

#infertilityawarenessweek2018

 

 

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