Friday, January 26, 2007

Sisterhood

Mel at SQ and SJ directed my attention to Seed Disperal Mechanisms. In it the author talks about wanting a sister in the trenches. I went right over to read the entry, and started to reply and realized I had so much to say, so I came here instead.

Infertility is lonely. It is for me. And I know a load of people who have gone thru one type of treatment or another. But, I know of five people who have gone thru clomid, IVF, IUIs, GIFT, etc. When I say "thru it" I mean they have either succeeded in having a child or they have gone off the road and decided to live child free.

Some of these people, I am close to and they have gotten me thru some dark times. But, they are all done with it. They are no longer living the every day effects of infertility. Most remember the up and downs, they remember the desperation and yearning for that recluse child and sometimes they experience those feelings again. However, for the most part they aren't going thru it right now.

Then I have an aquintance (a potential sister in the trenches) who is infertile, but doesn't recognize it. M is a intelligent woman, but she denies that she is infertile. Why do I believe she is? She has had four miscarriages in two years. The last three miscarriages were all late term (four, four, and five months). She knows there is a problem and has gone thru testing. Despite it all she doesn't consider herself infertile.

How do I know? Well, a few months ago her sister-in-law was having a baby shower. And I was invited since I am also an acquintance of hers as well. M's number was the RSVP. At this time, I had just started to blog and read blogs. At the time, Mel wrote about a blood disorder that I thought might be useful for M to read up on. I told her about it and she flat out refused to read it. I thought, OK maybe blogs aren't her thing. She was in a particular chatty mood and we started to talk. We talked about how badly we wanted a child, and how much it sucked, etc. What testing we were doing. But, when I said "It really sucks to be infertile." She said, "It must."
I didn't push the topic. How could she not consider herself infertile?

Before this conversation, I thought that we could be sisters in the trenches. She and I are both going thru infertility. But, she nixed that idea, because she didn't consider herself infertile. She could get pregnant. She didn't have infertility. (It still shocks me.) As I sit here, I wonder if it was denial or fearing the stigma of the title. It was the way she said it. Yeah, it really sucks to have your problem. She didn't want it. Heck, I don't want it. But sweetie, you have it. (If only my outside voice would speak up sometimes.)

And how sad that her denial is causing her to be alone. She has no one to comisserate with. But, shutting out the idea of reading blogs, she isolates herself even more.

My real life friends are great. They are kind, compassionate, concerned, and there for me.

But, the boards (talking to you Vent girls) and blogs; well, they have made me feel less alone. And for that I will be forever grateful to you all. Because knowing that I'm not alone, well it has helped. Because the cyber world has introduced me to my sisters/brothers in the trenches and it has made it easier. So, thank you.

7 comments:

Nicole said...

My blog has been a life saver, and it's all because it reminds me that I am not alone. Good times.

serenity said...

Dianne -- it took me a LONG time to accept the term "infertile" - even though we weren't getting pregnant. It seemed so... final. Like admitting that we could never have a baby. My guess is that your friend just doesn't like the term. She's still a sister in the trenches, she wants a baby and has suffered unimaginable losses. Poor thing. :(

Anyway, I feel the same way about my fellow bloggers. I am not alone, you all form a protective circle around me. And I can be strong.

You AREN'T alone in this. That's the good news.

TeamWinks said...

I accepted the infertility diagnosis quickly, and even more quickly when we got our diagnosis. To me, it's like a cancer patient in denial. Useless. Get your butt on top of the game, and get moving towards fixing it.

Michelle said...

I think accepting infertility means dealing with it. And it sounds like she doesn't want to deal with it, which is human nature.
I have my own things in life I try to ignore, because I don't want to fix them. And I think if I ignore them they will go away. Just the opposite.
She'll come to deal with it in her own time.

Lynn said...

Infertility can be the most challenging time in a woman's life. Only those who have been through it can truly understand just how difficult it is. But, hang in there and stay positive. Check out www.babytalkin.com if you need some extra positivity during your ttc.

Best wishes and baby dust!

Piccinigirl said...

wow, what a great post. I didn't have the denial, when we hit 6 months and I wasn't PG yet I started using the term liberally. It shook my mom and Mr Kir and always got a reaction like, "oh sweetie you're not infertile , it just takes time" but I knew I was. I knew that somewhere around 4 months, but when I hit that cycle at 6 I was convinced.
Yet, in the 3 1/2 yrs that have followed, I never felt shame in the label. I guess because even when it sucked the life out of me (and it has) I knew that in some small way I could educate other people. Almost like "if I have to go through this, well so do you!" I think that it just comes down to what you hope to get out of this and like any other Karma freak (like I am ) she may feel that label brings on more M/C or more heartache. Denial is a very powerful thing.

My blog is a safe place for me too and I think for all of us, that it's the one place where we can be ourselves and know we are not alone.

SO thank you for that...reminding me I am not alone. :)

Lee said...

Dianne,
Thanks for this blog and thanks for being a Venter. I have to tell you something though that might be shocking.
Infertility is lonely, I agree. But being pregnant via IVF -for me, it's still lonely. Why is that? Why is it every time someone says "Oh! Twins! Do they run in the family?" I shrivel down, gulp and shame faced say, "No", or even worse, "I'm not sure as I don't know half my biolgical history".

The only place I feel at home is on the Venting Board, I've been absent for a few weeks due to 'morning sickness' and complete exhaustion, but I have missed you all and am doing my best to come back.