I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the different reactions people have to infertility.
For me, I had a total existential crisis. It shook the foundation of my world. I had absolutely bought into the idea that if I tried hard enough I could accomplish anything, and for the most part that had been true for me. So the idea that I couldn’t have a baby, a thing that most people did with ease, shook me to the core. And then couple that with the want and the need and the desire to have a family… I was devastated.
Contrast that with my friend K. She was diagnosed with DOR and did IVF 3 times. She was disappointed each time that the cycle failed but she certainly wasn’t devastated. And after the 3rd failure she quickly and cheerfully moved on and she and her husband now have 2 beautiful daughters through adoption.
And then there’s G. She was diagnosed with PCOS and started the injections and the monitoring but firmly insisted throughout the process that what she was doing was not ANYTHING like what I had to do during my IVF cycles. This despite the fact that she was doing EXACTLY what I had to do, only without the retrieval and fertilization part. (Granted, that’s a big difference but still). She got pregnant and now has a lovely little girl. In retrospect, she admits that she didn’t want to admit that what we had to do was the same because IVF sounded so sad and broken and scary that she wanted to distance herself from the very idea of it, the very idea that she might need it.
And then there’s P. She and her husband tried to get pregnant for about 2 years. Then they sat down, had a heart to heart, and decided that if it happened that was ok and that if it didn’t that was ok too. She’s 43 and unlikely to get pregnant now and she’s totally ok with that. No crisis, no medical intervention, just acceptance.
Of course it’s totally natural and expected that everyone will have a different reaction and choose a different path. It’s just hard for me to wrap my head around because it was so difficult for me personally. I’m not really sure what my point is with this musing, except to highlight the fact that if you’re dealing with infertility whatever reaction you’re having is ok. It may feel like the world is ending but it may also not feel like a big deal. And that’s alright. What you’re feeling is valid and don’t you ever let anyone tell you it’s not.