...The Face of Infertility

In one of my infertility FB groups, one of the girls challenged us to take a picture of us holding a sign (that we made, obviously) saying "I am the Face of infertility". I must confess that at first, I didn't want to do it. Then, I did, then I kept forgetting about it..well, I FINALLY did it yesterday. (let me tell you, taking a selfie with a camera, while you are holding a sign-esp when you can't remember where the self-timer is on your camera-is no easy feat)

When that was finished, I wanted to do a post on this, on the sign, infertility, etc. Since my blog is called "Musings of a Childless Mama", I do like to put in a few infertile-related posts, BUT I don't want this blog to be only about that. It can get (and does) depressing. There are other things out there besides having kids (so they've told me..I have yet to believe them..lol). But every once in awhile, I do like to reflect a bit on this subject.

To be honest, technically, I am not the face of infertility; my husband is. BUT he wouldn't (or rather, I didn't ask, because I knew he wouldn't want to) get his picture done. I DO have PCOS, and with Clomid and MF, I think I could get pregnant, but because of health reasons, the doctors are suggesting that I don't.

So, for the sake of the challenge, and of this post, I will say that I am (because for all intense and purposes, I am) infertile.

I hate being infertile.
I hate that word.
I hate that my face is associated with this word, and disease (yes, it is a disease).
I hate that Canadian Medical doesn't cover at least SOME of the procedures. If my husband, who is a smoker, gets cancer, ALL of his treatment will be covered...sad, but true. If someone wants to have their tubes tied, it is covered. If a woman wants to have an abortion, it is covered.
I hate that adoption is so flipping hard to go through, and that it is expensive.
I hate that I am "along for the ride" in this infertile business, because it isn't even my diagnosis. It is hubby's.
I hate that hubby won't even THINK of going for a consultation re: getting this even looked at
I hate that there are diseases that allow men to lose sperm (we think it was it either from him getting Chicken Pox or Measles as an adult).
I hate that because of sin in this world, good people (like us), can't have kids; where there are other people that just plain shouldn't be having kids (or sex at all..but that is another story for another day).
I hate (really hate) that because I got sick (three years ago), that we can't even have kids at all. I don't know why God allowed me to get sick in the first place.
I hate that very people don't get it (but I am grateful for the people that do).

Surprisingly, after the women have the baby, I (usually) don't have a problem with seeing the baby (although Baby showers suck big time). It is the pregnancy, and the endless comments/statuses and pictures (30 u/s pics of baby? NO thank you) that drive me up the wall.

People who complain about dragging their lot of children out shopping, to school, or whatever drive me crazy.
People that complain that they are sick while pregnant drive me crazy.
People that complain that they are overdue drive me crazy (and the people that comment on their statuses/pics, etc).
People that complain about missing their babies they have lost all the while having more babies drive me crazy.

I love those people. I have these people on my friends list. I may or may not check on them every day to see how they are doing. I do comment on their statuses and pictures. I say nice things about them and their kids. I mourn when they mourn. Am I being two-faced? I hope not. I am genuinely happy/sad (whatever their emotion) for them. But there is also something deep down that wants to scream "ENJOY YOUR FREAKING KIDS!" In fact I think it was yesterday, that I said (nicely, I think) "I wish I had your 'problem', in reference to a status. I want them to know that life is hard EVEN WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE KIDS. It is dam* hard. No, I don't cry about it every day. I may not even think about it every day (much). But it is sub-conscientiously on my mind. ALL.THE.TIME.

It has been a few hours since I ended the above post...I am not sure if there is more to be said...but there is more weighing heavy on my heart and mind.

Infertility is like being in a strange city without a map/GPS, or any info at all, really. You don't know where to turn, or where to do. You don't know where to eat, or the best place to stay. You don't know the good theatres, the best parks. There isn't anyone to ask, because everyone else is busy doing their thing.

Infertility is a strange place to be. One I hope that very few people will ever experience. And I do mean truly infertile. I am not talking of people who have lost babies (although that is hard too), whether by miscarriage, stillbirth, etc. I am not talking of people that have adopted, had IUI, IVF, Gestational carriers, and of course, adoption. Those are an entity of their own. I am talking about cant-have-a-baby-cant-afford-one-either-way infertile.

Infertility is a dark place, with no light. You are struggling to find your way; grasping along for anything solid that you can hang on to; anything to make your way out of this dark place.

Infertility is a taboo subject. NO ONE talks about it. No one **WANTS** to talk about it. It is like death. The death of a baby, child, parent. It is like if you talk about it you will offend someone (trust me, I wish people would ask me more about it) if you do. Or that they will "catch" it. It is the elephant in the room.

Infertility is relatively an unknown subject. I am thankful that it is becoming a bit more talked about, thanks to celebrities, social media, etc, but for the most part, it is not a well-talked about and well-known subject. It is not getting it's moment that it deserves. It isn't getting the awareness that I think it should. One year, I want to organize a run/walk in making infertility a more talked about subject, and so that people can become more aware of this disease. It isn't overly recognized, neither is it being researched/funded.

So, why did I take a picture of myself with a sign? I wanted to put a face to this hardly talked about condition. I am not just a statistic. I am a person afflicted with this (or one part of a couple). I wanted people to realize that **I** am the one of many faces of infertility. I want to educate people and break the taboo of NOT talking about it (see above). That is why I wanted to do this. That is why I struggled for 20 minutes to take this picture on my camera (hubby is away),  so that I could have a semi-decent picture of me. That is why I made the sign, despite my very bad handwriting. I wanted people to see...that I am the Face of Infertility.


April said…
One comment I didn't like was when people complained about their kids then jokingly offered to give their annoying kids to me.
yah..i hate that, too:) thanks for reading.
Considerer said…
Your analogy of being lost in a dark and frightening city is very apt. I can relate to that.

And it's a really hard diagnosis to take. You and I are in the same boat - in both cases it's our husbands with the medical diagnosis, and yet, there we are - infertile. Because this (as with so much in marriage) is a 'what's mine is yours' deal *sigh*

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