We all have shit. I’ve been pretty open about mine and it’s helped me tremendously. Sharing and being vulnerable has made it easier for other people to share and open up to me which connects us and makes us all feel less alone. Loneliness is terrible. No one wants to feel alone or like they don’t matter or belong. We were made for connection. We NEED it. Writing has been one way for me to connect with people around the world, use my gifts, and offer support and understanding.
I was recently watching Private Life at the recommendation of my friend and fellow infertile Leann. Her and I have both been through IVF. All our cycles were unsuccessful. We both let go of the dream of being pregnant and moved forward. To everyone’s surprise, she is now pregnant. If anyone says anything about how she relaxed or moved on and got pregnant, I’ll punch you. There is so much science behind PCOS (which we both have) and age increasing the odds of getting pregnant. It didn’t happen because she stopped trying or relaxed.
While watching this movie, it took me back to the trenches of going through IVF. This movie was quite accurate in its depiction of IVF. I had forgotten or maybe have blocked out that part of my life. The multiple daily injections, extreme anger, intense sadness, blood draws and doctor appointments every other day, having someone in your vagina what felt like constantly, feelings of shame and guilt, and battling with grief every single second. IVF is hard. I knew it was but looking at it as what feels like an outsider now and seeing someone go through it, damn. I’m really proud of Joe and I for going through that together. I’m so proud of my friend Leann for going through it with her husband. Everyone that has done it, you’re a rockstar. It is not easy. It’s heartbreaking and NOT what anyone wants to have to do to have a baby.
After the movie concluded, I texted with Leann about the accuracy of the movie. We both thought it was well done and they captured the experience pretty well. This doesn’t tend to happen often in Hollywood when they cover infertility so Bravo! to whoever you are. We then switched gears and I asked her how she was doing and feeling about baby.
Infertility leaves an impression on your life forever. Pregnancy doesn’t magically take it away.
She told me she was doing well but still lacked excitement. Infertility is a thief even if the pregnancy eventually happens. It’s hard to be excited because fear wants to consume you and remind you of everything that could go wrong. She said she’s been trying to will herself to feel a certain way or will herself to feel how others think she should feel. I told her that whatever she feels in the moment, is the way she’s meant to feel and it’s okay to feel however she needs to.
It must be society that has taught us that pregnancy is this magical and exciting time and it’s not. It fucking sucks for most women. But yet we make women feel terrible if they are depressed or less than enthusiastic about pregnancy. “You should be excited. This is the most wonderful thing to ever happen to you!”. Instead of telling people what to feel, why don’t we ask how they are feeling and not discredit that the feelings they have are valid and very real. Many times we have no idea what brought someone to where they are today and we have no idea why they feel the way they feel. It’s not our job nor is it our right to tell people how they should be feeling.
Surround yourself with people who love and support you the way you need to be loved and supported. Keep people around who you can share the super personal shit with without fear of judgment. Love people deeply. I truly think that is the way God intended us to live. Not only do we need each other but we need to connect with one another on a deep, like to the bottom of the ocean deep, connection. Find those people. Go. NOW.