Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hi, My Name is Krystal...

…and I’m an alcoholic. Wait, that’s not right. Let’s try again. *ahem* Hi, my name is Krystal, and I suffer from infertility.

*crickets*

Doesn’t go over quite as well, does it?

At least with an alcoholic, people will ask questions like, “How long have you been sober?” Then offer a congratulatory pat on the back and move along. Should an infertile woman (or man) choose to share that information, they’re greeted with blank stares and uncomfortable silences. If someone DOES choose to even acknowledge that the “I” word was said, it’s usually to offer that their best friend’s sister’s cousin’s boyfriend’s girlfriend’s mother had a terrible time getting pregnant, but as soon as she relaxed and stopped thinking about it, she got pregnant. (Of course! Because medically speaking, not thinking about it makes you ovulate, right?) Or so-and-so tried for years, then, as soon as the ink was dry on the international adoption papers, she found out she was pregnant…with triplets…identical! Or (my personal favorite) that the *whispers* infertile couple are still young and have PLENTY of time to have a baby (ignoring the fact that if you have female and/or male factor infertility, the odds of it getting BETTER with age are pretty slim.)!

Can you tell I’m passionate about this?

My family (my husband most of all) will tell you that I have very pointed opinions about what people should and shouldn’t say to others about their reproductive habits. For instance, I NEVER ask a young (or old) married couple with no children when they’re going to have children! Sure, odds are they just are waiting until they’ve been married x amount of time. But, what if you decide to ask and this couple has been trying for years with no success? Even worse, what if the woman is in the middle of ingesting or injecting various hormones when you ask her this and she either breaks into tears or goes into a murderous rage? How will you feel then?

Obviously, I don’t share these opinions with most people. My poor husband has to take the brunt of my irritation when I vent to him about it. My problem is this: having heard these things myself, I know how it’s perceived. We know, in the backs of our minds, that you mean well. You’re not trying to hurt our feelings on purpose. Yet, the other part of us hates that we’re forced to think about it yet again. What woman suffering from infertility has not had a situation where she nearly bursts into tears at an inappropriate time? (Mine happened at church, in case you were curious.) What fertility-challenged couple hasn’t had an innocent in-law inquire after grandchildren? Who hasn’t been blind-sided by news that someone close to you is expecting, and the situation is less than perfect?

Now, I’m sure I’ve offended someone. I assure you, unless you’re a repeat offender with the same infertile couple, they don’t blame you and they may not even remember a week later that you said something.

Anyway, the purpose of this blog post isn’t to give a list of grievances.

I’ve been reading lots of infertility blogs recently, and I love the sense of camaraderie that the blogger has with her readers. I don’t expect to have the audience that those girls do, but something about getting my thoughts and feelings out on paper (or, screen, I guess) is very appealing to me. Even if no one reads it, I think it will be therapeutic.

So, basically, this is my introduction into starting to write more about this topic. I figured if I just jumped right into it, it would come out of left field. I still plan to share about things that my family and I do, so it won’t be strictly about my journey with infertility. Feel free to comment or give advice to your heart’s content. You can just read, too, if you’d rather. I know sometimes it’s nice to lurk. I won’t hold it against you.

I’d like to thank the girls from the infertility blogs I read for being so open and giving me the courage to talk about my experiences. Without you, my blogging life would amount to semi-regular posts about family outings and new furniture. You can look at their blogs on the right side of my blog page.

I look forward to embarking on this journey with whoever chooses to join me.

2 comments:

lindsaycox August 20, 2009 at 10:02 AM  

krystal thanks for sharing! i look forward to reading your blog... your intro was very well worded and beautiful to me :)

BURNS FAMILY August 20, 2009 at 7:36 PM  

It takes guts to open up in this "blog" world and you did it well. I only hope I can offer support and not leave any stupid comments! :)