Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Don’t Ignore Infertility

It is National Infertility Awareness Week.  It’s kind of ironic that my surgery was last week because it is causing a lot of questions from my family and close friends leading to our infertility.  People are asking questions and I feel ready to answer them.

I talked about my surgery in my last post, and before my surgery in another post on my blog, but I did not tell very many people in real life about it.  I only told a few close family members and a few close friends.  I did not know for sure if I was having a bowel resection.  My surgery could have turned out to be an outpatient surgery and I could have hidden it just like another endo surgery I had in 2009 and the fertility treatments after from the majority of the people in my real life.   But my surgery turned out to be more extensive and it is not so easy to hide, so my family and friends are asking me why I had to have surgery on my bowels, which leads to 2 questions. 

1-      What is endometriosis? 

2-      What does endometriosis have to do with you bowels? 
This leads to explanations of my endometriosis and a lot of comments or questions asking if this is the reason why we don’t have children. 

I am doing my best to be open and talk about it unemotionally.  The theme for NIAW is to not let infertility be ignored and I have let so many people in my real life community ignore our infertility so I am embracing those that are curious and answering their questions.  I feel more prepared to answer their questions now rather than when we were in the mist of fertility treatments. 

Most people are curious if my surgery will “fix” me and if I will be able to have children now.  I am responding with the truth.  I don’t know.  If infertility has taught me anything it is that there will always be unknowns.  There will always be unanswered questions.  I don’t know if my endometriosis will come back.  If my endo does come back I don’t know at what severity it will make itself known.  If endo does not come back I don’t know if I will magically become a mother by getting pregnant for the first time in my life where modern science wasn’t able to make me pregnant in the past.  Quite frankly I am more concerned with the endo unknown than the baby unknown.  Because of the surgery I just had to have I am afraid of endo and what it can do to my body.  I remember when I was going through fertility treatments and my endo pain just kept getting worse every month.  I remember thinking that suffering through the pain would be worth it because I was going to end up with a child.  But I never got a child.  The suffering wasn’t worth it.  My goal is to take care of my endo, and not worry about getting pregnant.  The one thing I do know is that M and I decided almost 2 years ago to stop fertility treatments, and that has not changed.

I’m trying to explain to people that are asking us if we are going to try to have a baby again that getting pregnant is not a priority.  My priorities in life are things that I can have control over to make my life more positive and happy.  For so many years I was not letting myself be happy because I was waiting on an event to happen (pregnancy).  When this event never happened I kept going into a darker and darker place and I don’t ever want to be in that dark place again.  I think I am getting my message through to people that I no longer feel that I have to have a child to be happy.  I am trying to live a happy and fulfilled life and I am doing the best that I can to achieve that.  Infertility is something that I will always battle and it has become a part of who I am.  It will always have a bearing on my life no matter what the outcome.

Now, I am not saying this many words to the people in my real life.  I hope I am cleaning it up much better and that I am getting my point across.  My point being that living Childfree/less (or whatever term you give it) after infertility is not a sad ending.  I am looking forward to my life’s happy ending that M and I are creating.

I’m still keeping this little blog private from my real life.  I am still working through many emotions and I need this space to be honest with my feelings.  I did go so far as to “like” Resolve’s facebook page…eek! 

For more information about Resolve and NIAW you can follow these links to the basic understanding of infertility, or NIAW.


  1. I wish I had seen this before I posted mine! I would have linked everyone who posted these!

  2. Good for you for explaining your situation when you're asked. I remember being asked about my ectopic pregnancies, and explaining the complications etc etc to people unemotionally. I found the straightforward facts were so much easier to talk about than if I got sympathy.

    I've also been debating posting something on my everyday, more public, blog for NIAW. But when you wrote "I have let so many people in my real life community ignore our infertility" I realised I have done the same, and so I think I'll give myself a good kick and do one too. (If I say it enough, I'll have to do it!)

  3. I know what you mean about how you find it easier to talk about it now than you would have in the midst of fertility treatments. You may or may not have noticed that my blog is currently unavailable... long story short, it was found & "outed" (on Facebook, no less!) by one of my relatives, so I made it private for a few days until the dust settles, in the hopes that people will try the link, not be able to access it, and eventually move on.

    I've come to realize that, while I'm not HAPPY about being discovered, I guess it's not the end of the world either. And I think the fact that I am 51 and done with all attempts at family building has a lot to do with that. It is hard enough to deal with now; I can't imagine how painful it would have been 10 or 15 years ago when we were in the thick of things.

    That said -- I do feel a little cowardly/hypocritical/ridiculous hiding out while everyone is posting up a storm about NIAW. :p I thought this was a great post. You have educated a lot of people this week by talking about your endo (including me!). Thank you for that!