Yesterday, I was tracking my food and reflection on the day over at 100 point 5 (which is where I do my daily logging to keep from flooding up your feed here!) and on this post, specifically, I found myself lying. I didn’t realize at the time I was lying… Let me explain.
I started out my post with the following defense/excuse as to why I hadn’t logged or worked out all week.
To be honest, I took all of last week off. Why? No reason. I was feeling crappy after a so-so weekend, and it just trickeld into the week. Then I got busy (clearly just an excuse) and kept making excuses.
At the time, without reflecting on it, that’s true. I made a bunch of excuses. I stepped on the scale this morning, and saw that I gained a pound. Not the end of the world. But while I was showering I began looking back and thinking about what really happened, and it hit me. Last week started a new cycle and I got my period. For most women that means they were bloated, and maybe indulged in an extra piece of chocolate. What does a new cycle mean for me? It means that I failed. It means that my body failed me as a woman. It means I am spending one more month, not pregnant, and delaying having a baby in my arms, one more month. I realize that is irrational, and the case, but that’s what it feels like. That’s how I feel. So I spent all week wallowing in the fact that I’m evening further away from becomming a mom.
This isn’t a healthy attitude. It’s not fair to beat myself up over the fact that I am not pregnant yet. That doesn’t make ignoring the obvious any easier.
This years theme for National Infertility Awareness Week is “Don’t Forget…” and I tell this story for a reason. If you talk to me, and interact with me, I’m OK. It’s not like I’m walking around holding a sign for infertility.. But I do think because so many women work so hard to be normal, and to not allow it to affect us in our day to day activities, that there is a lot of emotional baggage we carry around with us that we don’t let on. Someone you know, in your daily life, is struggling with infertility. She might not tell you, and you may never know, but it’s a large enough problem that you should be aware. It’s estimated that 1 in 6 couples are dealing with infertility. This doesn’t mean that many people are actively seeking solutions. Unfortunately all infertility treatments are expensive. IVF is in the range of 10-20,000 depending on the situation and what is needed, or if meds are covered, etc. Adoption is expensive in some states (Ohio included). Some states don’t charge, then you have private adoption, which is a totally different cost depending where you are or the situation. Monthly costs for an IUI really add up, so many couples opt to live a child free life. They come to terms with it. It’s not an easy decision.
Resolve.org posted an amazing fact sheet back in 2007 that is still relevant. I wanted to share with you the typical loss a woman dealing with infertility experiences to help those of you who aren’t infertile or directly affected by it understand:
“The loss I feel is more than not being able to conceive,” says one woman. “After months passed without a pregnancy, I went to my doctor and then a specialist. Slowly I entered a world of tests, medications and surgeries. Treatment seemed to take over our lives, and I began to lose the sense of who I was and where I belonged. I felt out of control, out of place and out of luck.”
This woman, who was becoming depressed, is actually describing several losses typical of infertility patients. Of
the eight types of loss researchers have identified which can lead to depression in the average man or woman, the infertile individual may experience them all: loss of self esteem, status, important relationships, health or an acceptable body image, control, security, important fantasies and someone or something of symbolic value. The cumulative effect is profound, creating a life crisis that impacts a person’s ability to cope and has no immediate or foreseeable resolution.
It’s so important to realize that as a friend, sibling, coworker or just a blogger out there on the Internet, that you can’t fix everything or make someone’s situation any better. But you can offer support. You can offer strength. You can simply be there, as a friend.