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Infertile Enough?

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a blog by S.I.F. September 20, 2010

One of the first things I discovered as I waded into the waters of infertility were the clubs within the club.

  • The women who had been trying naturally for years but never taken the next step.
  • Those who had gone all the way to IVF; either to tell a happy tale or recount the woes of money spent for nothing.
  • The loss mothers.
  • The adoption advocates.
  • And those who had simply given up; unwilling to go any further in the journey, but equally unable to let go of the pain.

There are literally hundreds of categories to fall into — crevices beneath cracks, which hold women even more tightly bound.

Infertility is a big word, and it houses a lot of pain.

I’ve recently noticed women who hover on the outskirts though. Women who want to peek inside and receive that warmth and comfort and support, but who question themselves every step of the way; wondering if they are infertile enough to fit in.
I hear the comments regularly:

  • “I’ve never had to do IVF, but…”
  • “I only needed to use Clomid to get pregnant, so I’m not sure if…”
  • “We’ve decided to stop trying. I guess that means…”

They’re all the same; these words that hint at a yearning to be embraced without wanting to seem too presumptuous. No one wants to step foot in the infertility club, but once you’re here? You want to know that your pain is acknowledged. That it’s enough. That no one is looking at you and thinking “What is she doing here? She’s never even had to (fill in the blank, because there is always someone who has had to go further).”

Stop Sizing Up Your Struggle

Here’s the thing though; the simple act of not being able to conceive on your own is devastating enough. As women, we have this innate desire to procreate. This piece of us that screams out our destiny to be mothers. To grow an infant inside of us whom we nurture and love and feed with everything we’ve got.

Simply being told that we can’t do that on our own (with the faculties we were born with) is painful enough. It hurts to know that your body isn’t functioning the way you always thought it would. It’s hard to have to reach out for assistance to do something everyone around you is doing on their own.

It’s difficult enough to have to admit that this act of motherhood isn’t going to happen as simply as you always thought it would.

So, stop comparing. Stop looking at others whom you’ve deemed have it worse, and chastising your own pain. Stop sizing your struggles up next to the struggles of those around you.

If You Belong, You Know It

Because, there is no “enough” within the confines of infertility. You’re either here, or you aren’t. Either belong, or you don’t.

And if you’re here, if you belong, you know it.

Yes, there are varying degrees and upper levels of pain. There are extremes that others may have to cling to that you will never reach.

It can get worse.

But it can always get worse. No matter who you are.

There is no “enough.” There is simply right here, right now, in this moment. And in this moment, your hurt is enough.

In fact, it’s already too much.

Comments (3)

This is such a fabulous article. So well written. And true. I wish it weren't true.

I'm one of those who wonder if I'm "infertile enough", and I'm scared to speak up, because what if the month I speak out is the month I get pregnant? I wouldn't want to look silly. So I keep quiet, month after month, only sharing with a very very few people (like my husband and my best friend), all the while slowly losing hope and faith.

GREAT POST! I have tried to get people to understand this very concept. I believe it is a huge part of creating a divide where one isn't necessary. An "infertility prejudice" almost where we list all of our ailments and see who fits where. This thing is painful from the first time you think you may have infertility, to the day your baby starts kindergarten. We really have to do all we can to remove the minorities inside of our minority.
Great, great post. Thank you!

I couldn't agree more! The prejudice is definitely there, and it is just so unnecessary! In reality, we should be doing everything we can to support each other - no matter what. That barrier between groups doesn't do any of us any good!

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