The Ugly: On Not Handling Infertility Well
I realized earlier this week that when I blog about my experiences with infertility, I don’t blog about the ugly stuff. I don’t think I’m intentionally trying to hide the poor way I often handle the pain of infertility… I think – and I’ve been pondering this for the last few days – that I write what I want to be. I write what I want to believe about God, how I want Him to use this pain in me.
Unfortunately, those ideals rarely match the reality.
When I’m really feeling the pain of infertility, this is what my husband (who sees me with all masks off) can expect:
1. I will cry. A lot.
2. When I cry, I will probably expect him to stop everything else and console me.
3. I will talk about how my body isn’t following normal cycles like it should. In fact, I’ll talk about that a lot. I will still expect him to drop everything and console me. And I will expect him to ask questions, even if he’s heard this a thousand times already.
4. I will cry more when a friend or relative announces that she is expecting. In fact, the closer the person is to me, the more I will cry. I will expect my husband, who is sad for me but happy for whoever is pregnant, to know exactly the words to say to comfort me through this complex emotional contradiction.
5. In fact, I will expect all the people closest to me to know exactly what to say and when to say something to comfort me. And I will also expect them to know when not to say anything. If they don’t gauge these subtle signs correctly, I’ll feel like an infertility martyr. If they do say something that is helpful, I may or may not acknowledge it.
6. I’ll expect back rubs, letters, or other signs of affection from my husband. Just because I’m in so much pain and he should show that he knows it.
7. I will probably replay inconsiderate words from innocent, ignorant strangers, both to myself and to my husband. And I will expect him to console me. (Do you see a pattern?)
8. I won’t notice other people’s pain. Because my pain is greater. How could anyone else be in as much pain as me? Easy: they couldn’t. Therefore, I will think only of my own pain. This will be especially true on special days like Mother’s Day. Other people may have lost their moms recently or may have had a miscarriage, but I probably won’t care.
9. I will be angry at God. Very angry. I might not want to talk to Him. I think He doesn’t love me, maybe even isn’t there.
I don’t always handle infertility this poorly, but this (and more) is definitely what I’m capable of and have displayed at some point over the last year and a half. I’m not trying to verbally bash myself or make anyone reading this disgusted with me, though you may very well be…
I just want to be honest. I think infertility has been and continues to be a growing experience for me, but if my personal and spiritual growth were a line graph, it wouldn’t look the gentle upward sloping progression that I want or expect to see. It would look more like this:
I think, at least for today, I’ll end my post on a fairly negative but realistic note: I just don’t always handle infertility well.