I got married two days ago and I’m over the moon, feeling ridiculously happy and complete. There was a moment though at the beginning of the ceremony that got me thinking. The priest started the speech with words: “The purpose of marriage for the individual is to start a family and create a happy home. The social purpose, in turn, is reproduction to preserve society.”
I felt like I got punched in the stomach. I knew I shouldn’t have. I knew that these are nothing but words, by someone who doesn’t have a clue of who I am. But this is my biggest weak point. This topic silently slits my scars open and leaves me gasping for air.
So in a nutshell: I suffer from unexplained infertility. There’s no reason for my inability to get pregnant. Everything works, but nothing works. After nearly five years of failed infertility treatments and one miscarriage me and my ex-husband called it quits… in everything.
I think its a widely held expectation that if and when we choose to, we are able to have a family. Person not having a kid by their forties is considered somewhat a diseased outlaw, who is not doing their part “going forth and multiplying”. This is also the root for why so many infertile couples hide the problem. Thinking that they have failed. Living day in day out with pain and loss. Feeling ashamed about something that isn’t their fault and they have no control over. Infertility – it’s the loneliest disease.
Somehow I find it important to bring more awareness to this avoided topic; for the society to understand the impact of the problem. It’s a disease that 1 out of 6 couples have to battle with and a disease that not many people know about unless they have dealt with it. I want people who suffer with it to know that they are not alone and people who know nothing about infertility to learn to respond better. I know that this is just because people don’t know what to say, but that awkward silence and quick change of topic is getting a bit old. I wish people would actually listen and look beyond the empty lap with compassion and awareness.
I understand that most of us don’t feel eager to talk about infertility, cause such exposure can add up to the pain. There is also a lot of shame around the topic, because pregnancy should be natural thing, and the moment it becomes a challenge, person feels inadequate. Sometimes even when you wish to talk about your infertility, it’s not easy. Cause let’s be serious, when is it ever a good moment to talk about the sperm count or motility, the state of your ovaries or insemination? While having a banana split with your friends?
I find that for me sharing my story and breaking taboos is part of healing. So I hope you give it a try, if it feels like a right thing to do. Let’s create a safe place, where discussion and support is recognized.
Love & Light