Thursday, 3 November 2016

10 Things You Should avoid saying to Someone struggling with Infertility

So, as it is National Fertility Awareness Week, I wanted to do a post on the subject, and one thing that grates on me more than anything (And by grates on me, I mean drives me absolutely fricking INSANE), are the cliche things people say to you when they have no experience in dealing with infertility.

I feel I should make a quick disclaimer before I dive in to my 'top 10'... please take this post with a pinch of salt, I mean it all in good humor (sort of), and I'm well aware that more often than not the people making these statements are just trying to help, or that they wholeheartedly believe it will make you feel better - I know for a fact that the majority of my friends and family will have said one of these to me at some point, and I also know that they will have meant nothing but support and comfort in doing so. But the sad fact of the matter is, nothing anyone can say is really going to make you feel any better, and the more you hear these statements uttered in your direction, the more you begin to hate the very sound of them. As someone that has listened to people expel these words of wisdom for the best part of 2 years now, I can safely say, for me at least, these are the most frustrating things to hear as someone who is struggling to conceive:
  1. "It will happen when the time is right" - Okay this one REALLY gets to me, more so than any of the others. Surely if you have taken the decision to actively try for a baby, that suggests the time is right? What is making the timing 'wrong'?
  2. "Just relax and it will happen" - Surprisingly, it is not that easy to 'relax' and 'not think about it' when everyone around you seems to be getting pregnant without even trying, and you can't understand why it still isn't happening for you, however many years down the line.
  3. "I know it will happen for you eventually!" - Whilst this is clearly meant with the very best intentions, I really have to resist the urge to scream "You don't know that!!" every time someone says it to me. I wish it wasn't the case, but sadly not everyone can biologically carry a baby.
  4. "You're still only young, you've got loads of time!" - It really doesn't matter whether you're 26 or 46, if you are ready for a baby, you are ready for a baby. 
  5. "Things could be worse" - Yes, things probably could be worse, things can always be worse, but to a woman going through the pain of not being able to conceive, it doesn't feel like anything could ever be any worse than not being able to have a baby.
  6. "I know exactly how you feel" - Telling someone struggling with infertility that you understand how they feel, because it took you 3 months to conceive 1 of your 6 children, is not the most comforting knowledge you can thrust on someone who is desperate to have a baby.
  7. "God works in mysterious ways!" - Now this is a tricky one... I am not personally religious, but I feel I need to point out here that I have absolutely no issue with people that are, I'm actually quite jealous that people can have so much faith and belief. But what does really get to me sometimes, is when I hear people suggesting infertility is a direct result of God's will. To me, that makes it seem as though it is something that is completely out of our control, and if it is out of our control, does that mean that all of the invasive tests,  all the time spent researching, all the hard work and treatment provided by doctors, is all completely pointless if God simply doesn't will it to happen?
  8. "You are so lucky you don't have kids to worry about!" - Yes, you are right, I am so so lucky. This to me is probably the statement I find the hardest to understand, on what level does anyone think that this is going to be comforting to someone who is so desperate for a child of their own? 
  9. "Have you thought about IVF?" - People seem to think IVF is the cure for all fertility issues, sadly it's not! The devastating fact of the matter is, even if you are eligible for IVF, it is only successful in approximately 30% of cases.
  10. "Guess what? I'm pregnant!" - Okay so I appreciate this one is pretty unavoidable, I was possibly clutching at straws here to make it to a nice round 10 statements, but there is nothing quite like the knife-in-heart feeling of finding out someone you know is pregnant, to remind you that you are not.
So there you have it, my list of the top 10 things that are hard to hear when you are struggling with infertility! I am reading back through this list and wondering to myself 'So what is someone actually supposed to say?' but unfortunately I don't think there really is a right thing to say. All you can do is offer an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on. Nobody expects you to have all the answers, all you can do is try your best to understand, and to offer your support when it's needed.

Becca x

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Dear Diary #2

Okay, so I think saying I would be doing these posts weekly may have been sliiiiiightly ambitious, but here I finally am with another life update, better late than never eh!?

Last week kicked off nicely on Tuesday evening, when myself and a couple of my lovely friends from work traveled across to the Titanic Spa in Huddersfield and spent a really relaxing few hours drinking Prosecco, gossiping in the hot tub and exploring the various saunas and steam rooms - the perfect end to a busy working day! We are actually going to a cabin together at the end of this month to spend a long weekend eating cheese, drinking wine, watching Christmas films and feeling generally festive, so I am very excited about that...I think making plans and having things to look forward to makes it slightly easier to bear when you get that BFN each month - or not each month if your cycles are anything like mine! It can be so easy to sit and wallow in how negative you are feeling when trying to conceive, but I've found keeping myself busy and making plenty of plans helps me cope with things much better. Afterall, I couldn't drink Prosecco in a hot tub if I was pregnant could I?! Silver linings.

The rest of the week went by fairly smoothly and on Friday we were treated to a very exciting phone call from our Solicitor advising us that we should be ready to complete on our new house in just a weeks time, finally! Lets just say this week hasn't so far wielded such great news and that timescale is now looking highly unlikely, but I will save that story for another post.

Back to the week in question, and on Saturday we took a trip to Forbidden Corner  as it was the beautiful little Lily's 4th Birthday! We went last year as well and it such a magical place, perfect for both adults and children, and this year's visit didn't disappoint either. They had gone all out for Halloween, with creepy new additions around every corner and we spent a lovely afternoon having lunch, enjoying the crisp Autumn weather, and getting very lost in the maze - my sense of direction is definitely not my strong point!

On Saturday evening we went across to our friend's new flat and spent the happiest of evenings drinking even more Prosecco (Can you sense a theme?), going out for dinner, celebrating birthdays, and catching up on all the gossip. Every time I see my good friend Lauren (Hi babes!) and her husband Mike, it amazes me how our situations can be such complete polar opposites, and yet we can have so many shared emotions and similar experiences. I always come away feeling so very aware of how lucky we are to have such supportive and understanding people around us.

Sunday was Andrew's 27th Birthday and was pretty much a complete write off as you have never seen anyone more hungover than he was that day, it was a sight to behold let me tell you. But a lazy day on the sofa catching up on the X Factor, followed by a nice soaky bath, topped off what was really a most enjoyable week!

This week seems to have got off to a pretty rotten start already with some disappointing set backs with the new house, and I am also feeling pretty emotional and reflective with it being National Fertility Awareness Week. I am hoping to do a special blog post in homage in the next couple of days as I didn't manage to do one for Baby Loss Awareness Week last month, but I have been posting more openly over on my Instagram if any of you want to follow me over there. It's been pretty scary letting people in my 'real life' know that infertility and recurrent miscarriage is something we are struggling with, but it is something I am definitely becoming much more comfortable discussing, and I really hope to be able to raise some awareness for what is a fairly unspoken struggle.

Becca x 

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