What you don't see nearly as often are the millions of couples who struggle each year to start their family. Or the ones that manage to get pregnant and then lose those babies somewhere along the way. For whatever reason, we don't like to talk about infertility. For many couples it becomes a dark secret never to be discussed in polite conversation. A shameful secret, one that elicits pity from others who are grateful it isn't happening to them.
It's also something that gets whispered about when we leave the room. "They can't have children." "They have been trying for years and no babies." "Isn't it terrible, they are such nice people." I could go on and on, but I won't. I will only say that these things have all been whispered about me and The Hubby. Oh, and just for the record, sometimes a whisper carries farther than people expect so make sure people are actually out of earshot before you say them about someone you know and love.
I could get all dark and reflective on this topic, but I'm not in the mood for that. So instead I am going to give you a David Letterman-style Top 10 list of things about infertility that surprised me.
2. When I got married, I figured that my husband would be the only one looking at my vagina on a regular basis. I have now lost count at the number of people who have had themselves a peek and a poke.
3. You will get to a point where you don't really care who is looking at your vagina, as long as they have some kind of medical degree and offer you some hope that they can get you pregnant.
4. I wish they actually found something wrong with me. The term "unexplained infertility" basically means you are totally screwed and there is no exact plan of treatment for you.
5. Even the most amorous of husbands will tire of having to "do it" on a schedule.
6. If you find yourself accusing your husband of not loving you because he doesn't want to "do it" when you're ovulating just because he has the flu, it's time to take a break from trying for a baby.
7. You will learn more medical terms and acronyms than you ever wanted to. I'm still hoping that someday they will come up with a infertility version of Trivial Pursuit so I can kick some major ass!
8. There is no such thing as a pain olympics. Anyone who struggles with infertility has experienced pain. It's not a contest, they don't give out prizes for the most failed cycles. Although if they did I would hope they would be filled with wine.
9. Getting pregnant does not cure you from being infertile. Once an infertile, always an infertile. You're just an infertile with kids.
10. If you do reach out and talk about your struggles with infertility you will be surprised to find that your infertile sisters are all around you. They can be your biggest resource for hugs and information. So don't be shy or embarrassed,,,, talk about it! It really will help.