What I’ve learnt as a secondary infertile

This post is for anyone with fertility issues or who knows someone with fertility issues.

Secondary Infertility– had a child/children, and are now struggling to conceive their second or third etc

–         Get diagnoses from a professional (Fertility specialist beats Gynae). Knowing your health status (in a way), answers your rhetorical melt-down question e.g. “WHY?? *sob* Why can’t I conceive? *sob*”  ‘because you have cysts on your ovaries, that’s why’

–         Having a plan keeps you focused and keeps you from being emotionally lost e.g. the plan for this cycle; eat healthy, exercise, watch season 2 of shameless. Next 3 cycles, birth control. Following cycle; fertility treatment.

– Treatment whether it be Clomid or IVF, is hard. Procedures are invasive. Protocol consumes your schedule hence it consumes your life. Take one day at a time and try not to over-think it. When you need to, then go to the bathroom, lock yourself up and cry to your heart’s content. If you have a pillow scream into it. Google is your friend but a pinch of salt & moderation is key. 

–         Be tactful- Never ask a childless couple when they’re having a baby and never ask a couple with 1 child when they plan to have another. It’s none of your business and you have no idea what kind of pain they might be suffering at that very moment because they cannot conceive ‘naturally’.

–         Never offer advice when it isn’t asked. If you feel you can genuinely help someone tell them your opinion discretely and don’t expect them to follow through.

–         When someone else is experiencing loss or pain, don’t overshadow their ‘moment’ with your experiences. It’s not about you right now.  

–         Always think before you speak. If someone discloses that they’re having fertility issues. Say ‘I’m so sorry to hear that.’ Then wish them the best of luck and let them know you have a shoulder they can cry on. But DO NOT say, ‘oh my husband just looks at me and I fall pregnant’ or ‘you know my aunt’s, cousin’s granny also…’ 

–        By all means, ask how that person is doing but don’t ask how treatment is going. It’s an extremely personal and painful journey. Today they might be miserable and tomorrow they might be positive. It’s a confusing and emotionally exhausting time, they don’t need you to bring it up after they just got over it.

–         Similarly; rather talk about the weather then ask people personal questions. If they wanted to speak to you about what’s bothering them, they would have. But they’re not, so leave it. (Even when it’s your BFF, tread carefully. Infertility is an issue that only experienced people can truly understand. Something you say innocently could unintentionally, deeply hurt that person. )

Here are some helpful links from a forum that kept me sane over the past few years. 

http://www.fertilicare.org/things-not-to-say-to-an-infertile.php

http://www.fertilicare.org/beginners-guide-to-infertility.php

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