While everyone handles infertility differently, my approach is probably more open than average. My friends (like it or not) all know about what I am going through. It does not dominate every discussion but it is not hidden. As a share my experiences with people, I am ‘comforted’ by several statements. One of these statements is that everything happens for a reason. Is this really true? I began to struggle with this question eight years ago when I unexpectedly lost my brother at the age of 19. During this time, people also told me that everything happens for a reason. They would also tell me that he was in a better place. I had a lot of trouble accepting these ideas. In my opinion, he is not in a better place. A better place is here with me and the people that love him. During his funeral, I remember our pastor saying that his death was not part of a plan but a result of the brokenness in the world. He also said it is ok to not be ok which is something I will never forget. I know that people would say things to me to try to make me feel better but that was not what I always wanted. I wanted someone to tell me that it is ok to not be ok.
Fast forward to my four year fertility struggle. To date, I have had every test, procedure, surgery etc to figure out my infertility cause. According to every test medical science can provide, I am the picture of health. My husband is as well. As a result, people often tell me the following things
* I don’t understand why you do not just adopt. You do know that there are lots of kids out there that need a home.
* Think of all the benefits of not having kids.
* You must be trying to hard. If you relax, it will happen
* You are still really young and do not need to worry about this yet.
*Why are you in a doctoral program if you just want to have kids? Without kids you can focus on your career.
* I know someone that got pregnant as soon as they stopped trying (I must have heard this a 1000 times)
* When you are ready, it will happen (also presented as God will only bless you with a baby when you are ready)
*All of this is happening for a reason
While all of these statements make me feel like crap (even though I know they are well intended), the last two bother me the most. I fail to see a correlation between people’s readiness to parent and their ability to get pregnant. I also do not think all of this happens for a reason. To me it sucks and I am getting to the point where I feel ok saying that. Even though I do not think all of this happens for a reason, I do think that there are sometimes opportunities to make good out of these bad situations. In my situation, I am not sure if/what that is.