There are times when silence has the loudest voice….Leroy Brownlow
I am pretty sure this can be interpreted a couple of different ways, and in my experience I have been on both sides of this. I have been the one who coped by using silence while dealing with my infertility and pregnancy losses, but in my silence and isolation, my heart was crying out. Though I stayed quiet, inside I was shouting about how unfair this all is, and what a sucky hand to be dealt, while on the outside to everyone, maybe I just appeared strong, which is what so many have said to me. This is a coping mechanism, and nothing is wrong with this, we have to deal the best we can, however that may be.
“You are so strong”, “I could never deal with this”, “I don’t know how you do it”, are just a few of the words that have been said to me about my struggle with infertility and pregnancy loss. 7 years into this infertility journey, I am strong, I am dealing with this, and sometimes, I don’t know how I do it. It took 5 years, and a multitude of tests and treatments, and a diagnosis of unexplained infertility, and at least 80 negative pregnancy tests, until we had our first IUI and to our amazement it worked, we got our positive, our first ever. We were going along fine, and as we had our 7 week sonogram, we were told that our baby only appeared to be 6 weeks, that we should prepare to miscarry, but I could see the heartbeat so strong. I am still not sure how you prepare for such a heartache, there was no amount of preparation that would help me deal with this loss. At 8 weeks and 3 days, we lost our baby. I was so devastated, I couldn’t even consider doing anymore procedures, I needed time to heal emotionally. I took a year to get myself healthy, both physically and mentally. We then went in for our 2nd IUI, which failed, followed by our 3rd IUI which also failed, our 4th IUI was successful, but ended in an early miscarriage, and our 5th IUI also resulted in a positive, but sadly ended in a miscarriage. As I think about all of the tests, the medications, the procedures, and 3 losses, sometimes, I can’t believe this is real.This is my life, this is the life of an infertile woman. We are now in limbo, as I wait to go for further testing to see if we can find a cause to the recurring miscarriages. No more procedures, until we can figure out the problem. This is the physical part of the details, but the emotional part is just as difficult, if not more.
You see, dealing with all of this is hard, it does sap every ounce of strength from you. Having a good support system can mean the world. I have an amazing husband, and family, and friends, but let’s face it no one knows what to do or say, if they haven’t been through this. This is where being on the other side of that all too deafening silence hurts. It has hurt me deeply. To be greeted with silence, or just avoided all together, it is very isolating. When I found out the news of each of my pregnancies, it was a joyous occasion, celebrated by so many. I was asked each day, how things were progressing, given gifts, and was the recipient of so many well wishes and love. Then as I experienced each of my losses, what I got was mostly silence, or avoidance. Please, I get it, it’s uncomfortable, it’s sad, no one wants to acknowledge that bad things just happen. But, being on the receiving end of that is terribly heartbreaking. It is the elephant in the room, crushing the life out of me. I would like to believe we have progressed enough as a society that this is no longer a taboo subject, but in so many ways it still is. Taboo means improper or unacceptable, and I agree, it is totally unacceptable for a woman to struggle to become pregnant, when it is the most natural part of being a woman, her God given ability to carry a life. It is also unacceptable for a Mother to have her baby die, at any stage of gestation but it is certainly not a subject that is improper to speak about. There are many things that have been said to me over the years, some of them hurt, but I know most of them were intended to show concern. But, one of the most hurtful things that has ever been said to me, is…NOTHING AT ALL.
Martin Luther King, Jr. , said, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
I am going to #StartAsking that you please don’t stay silent to avoid saying the wrong thing, there really is no right thing to say.
Thanks for listening,
#StartAsking #NIAW @resolveorg