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Posted Oct 22 2009 10:05pm
Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.
Children born to a young man are like sharp arrows in a warrior’s hand
Psalm 127: 3 & 4

I feel compelled to write this post because I have been reflecting of late on how difficult it was to bring my struggles with infertility to my family, and I suspect that some of you struggling with infertility, are having this problem too. You are not having the support you would have wanted from your family because you have not built up the courage to tell maybe for fear that they might not be able to give the support you need or for fear you might be judged or have inconsiderate comments thrown at you. On the other hand, maybe you have managed to tell them but have only skimmed the surface of what you are going through, these dear loved ones really do not know exactly how much pain this struggle is inflicting on you and how hard it is to just make it from day to day.

I wrote in my last post (“when your mother-in-law want those grandbabies”), that my struggles was brought to my family only after a conflict with my mother-in-law and this was not really how I wanted them to know about it, I wanted to be able to tell them myself and to tell them also how much this condition was affecting my daily life, how hard it was to wake up each day and to actually make it through that day.
I remember once I was taking a trip out to the country with my eldest sister and had planned in advance that I would use that occasion to tell her about my struggles with infertility. I used this opportunity because what more than a journey out in the country to relax you and make you want to talk, even to the extent of things that you hold private and close to you. Well, this did not go as planned, as I find I was able to talk about everything else but my struggles with infertility. I actually attempted in my mind, on a few occasions but no words came from my lips. I came back from this trip feeling miserable and defeated, and was forced to continue my struggles in secret.
I know like me, many of you are having problems opening up to your family about your struggles and this is understandable because this is a personal and private issue. Furthermore, infertiles will attempt to protect their feelings if they have reasons to feel that they will be judged or have inconsiderate comments thrown at them.

For me, this was the case. I remember on one occasion one of my sisters became pregnant with her second child. I was happy but was also a bit uncomfortable, because, here I was still struggling to have my first. Nevertheless, I decided to break the news to my Dad. I was not prepared for the response my father gave me, “so you are wasting time then”, he said. I was really taken aback to hear this from my Dad, because he was not one to make comments like that to me and so I took it to heart and was very depressed for a good while after.

My mother on the other hand, had no problems throwing these comments at me, that after a while, I had planned to talk to her in details about my struggles with infertility, in hopes of her being a little more considerate with her comments, but sadly I did not get around to it.

On the few attempts to talk to members of my family about my struggles with infertility, the comments were sometimes less than encouraging. One comment I got from one person, was that they do not think they would be so upset if they were inflicted with infertility. As a result, I gave up trying and made the decision to continue struggling in private, with the hope that one day I will be able to open up completely to them, so that they will understand more, this kind of pain.

I mention all these scenarios just to so you know that I know how difficult it is to talk about an issue like struggles with infertility with your loved ones. I also know that this difficulty is made that much lighter when you have the support of those you love, because some day, all you need is an encouraging word from a loved one, or a hug even, to let you know that even though they do not know what it feels like to be in such pain, they will be there for you, when you need them. I yearned for that so much.

I would encourage you therefore that if you want the support of your family (like I wanted), make the effort, as hard as it may be, to talk to your loved ones about your struggles with infertility, as you will never know how much this will help you. Iwished I had worked harder at it. This might prove to be a little discouraging at first but just remember, whatever their judgement, reaction or comments may be, they are really not qualified to give them, unless they have walked a mile in your shoes.

Be encouraged therefore and until next time, keep clinging to hope.

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