Flip The Script – National Infertility Awareness Week
Spring has always been my favourite time of year because I love the anticipation of summer and the fresh new life that comes with spring. The sun is shining, the snow is (finally) melting, flowers are sprouting, the birds are chirping and baby squirrels and bunnies are everywhere in the city and baby cows, horses, goats and lamb are all over the country side.
And so I find it almost ironic that National Infertility Awareness Week is held in the spring. A week meant to raise awareness to those who struggle to have a family, is held at the exact same time that the entire world, or at least the northern hemisphere, seems to be having babies.
Anyways, I digress (as I do sometimes).
This year the theme is Flip the Script, to change the way we talk about infertility, to break down stereotypes and raise awareness of the club that no-one wants to be part of.
And so this year I want to talk about how adoption does not cure infertility and time to does not erase the pain of loss.
We have a son, we absolutely adore him, he is the light of our lives and the center of our universe. Our family was brought together through an option adoption, and I wouldn’t change a single thing about him.
But, the fact that we have a child, doesn’t mean that my heart still doesn’t hurt for the 5 babies we lost too soon. He doesn’t mean that hearing pregnancy announcements from friends and family scares the hell out of me, as I fear they will join the baby loss club. His arrival didn’t take away all the pain we went through – he didn’t erase the memories of being wheeled into an operating room for an emergency D&C or walking into an abortion clinic to terminate a much loved and desperately wanted baby or listening to doctors tell us that the heart beat is too week to survive or waiting weeks for a miscarriage to actually occur. Nothing, changes these facts of our lives.
And yet, even though basically everyone in our lives knows that we lost 5 babies before we chose to adopt, since the day our son was born, not a single person in our lives has initiated a conversation about our lost babies, or our odd type of infertility. If we bring it up, people go quiet and desperately try to change the subject. (There is one exception to this, people now seem to always tell us about their friends who lost a baby or who could not get pregnant, but then miraculously end up successfully pregnant – because pain Olympics seem to be a real thing).
Even though these experiences are a fact of life, that consumed us for almost 3 years, it seems that our losses are a fact that we are not allowed to discuss. In fact, it feels as though we are just supposed to forget about the 3 years of hell that we endured and pretend like they just didn’t happen.
And yet, truthfully, what we really want is the space to be able to speak about our lost babies. To speak about what we went through to get where we are today. To speak our truth with acceptance and support, rather then awkwardness.
So I guess, my thought for today, is that these experience are a very real part of our lives, and talking about it often helps. So, give us space to talk about our real life experiences and our lost babies when we want to talk, and don’t turn it into some sort of awkward, must change the subject ASAP conversation. Really, just don’t ignore people’s infertility and loss experiences even if time has passed and they appear to have moved on in life. Time may ease the pain and the hurt, but loss is forever.
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