B noted a few weeks ago that my passion these days seems to be infertility – and not necessarily our own. B is right. I worry about all the people in my reader. I count down the days until people’s lab work, retrievals, transfers, betas, and ultrasounds. I hold my breath as a fellow IF-er awaits blood draws. I have literally cried for many IF-ers who are receiving bad news on top of bad news. I smile in delight when one of my friends gets a BFP, and I moan in frustration when another does not.
Lately, I’ve noticed that for every BFP out there, someone else gets bad news. It’s the way of infertility, right? This is how IVF success rates hover around 40-50% – because someone is always having to try again, when someone else gets to be that lucky “one-and-done.” I don’t know what the overall treatment success rates are across all treatment types, but I know that IVF has higher rates of success, which explains why there seem to be more BFN’s than BFP’s in my reader.
It upsets me a great deal.
I saw the BEST news in my reader yesterday – top of the morning! Someone finally got her hard-earned BFP after multiple IVF failures (still so excited about this!). That news was followed up with another BFP later in the day! Then that news was followed by frustration and fear of a close friend struggling with conceiving. And then that conversation was followed by more bad news for someone else.
All in one day.
The best I can do is not let it affect me and my family, but that’s so hard to do. All I want is for everyone to get the family that they desire, in a timely manner. But that isn’t going to happen. More and more couples are fighting infertility these days. Three of my closest IRL friends struggled with IF and needed IVF. Friends of friends have struggled for years. It’s a trend that isn’t going away. Looking at the friends I have in FB, 33 of 208 of my friends have battled with infertility or RPL – and those are only the ones I know of. That’s 16% of the people I’m connected to in FB (I did not include friends I’ve met through PAIL since we met through IF). That’s a lot. That’s too many.
I know I’m passionate about this. I think I always will be. I think I’ll always cheer on my fellow IF-ers, even when my days of family building are long over. Certain aspects of IF will always stick with me, such as my frustrations with insensitive blog posts or FB updates, comments like “they should JUST adopt,” and knowing the sadness in the eyes of a fellow infertile.
When you’ve lived it – it’s a part of you. It’s always going to be painful, even if it’s not always MY pain.
February 5, 2013 at 4:28 pm
Ugh, I so hear ya on this one. I feel so surrounded by it, and I just want to help and cheer on and it’s exhausting at the same time. Last weekend one of my sister’s bridesmaids approached me with questions about IF – she and her husband (a former fling of mine from high school – random!), have been TTC for over a year and are currently in the middle of a Femara cycle. She and her husband both had so many questions for us, and you could tell they were just excited to talk to people who GOT IT. I’m thankful we could give them some tips and support, but it just SUCKS that it’s out there at all. *sigh*
February 5, 2013 at 4:51 pm
Amazing how so many people we KNOW – in real life and not through IF blogs – are impacted by this. It’s depressing. I’m glad you were available to them to answer questions. I’m sure it made them feel a little better just knowing that someone they know understands what they’re going through. We all just want a little comfort along the way – and you provided that!
You are right about it being exhausting at the same time. It’s something I would never want to change, but sometimes, I do need to take a step back and re-group.
February 5, 2013 at 4:54 pm
Ya, I think that’s part of why I rarely follow a new IF blog anymore. There is just so much exhausting pain, and part of me needs to stick to the ALI peeps that I already know and love and have been following for 3 yrs. It’s not like all of us don’t CONTINUE to have issues and need support, and sometimes that’s all I can handle. I cried when I read about Liz’ BFP this morning – she is one of the ONLY bloggers in my original followers list of 100+ who is still struggling, and it breaks my heart.
February 5, 2013 at 5:05 pm
Wow – congrats to Liz!
February 5, 2013 at 4:53 pm
I feel the same way! I sometimes check my reader obsessively for updates on people. This definitely leaves a scar that will never go away, and I think the pain will always feel very real to us, even decades from now.
February 5, 2013 at 5:06 pm
Yes…. because the cycle just continues. Sigh.
February 5, 2013 at 5:50 pm
Courtney, you are such a caring person! You don’t know how many times I was down in the dumps and your positive comments gave me hope or that reading your posts made me smile. It is so sad that so many have or are dealing with IF and after going through it I don’t think we ever forget the pain we have felt and end up feeling it for others going through the same thing.
February 5, 2013 at 9:52 pm
Thanks, Kim. I have to believe that most of us who have been through IF feel this way – passionate about the issue(s) and wanting to support others to their own success.
You have no idea how happy your post made me yesterday! I have gone back and looked at your HPT photos a few times, always amazed at the first photo and how obvious that line is 🙂 I am just over the moon for you!!!
February 5, 2013 at 6:26 pm
I wish I could say something more substantial than this, but this post is why I value you so much as my friend. You care. No bullshit. Just fierce care and compassion. I ❤ you big time.
February 5, 2013 at 9:53 pm
I heart you too!
February 5, 2013 at 8:47 pm
This post comes at such a weird time in my life. Babe and I were talking and he ALWAYS talks about my passion for this. The ALI community. How I want to educate everyone. How I want my story out there to help EVERY.SINGLE.PERSON. In the midst of my roller coaster this week, I spent 2 hours yesterday and today helping a friend who just received a set back in her TTC journey. I instantly put my crap aside and dove into hers. And the weird thing, it wasn’t exhausting. It was almost exhilarating for me. As I cheered her on and gave her different options, it made me realize, my experience is SO much bigger than me.
I too scroll over and over and over again through my reader looking for where people are in their cycles. It’s like an addiction. I celebrate with the ups and cry with the disappointments. I’m always looking for new stories to follow so I can offer my experience and encouragement. It takes but a few words to hook me and I’m immediately going through their old posts to find out their story. I’m so grateful for this community and all I have been supported through. I feel this passion to return the gifts I have been given.
Thank you for posting this and your undying support through everything. You are an amazing person and I’m so thankful I get to call you my friend.
February 5, 2013 at 9:57 pm
I am like you, always looking for new stories to follow. I think it’s so important to share our experiences with those who come after us – to let them know that it can, and likely will, work out in the end. I so wish I’d had more of that when we were going through IVF for Matthew. I had my 2 AWESOME IRL friends who had been through it and got me through it, but I wasn’t blogging and it would have been so helpful to read and interact with others who had walked a similar path before me.
I’m thankful that you’re my friend too! We all got pretty lucky in finding each other – especially given the crappy reasons we all came together. That is the ONE upside to IF, if you ask me. New, supportive, loyal friends!
February 5, 2013 at 10:41 pm
You are an incredible person and I feel honored to have you as a friend and supporter. Thank you.
February 7, 2013 at 2:29 pm
I feel the same about you! So thank you as well!
February 6, 2013 at 2:17 am
I could have written this, right down to my husband being concerned/annoyed by my emotional intensity around this topic and my friends from this community. I think he has points. I try to see advocacy as a cause: if I were alive in 1910 I would be fighting for the right for women to vote. In 2013, I’m fighting for education around ALI in the best way I can: telling the stories no one knows, to try to change public opinion. Which could lead to better leigislation passed so more people can afford IVF and adoption. Will it work? Is it enough? Well, those are questions that haunt me, too. Thanks for this and I’m glad to read commenters saying they also feel this way. Glad I’m not alone…
February 7, 2013 at 2:31 pm
We’re far from alone. It seems that many of us can’t seem to let go of our desire to support others, which is a good thing.
I think it’s interesting that your husband has concerns as well. I remember you writing about that a while back and when I shared it with B, he agreed whole heartedly with what Darcy’s concerns were. And I couldn’t see that perspective at all! I still sort of can’t see it, being perfectly honest 😉
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February 6, 2013 at 5:40 am
I love you, girl. Your support and friendship have seen and are seeing me through some trying times. It doesn’t matter that we’ve met once, for just a few hours, this friendship is one for the books.
February 7, 2013 at 2:32 pm
It sure is! I love you back! I’m so lucky to have found you, and then to have met you in person! True friendship!
February 6, 2013 at 8:59 am
I wonder if it’s a type of therapy for us to be able to help others dealing with IF? Like a sense of control. We couldn’t control what was going on in our own TTC journeys but we can help educate others with all the knowledge we’ve gained so they have a better understanding of how to move forward in their own journey? I don’t know, just a thought. I love how passionate you are too. Someone we can always turn to for support.
February 7, 2013 at 2:34 pm
I think you’re right on so many levels. I hadn’t thought about it that way, but you are so right!
February 6, 2013 at 9:49 pm
You can probably guess how I feel about this topic 🙂 I really dive into “communities” headfirst– I enjoy helping people (which I’d like to think I’m doing), talking about my feelings and experiences, and trying to process things out loud. Blogging is a natural fit for me even though I’ve been slacking lately, so online support & connection communities really appeal to me.
February 7, 2013 at 1:31 pm
I’ve noticed that about you 😉
I’m similar and I cannot believe it took me so long to start blogging. So glad I did!
February 7, 2013 at 7:29 pm
I think your passion is something to be so proud of! Through it you have and will continue to help so many others. I remember when I first started TTC and realizing things weren’t going as I hoped, I spent hours and hours reading blogs of other women who had pushed through it all and were on the other side. They gave me so much hope, and that is what you are doing now. You are right, with every happy ending, there are still so many sad stories out there and it is so tough… tough to read and follow and experience. Since becoming a father my husband has actually gotten more invested than I expected. Still nothing major but when I tell him bits of people’s stories or journeys, he too definitely feels a bit of what they are going through and empathizes with them. The IF world is a tough place, but it is lucky to have your support and friendship… and I feel so lucky to have your support and friendship too!! 🙂
February 7, 2013 at 9:18 pm
It’s funny that you mention your DH. The same has happened with B. He knows the names of the gals I follow and remembers instantly who people are when I tell him about a BFP or a BFN. He even cried with me one night as we discussed the pain some friends of ours were going through as they tried for years to get pregnant. IF changes people, even the men 😉
I’m happy to have your support and friendship, and I can promise you that the IF world is happy tohave it too!
February 11, 2013 at 1:24 pm
YES! i feel the same way. I am so passionate about it, it’s so hard not to be when you live it. I am pretty open about our struggles in hopes that it helps others understand what it’s like to fight so hard for your family. It’s exhausting, but so important!