It’s national infertility awareness week soon, 19-25 April 2015. The theme is “You’re not alone”. There is a blogging challenge under this theme which I have been thinking about writing. I asked Chris if he thought it would be a good idea for us to write a joint blog post under this theme and post it onto our personal facebook pages. After all, it is the making people aware of infertility week – how better to make people aware than to share our journey so far? But Chris quickly pointed out that this would be too much to share. We would get more questions like, “Any news?”, we would be asked about our troubles at times when we just don’t feel like talking about it, we would also get the unintentional insensitive thoughts, ideas and suggestions (a great post about this “Pardon me whilst I burst into flame” I re-blogged here).
This all makes me so sad. Sad because I feel like we should make people more aware of the statistics (how common it is), the hidden suffering, the variety, complexity of infertility problems and the many options/choices of treatment.
The infertility journey is a rocky wild path, that will throw all types of extreme weather at us, it’s physically exhausting and mentally draining. We know the peak is high, we may come across false summits. Some of us may fall down, some of us may find shortcuts (we always hope to find shortcuts!) and sometimes the path simply becomes longer and windier than we ever imagined. We can ask directions from the experts along the way, they help us to see the path as a gentle winding pleasant route, but they can rarely help when nature creates that avalanche and cuts you off. If we have our friends with us, they can help us round and scale the new challenges that pop up…they don’t need to be there all the time, they can relay it up the mountain with us, but surely we are better off not going it alone?
In some ways this journey reminds me of the play we saw last year, K2. This is a story of two climbers who scale K2 but come across difficulties in their climb, death is near as they fight for survival together. The two contemplate the meaning of life, family, friends, God and our existential existence. Ultimately, if there had been at least one other person with them, they all may have survived. Is our infertility journey like this? If there were more than the two of us, if we fall, will it be easier to get up and keep going? Movies often portray climbers that find themselves like the K2 scenario as egotistical and selfish. But climbers are misunderstood, climbing is more than adrenaline or ego, big climbs are often an exercise of self examination, a chance to get away from the daily grind. I am not saying that in this case infertility sufferers are like climbers. But what I do wonder, is that we similarly are misunderstood. We are misunderstood because no one knows we are out here on our journeys. Should we make more people aware? How can we do this?
We are out here on this journey because the top is going to be beautiful, it will be worth it in the end, worth the financial burden, the mental exhaustion, the physical pain. I’ve heard it is amazing up there. I just don’t want to be alone. But I’m not sure we are ready to invite everyone to join us on our journey just yet.