Wednesday, April 27, 2016
#NIAW Bloggers Unite Conference~ Day 4
#NIAW Bloggers Unite Conference~ Day 4
Hosted by Miss Conception Coach
As one part of NIAW, I was asked to be part of a bloggers unite conference this week (thanks to @MissConceptionCoach- see web link above to go to her site/blog). Those of us participating wrote about different angles of infertility, and all pieces are also centered on the theme #StartAsking. I'll be sharing the posts from the other women each day, and one day mine will pop up as well. You can read them all here, on the link above, or at the featured blog itself (which will have a link at the bottom).
Here's today's post, Day 4.
Hi! My name is Dani. My husband, Chris and I, have been trying to conceive (TTC) since December 2013. We were diagnosed with ‘‘ in January 2015.
I decided to blog about our journey of TTC as I quickly realised that talking to friends and family about our situation can be difficult. It can be hard for them to understand too. We discovered a number of our friends and family have experienced similar problems in the past, but had kept it undisclosed at the time. If we knew then what we know now, I’d like to think we would be able to help them through their journey too.
I’m a Brit living in Virginia, USA, so my blog discusses the observed differences in healthcare systems – the good, the bad and the ugly! I’m also an analyst by profession, so I can’t help but over analyse and critique everything.
So here I am! Sharing my honest thoughts, feelings, ideas and understanding about infertility as together we hunt down the great pudding club. Please join me in my journey, share your thoughts with me because a greater understanding and knowledge will help us together make the hunt a smoother and easier ride.
It took me a while to tell my friends and family we were struggling to conceive. Initially, it was a scary.
I was scared to admit my body had failed. I was scared of people pitying me. I was scared of hearing hurtful comments – “It wasn’t meant to be” or “Its God’s plan” or “You need to relax and it will happen”. I was scared they would judge my habits, my two glasses of wine (shock horror!), my exercise routines or the type of food I ate. I was also scared of losing friends who just didn’t get it.
One year later with three IUIs and IVFs under my belt I am now as open as a book about our infertility story. I blogged about my feelings, I instagrammed what I saw and I updated my facebook statuses to tell our friends of our pregnancy, and then our loss. If someone asks me why I won’t be in the office next week, I will tell them it’s because we are going through IVF and I will answer their questions.
It’s a relief being open about our infertility. There are no lies and therefore there is no guilt about lying. As time has passed, our friends and family better understand our disease, they better understand the infertility etiquette. But there is something I had not been doing until recently, I hadn’t asked for any help. Sure people asked “Is there anything I can do?” but of course, I said “No, but thank you for thinking of us!” Although the gesture of asking is helpful, I thought that infertility is something only me and my partner can get through together. It wasn’t until our third round of IVF treatment that it hit me like a ton of bricks. The stress of infertility can pile up on you bit by bit, day by day. Suddenly something seemingly small or insignificant causes it to come crashing down around you. For me it was chronic hayfever, for my husband it was a stressful project. When you and your partner are both swamped beneath the stress of infertility as well as everyday life, it can be difficult to get out of it alone. It was then that I plucked up the courage and discovered – asking for help was OK.
By sharing our infertility story I already felt like I was burdening people with our sadness. Not only did I not think to ask for help, but I thought I would be further burdening people. I was completely wrong. My friends and family wanted to help with every inch of their heart. There is a saying that it takes a village to raise a child. This is true, but folks, it takes a village to get that child there in the first place!!!
So what can you ask for help with?
Ask for help with specific tasks, like inviting them to come along to appointments with you if your partner can’t make it (even if they just wait in the waiting room) or walking the dog, looking after other children when you go for these appointments.
Ask for help keeping on track to maintain healthy body and healthy mind, ask them to be your exercise/healthy eating buddy.
Ask for help in distracting you in the two week wait, ask them to plan something one evening. But don’t forget to remind them what would be bad activities to do, such as drinking alcohol or going on roller coaster rides!!!
Ask them to help give you a respite from some of your responsibilities such as charity work or a project at work.
Ask them to help cheer you up by sending you some funnies from the internet.
Ask them to help you raise some funds towards your treatments or adoption costs. Ask for help running a yard sale or doing a sponsored challenge together.
Infertility is not easy on your body or your mind, so let the friends and family you love help you out. I am so glad I did, people tell me they wanted to help, but just didn’t know how. Give them a little direction and they will help carry you the rest of the way.