Adoption, Infertility, Our Infertility story

My comfort zone

December 7, 2011

Going through infertility is quite humbling in many ways.  It forced me to show another side of myself, a side that most of us choose not to discuss.

I became very open about our struggle after a year or so into the ordeal, and then open publicly (on my blog and Facebook) after a couple of years and when we started treatment.  I did it for several reasons.  I am generally a pretty open person.  Also, my feelings are always etched on my face, therefore it’s hard to conceal what I am feeling.  I did it because it was easier on me if people knew.  People stopped asking, “So, when are you and Erick going to have kids?”   I needed support.  I felt an obligation to educate others about infertility and what it is like to live through. And, it felt good to take action and really advocate for infertility.

It worked great.  Being open about everything had the intended consequences of generally making things easier. Also, in the beginning, it allowed me to connect with other women going through similar problems.  If I hadn’t announced it, we would have never known we shared infertility in common.  At times, it was hard though.  I found it easy to be open when talking about my problems, our diagnosis, and treatment.  But, it was hard after treatment or after getting positive pregnancy tests and having people ask, “So? What happened?” or “What was the result?”  Those were very stressful times for me and I was asking myself those questions a million times a day, so I didn’t need other voices joining the already drowning chorus in my head.   Strangely enough, it was very hard to tell people good news, like getting a positive beta (test). They would be over the moon and ready for us to start our registry, while we were feeling like I was made of glass.  I very much needed to take one day at a time.  Those five times of being pregnant for several weeks were filled with fear and anxiety and so receiving congratulations from people was hard for me. There’s was nothing happy about it, especially after so much loss. It’s tough to explain.

And, now that we pursuing adoption, I find that I don’t really want to talk about things much.  There will be a child to protect and their story will be theirs and theirs alone.  Everyone already knows that we want children and can’t conceive.  So, sharing information at this point doesn’t make the situation easier.  Also, our adoption journey so far has been no picnic.  For anyone to pretend otherwise, hasn’t been there.  I don’t want to say any more about why, but waiting to adopt is hard and can be very disappointing at times.

But, I feel like I have to talk about it because I need help.  We need help getting the word out and help raising money. We can’t afford an agency adoption right now, so we are doing our own adoption outreach and hoping for a parental placement.  So, we have to tell everyone we know and shout it from the rooftops to hopefully get the word out and make that connection.  You never know who that certain someone will be that can help make that connection for you.  I am doing this right now because I have to, not because I want to.  I will do whatever possible to bring home our baby.  But, it’s just feeling strange lately to have to talk about it and I don’t know why. We just launched our adoption website, and I guess I feel weird about it. It feels good to do something that might help us, but it also feels weird — I feel like I’m in a store window for everyone to gawk at.  And, I feel that I have to make my case to be a parent, while most do not.  It’s just a strange feeling.  At a time, when I feel like retreating back into my little hole, I can’t and I am on display in a big way.

Also, I feel tired of asking for help.  “Buy jewelry from me, please.”  “Help us spread the word.”  “Like our Facebook page.”   I’m tired of being that annoying person always asking people to do something.

I like to be independent.  I like to handle things myself.  I don’t like needing help. I should be able to do it myself.  Going through IVF was all me. My pain, my discomfort, my time, my feelings.  It was hard, but it was ultimately up to me and I had faith in myself.  But, here I am, in this situation now where I do need help.  Once again, infertility is pushing me into unknown territory.  So, even though it hasn’t been comfortable, I haven’t been too proud to ask for help and I will have to continue to do so.  And, ultimately, I’d do anything to be a mom and this is just one more thing to overcome.

I saw this quote recently and it seems appropriate.

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”  – Neale Donald Walsch

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  • I can relate to the difficulty of asking for help, asking for support but with this new journey sort of guarding yourself. There comes (or came with me) that our journey became more internal and less shared. We are actually going through IVF3 with only my parents, sister and 2 friends knowing vs. the whole world. In a way I am finding it helpful, but also missing that support. I can’t imagine the roller coaster you have been on with 5 IVF’s and 5 mc’s and now adoption that brings about a whole different set of emotional highs and lows. I am wishing you the best and hoping that you find a way to shout it out comfortably so that you can find that baby looking for you!

  • Jess

    Maybe what you need to do is start a private blog? One where you (or just a few select people) can discuss how you are feeling about the adoption? That’s why I started my private blog. It just doesn’t feel right to share that info with others involved. And there’s plenty I don’t share there too. I went through a long period feeling uncomfortable showing people our profile, feeling uncomfortable asking people for donations, or to do things to help us. But over time, I observed that most people wanted to help us but didn’t know how. (That being said, some people are weird with the fundraising part, I’ll admit.) It SUCKS to need to raise funds to build a family, and I know how hard this part of things must be for you. We wanted to start the adoption process last June but had to wait a full year to do anything for finances- and that year was full of frustration. I only just added our facebook page after I noticed our agency slowing down and just feeling like I wanted to do something more to help, but I thought about doing it for 3 months as I felt uncomfortable for the reasons you described! I can really identify with the feelings you’ve described- the frustration that this is something we can’t just do on our own. (And having to borrow money makes me want to pass out but where would we be without it?) These parts of adoption are tough, especially when taken in stride with a history of loss… Take care of yourself! This is not an easy ride, by any stretch. It makes me want to strangle the “just adopt” crowd.

  • caroline

    you’re a strong person…i’m still finding ways of telling family and friends of our infertility issues…it’s so tough! best wishes.

  • Wow good luck with all of this. I also can relate to the ‘asking for help’ thing, and it sounds very intense.
    Also agree with the commenter above who suggested private blogging/journalling – having an audience without a face can be immensely liberating (or should that be, having no audience at all!?)

    Here from ICLW