IVF and family.. Two words I have discovered the hard way do not go hand in hand.
Throughout my IVF journey so far, I have felt isolated and somewhat an outcast from both my family and Troy’s family. The infertile ones. The one’s incapable of providing
Grandchildren. The unhappy ones.
I know in reality they don’t know how to deal with us, what to say or what to do.
This week we have worked full days of work (usually 11 hour days), driven 4 hours at night time for doctors appointments early the next morning (Tuesday night and again tonight), then driven back home the next day, and returned to work the following day, while still dealing with daily household chores. We feel exhausted, shattered and lifeless to say the least. It would be nice at the end of the day to have someone stop and ask how our appointments went, check that we are okay, and just be that smiling face at the end of the road. It would be even greater to have someone help us out just a little. I’ve been feeling cruddy from the drugs and literally feel like my body is about to collapse. The last few days of work have been the hardest days of my life, making myself push on, when I just want to collapse to the ground like a heavy bag of bricks. Am happy to say though, I am now on 4 weeks holidays as of today. 🙂 I am looking forward to plenty of time at home, once our treatment finishes, to hopefully nurture a little embryo, and be that stay at home wife, cook meals, clean, all the stuff wives are made of! And maybe, just maybe be a Mum.
IVF is described in an article by The American Society for Reproductive Medicine as “More stressful than or almost as stressful as any other major life event, such as the death of a family member or separation or divorce”. And I would have to say I strongly agree. My argument is, if you have just been through a traumatic experience such as a divorce, would your family be there for you? I think the answer would be yes. If you were devastated with the immense trauma of a death or loss of a loved one, would your family be there to support and hold you? I think once again the answer would be a strong yes. Then why on earth is it so difficult for family to not be there to support us through the trauma of infertility and IVF? It is traumatic, it is a loss just as great as death. So why can’t family support us through this challenge too? Why can’t the people we love, the people with our same blood and genetics be our support lifeline?
I know I am not the only one who feels this way. Speaking with my good friend who has now endured far too many rounds of IVF, she feels isolated and secluded by her family too. No one acknowledges or asks how we are going, what our plans are. Instead we get ignorance. Are your family the same?
Last weekend we attended Troy’s Uncle’s 50th birthday. It was one of the worst experiences of my life, causing much emotion and hurt for the both of us. Troy’s brother and sister in law who had their baby around the same time as we were due with our first angel baby were there with their baby. It was the first family occasion where we have faced each other since they were nasty after our miscarriage. We had to sit at their table with Troy’s Mum and Dad and sister. His brother and sister in law said not one word to us the whole night. Instead, everyone was fussing over their baby. Fair enough, he’s cute. But the ignorance hurt. Troy’s father was the only one to make an effort to talk to us. Everyone else was too busy. Troy’s sister didn’t even say hello to us all night, as she was far too busy playing Aunty. They all know we are on our next round of IVF too. I guess I feel sorry for us, it hurts having no support and being ignored. This whole process is incredibly draining emotionally. I often wonder how much easier it’d be if we just had some family to genuinely care, help us out and support us. But instead I am grateful to have strangers. I find the greatest support is given by people I don’t know personally like my fellow IVF warriors on this blog, and my good friend who travels this road with me. Without them, I don’t know where I’d be. Far better than any support I get from family.
I have learnt a huge life lesson, and mostly try to accept that we are doing this by ourselves and not rely on any compassion or support from family to be displayed throughout this ride. And we have become stronger as a result. We can do anything together.