Perhaps the most painful part of the infertility journey is the loneliness you feel and encounter. Infertility is a personal challenge even when you are married to the most loving partner in the World.
As an introvert, I was never the type to feel lonely because I enjoy my company and can keep myself busy without really needing anyone. however, I was really surprised to find myself really lonely whilst I was waiting.
It hurt being in Christian parenting classes in church, taking classes for those trying to conceive, and year after year, you are there. people get in, get pregnant, and leave. But I stayed because I just could not conceive.
Loneliness comes in many forms, – I went from not understanding what was going on in my body, to not being able to communicate how I was feeling, to not being able to convince the Dr of how I was feeling, (because medically, I was not supposed to feel that way) to actually being physically alone when I had to live in India for 2 years.
I tried to drown the loneliness with exercising, spending time on the internet, reading books and materials, and studying to be a counsellor but it was there. I felt misunderstood sometimes, and often alone. I would sleep in tears sometimes, and wake up in tears sometimes.
But, I remembered I was on this journey for a purpose and chose to be happy and joyful and I also identified that a lot of the lonely feeling was as a result of isolation. To make matters worse, a lot of people do not know what you are going through and just assume you are not doing anything because they are not seeing results.
It hurts when people think you do not believe enough, or have faith enough, or not having intercourse enough, or not having sex the right way, or maybe you’ve been promiscuous! It hurts when they keep asking, ‘are you pregnant?’ ‘Not pregnant?’ ‘When will you get pregnant?’ ‘Are you seeing the right doctor?’
It gets pretty lonely when you simply do not want to attend yet another family function or a friend’s baby shower or baby christening party and no one understands why you do not want to “rejoice with those rejoicing!”
Sometimes I did not want to rejoice! I wanted my own baby, not someone else’s! Couldn’t anyone understand that?
I had a friend tell me, why don’t you just adopt instead of going through all this trouble? One said I believe you will get pregnant naturally when you come back home. I thought really? How thoughtless???
Sadly, you quickly learn that life goes on. People move on and time goes on. The child who was 10 years old when you got married is now married and has a protruding belly! Yet you still cant have a baby.
Infertility cripples the mind and your finances. It cripples relationships and your dreams. Loneliness is real and it hurts. And as mentioned earlier, a lot comes from being in an isolated world.
My name is ‘Toyin Lolu-Ogunmade and I am an infertility survivor, a trained Fertility counsellor and run a Family Building Consultancy. I work with couples who are trying to conceive. Part of my giving back includes scheduled Support group meetings where people get to share experiences and learn new things in the area of conception.
Having challenges with conception? You can reach me on firstname.lastname@example.org
© Ty Lolu-Ogunmade 2015
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