Day 3 of National Infertility Awareness Week! #NIAW
Today was #RockYourOrange
The last time I ran was March 17th. I wanted to try and slowly get back to running to see how my body would handle it. I was getting some pains after running. Talked to a few people (professionals, not the internet ), and made some changes to my routine. I really made sure to concentrate on a high cadence, and I did run-walk intervals. Interval running has never really been my favorite, but I did a half mile run then a minute walk, then half mile run, minute walk, ECT until I hit 2 miles. And I’m happy to report I’m not feeling the pain I was feeling before. Running definitely looks and feels different, but I’ll take what I can get.
I haven’t been able to participate in our Wednesday Breakfast Club runs, not only because I wasn’t running, but mostly bc of my nausea. I had a tiny bit this morning. Slightly there, but manageable. BUT it went away while running. Maaaaybe there’s something to that.
I was so grateful that my friends were so supportive on finding orange to wear! It was so sweet. I thank you guys from the bottom of my heart! .
I’ve been asked since I’ve opened up about my miscarriage, infertility journey, and pregnancy after loss of just what you’re “supposed to say” to someone who is going through it. The truth is that every person is different in their needs while grieving. But done places to start that are really helpful:
-“I am so sorry. This is is so unfair.”
-“Thank you for trusting me and opening up to me. I’m so sorry you’re going through this.”
-“I am here to listen whenever you need.”
-“What you’re feeling is valid and I’m so sorry you’re experiencing this.”
Things you don’t want to say:
-“At least…” Followed by literally anything. I’ve seen “At least it was early” in regards to a miscarriage or “at least you’re young and you have time.” Or “at least you can sleep in.” At least nothing. Just don’t use it.
-“Just get drunk and go on vacation. It worked for (friend/relative.)” No. That was just luck it happened to someone you know. Infertility is a medical diagnosis.
-“Just stop trying and it’ll happen.” Again no. Infertility is a medical diagnosis.
-“You’re stressing to much.” Or “just relax.” This completely invalidates someone. And this has nothing to do with their struggles.
-Do NOT compare stories. “You had a miscarriage? My friend had 5.” No. One struggle that you think is “worse” than another does not invalidate someone who is going through something else. Do not compare.
-“You’re so strong. I don’t know how I would get through it if it was me.” This is a hard one because it’s always meant with the best intentions, but I want to scream, “I have no other choice!!” Most don’t want to be told this. We just want our feelings validated and for people to listen. We literally do not have a choice but to deal with it and it’s exhausting always pretending to be ok.
Some people need to be left alone. Others want to talk. Others want to just be distracted. You don’t have to guess what someone needs. It’s ok to ask, “how can I best support you?” Most people just want a nonjudgmental ear. They want to grieve and not be given advice (unless they specifically ask). They just want to be heard. A listening ear is some of the best support you can give someone.
It really needs to be noted that grief isn’t linear. Some days you feel like you have it together and others you just don’t. I saw a perfect image a while ago about this… “People think grief shrinks over time. But really, you just grow around your grief.” And this is true for any grief. It doesn’t just apply to infertility.
Getting pregnant after being diagnosed with infertility and/or a miscarriage died not “cure” you from the trauma of a miscarriage nor does it cure you from infertility. If after we have a healthy rainbow baby, and my husband and I want to have a second, we will need to go through a fertility clinic again. We aren’t cured because I’m currently pregnant. I’m not certainly not cured from the trauma and any prenatal anxiety.
By opening up and sharing my story, it helps to throw out the stigma. I’m growing around grief. It’ll be there. But by changing the conversation and helping being awareness to a very isolating and private experience, it helps me know that someone reading this may not feel alone.