During one of my many doctor appointments as I sat in the waiting room, I couldn’t help but think about the different people who came in and out of the waiting area. While there, at least three women went back and left within 5 minutes (clearly, they were having their blood drawn), another woman came in and went back for a while and a man came in with his specimen. All of them varied in age and race. All of us clearly at different points in our infertility journey but we ultimately share the same hope and goal.
I have found that infertility is something many people don’t discuss or feel uncomfortable talking about. It is easy to feel very isolated when going through it. It is a hard topic for those who haven’t experienced it, to relate to. It is often easier to just not talk about it, than to discuss it with someone who truly doesn’t understand. As I sat in the waiting room, I saw 5 people come and go who are dealing with the same thing that we are. It may be something people don’t talk about, but it certainly isn’t uncommon. Infertility is not something that should make us feel isolated. It isn’t something that people shouldn’t talk about. It is a real issue and it is something that a person going through it thinks about on a daily basis. It takes up a huge part of your life.
One of my best friends is a Type 1 diabetic. She doesn’t NOT talk about her diabetes (I know, grammar, but I’m making a point). It is a huge part of her life and impacts her every day. It is something that is always on her mind and affects a vast majority of her decisions. It is something that has changed her. It has shaped her into the person that she is today. She went to diabetes camp as a child and met many lifelong friends who understand her same plight. She doesn’t just talk about it with her friends who have diabetes though. It’s a massive part of her and she discusses it with everyone, as she should. I’m not comparing infertility to diabetes. (Diabetes is an awful disease that I think many people tend to overlook because it can be control. It is not curable. It not only affects what you eat but the side effects that it does to the rest of your body over time are horrifying.) I’m only saying that people shouldn’t be afraid to talk about their infertility. My friend isn’t afraid to talk about something that greatly affects her life and neither should someone who is going through infertility. It becomes such a huge part of your life. It changes you. It makes you see things differently and it is ok to talk to people about it. Not just people who are going through the same thing, but to family and friends.
I am a HUGE fan of Friends (the tv show). I think I have watched the show in its entirety probably about 10 times (and counting). Chandler has and always will be probably my most favorite character. His one- liners crack me up every time. If you’ve watched the show, you know that Monica and Chandler struggle with infertility and (spoiler alert!) ultimately end up adopting. During an episode in season 10, Monica and Chandler are meeting with a friend of Phoebe’s who adopted their son. Chandler says during their meeting, “So, a lot of malfunctioning wee-wees and hoo-hoos in this room, huh?”. Every time I sit in the waiting room at the fertility doctor, I have this urge to say the exact statement. Infertility is an awful thing to go through but, as shown by the people in the waiting rooms, it is something that many people struggle with. Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to laugh and commiserate over it.