I’ve come to the realisation that infertility support, much like most things in life, operates on the principle of a bell curve. Initially, no one has a clue what you’re going through, you naturally don’t share as much because “everything’s going to be alright”, so people don’t really know what your life is like, and those who do don’t really know how to deal with it. You progress on and, like a rolling snowball gathering snow, more and more people find out. You find others going through the same thing, your friends and family learn more about the process, support is limitless. Time proceeds some more. Those who were in the same boat have found their answer and realised their dream. The groups diminish. People run out of things to say, unsure of where to go from here, and suddenly you find yourself alone again, adrift on a sea of lost hope and broken dreams.
I think the hardest part of this for me is the loss of my husband’s understanding. Friends, family, I can deal with. There’s nothing more they can do, I know they’re there for me if I call on them. My husband is different. We’re in this together irrespective of the rest of the world; I need him to be there and to understand.
Now anyone who has delved into the world of conception will know that it takes a bit to get your guy on board. Initially he doesn’t understand your cycle, why you take your temperature every morning, have 101 different tests, or the importance of ‘being on a schedule’….and let’s be honest, he doesn’t want to. He doesn’t get the heartache you feel when you see pregnant bellies or tiny humans. He doesn’t comprehend how these things break you apart piece-by-piece no matter how much you try and explain it. And then one day it happens. His moment of clarity.
Maybe it’s the constant reminders, the appointments, the shear number of tests. Perhaps, it’s that the heartache finally gets to him too, or through some strange form of osmosis the gravity of the situation permeates his consciousness. Whatever the reason, it finally sinks in and he magically understands. He’s there and he gets it and he sympathises like no one else can. For a while things are great, you can really talk, you know how each other is feeling, and then as quickly as it appeared it’s gone.
Does he get sick of it? I don’t know. Adopt some overly positive hope for the future? Probably. Just want to be ‘normal’? Definitely, but don’t we all just want to be ‘normal’. I’d love to hang out at work drinks on a Friday and actually be able to drink; to look around at the masses of pregnant women I work with and not bat an eye, not feel a sharp pang of jealousy; to wake up in the morning and grab a coffee to kick-start my day; to not have to stress at how in hell I’m going to manage to fit in all my appointments for the following week and still actually manage to have time for work. But I can’t. I’m not normal, and while he is physically, he made the mistake of marrying the infertile, which makes him abnormal by default, so why can’t he understand. After all that time of ‘getting it’, he suddenly doesn’t, and I’m lost, teetering on the far edge of the bell curve.