Everyone loves a happy ending

I have had a draft of a post about the choice between public and private care  half finished for a few weeks now.  But another issue is on my mind.  That of the “Happy Ending”.

Throughout our 9 years of Infertility prior to pregnancy, there were very few people who would allow us to talk about our situation.  By “allow” , I mean that if we ever began to talk about our infertility in conversation, (when asked how we were doing or when we were going to have kids for example), we were very quickly shut down – usually through jokes or reflections on how lucky we were not to have kids, or directions to appreciate what we had.  I realise that this is because the topic of infertility makes people very uncomfortable.  It was really too difficult for anyone but my sister to handle.  May I say again, “Thank God for my sister!”

Now that we are pregnant the situation has changed.  We have inadvertently joined a club and those who were unwilling to hear of our struggles previously are now ready to listen to the story of how long it took us to have a baby.  Even though the baby isn’t even here yet.  Our story now gives them hope that things really do turn out alright in the end.  Not just things to do with procreation mind you, but things to do with any of life’s struggles.

This really irritates me.  I don’t want to be a poster girl for happy endings.  Yes, this has turned out well, so far.  (Turns out that I probably have placenta previa, so we’ll see).  But this outcome has  not been without sacrifice and loss, some of which are not healed by having a baby.  I would also wish for people to have some understanding that even if we hadn’t fallen pregnant, our lives would still have carried on.  We had, and still have, other worthy pursuits.    We also have a great marriage.  Which is a great blessing for a baby, I think.  But it’s also a great blessing for us.

Finally, the about face attitude change reminds me of that old cautionary chinese tale about good fortune.  Not that I’m comparing a baby to a horse here – just that good and bad come to us all in our lives, and sometimes we can only see which is which in the fullness of time.  This infertility journey has changed my life and my marriage.  For good or  ill, who can really say.   At this stage of my life I think,  perhaps, a little of both.

If I’m truthful, and I do try to be truthful.  I think I just wish that people had listened to our story when I needed them to.  When the outcome was not assured.  When I needed to feel welcome even though I did not have children.  I’ve spent so long on the outer rim of community that I don’t know how to behave now that I’ve been welcomed in. I don’t feel as though I belong.

All this is not to deny that I am grateful and delighted by the possibility of this child and the prospect of my own unique happy ending to this infertility story.


10 Responses to “Everyone loves a happy ending”

  1. loribeth Says:

    This is a great post, with lots of food for thought. Thanks. : )

  2. Mel Says:

    “I think I just wish that people had listened to our story when I needed them to.” What a powerful, powerful statement. I wish everyone in the world would read this post.

  3. Mic Says:

    Oh wow! This is totally relatable and so well written! Why *don’t* people listen when we need them to? Why does everyone just want to hear the happy ending.
    Brilliantly written. I’ve been in your shoes and can really relate.

  4. Another Dreamer Says:

    This is such a great post, thank you for it. I’ve been dealing with something similar since I’ve became pregnant this time. I find it to be such an awkward place, and I wish they had listened more to me back then, and even now still.

  5. Amy Lynn Says:

    Great post. I can relate so well with it. Why don’t people listen when we need them to?

  6. Sara Says:

    I love this post. It’s so insightful and true. Even now, nobody will listen to me talk about secondary infertility (after primary infertility). They pretty much always either change the subject or order me to be grateful for #1 (as if I’m not, and as if the one thing had anything to do with the other). It’s definitely irritating.

  7. Foxy Says:

    Here from Mel’s round-up. Great post, and totally resonates is an odd way with my own experience of finally being pregnant. During our long struggle I had a really hard time sharing with anyone, but now that I am pregnant i share with anyone who will listen how hard we had to work to get here. Just as you describe people in your life not being able to listen when you needed them, I wasn’t able to find the words to share when I most needed support. And now that I can see a light at the end of the tunnel, I am so quick to offer details about our story.

    I also hear what you are saying about not feeling like you fit in with this new community of fertiles. I’ve been going to pre-natal yoga and feel totally like an imposter. Maybe by sharing our struggle, I feel like I am differentiating my experience from theirs… and interestingly enough the more I share the more people I find who share back and I realize that there are so many others who struggled as well.

    wishing you the best of luck with your pregnancy! congratulations!

  8. Gail K Says:

    Thanks for a great post. Really can relate to this part: “I think I just wish that people had listened to our story when I needed them to. When the outcome was not assured. When I needed to feel welcome even though I did not have children. I’ve spent so long on the outer rim of community”
    Unfortunately, I’m still on that outer rim, but hoping to fall into the net at some point.

    Here from Mel’s weekly roundup.

  9. Loren Says:

    This is very true. No one wants to hear when you are in pain or struggling. It is terrible that when we need help the most it is hard to find. Thank goodness we write and comment to one another. That is something. A big something. I would have never made it if I had not found other women who understand. If you are not in this space, I do not think people can relate. It is an odd place for everyone. But I have seen so many people move onward and that is what keeps me sane some days. L

  10. barrenlazza Says:

    You are so right – this is how I feel too.

    I cannot believe the goodwill, undivided attention, kindness and support we have had since we’ve been pregnant.

    I just wish all this positivity would have been available when we were going through our years of struggle – it seems backwards to get it at a time when it’s not needed as much.

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