This post deals with miscarriage and pregnancy loss, and could be triggering for some readers.
The author of this story is known to Mamamia but has chosen to remain anonymous for privacy reasons.
I have been pregnant four times in the past two years.
My husband and I decided to start trying for a family three years ago. My first pregnancy was ectopic and required surgical management and the removal of one of my fallopian tubes. The second and third pregnancies were short-lived and miscarried. At this point, my GP and the early pregnancy clinic started to hint towards IVF, but I was convinced that having had my fair share of bad luck, our fourth pregnancy would stick. Ha... Cue my second ectopic pregnancy that was so large I had emergency surgery (again) because of the risk of the tube rupturing.
Watch: A tribute to the babies we've lost and the significance of remembering their names. Post continues after video.
So now I am sans fallopian tubes and sans babies. Officially infertile and unable to fall pregnant naturally. When I share this with people, it makes them deeply uncomfortable. I’ve heard it said before that pregnancy loss is the perfect Venn diagram of what makes people feel awkward: periods, sex and death. The same goes for infertility.
And as a result of this awkwardness, people are... completely and utterly hopeless and say the most unhelpful things.
Cue some of the conversations I have had recently:
"Well, at least you won't have to worry about contraception anymore"... Ummm. Yes. Except we were trying to have a baby, so we weren't really that worried about contraception, anyway?
And a very dear, perfectly fertile relative who has several children said to me, "Well you'll just do IVF then". Let's just... Stop. Right. There. There is no "just" doing IVF. It is a brutal, physical, mentally and emotionally draining process that doesn't actually guarantee a baby at the end of it. So for someone who had never had to consider IVF for themselves to so flippantly tell me I'd "just" do IVF.
It was quite confronting. I have found that as soon as I mention IVF, people have a need to share positive IVF stories. And don't get me wrong, I'm really glad that your friend's cousin's neighbour had a successful IVF journey. But that really doesn't mean anything for my own journey and whilst you sharing that success story makes you feel like you're providing solutions and helping me... It isn't.