Why Me, Why Not Me, Is Not the Infertility Question
Why not me?
I was speaking with a dear friend the other day. The kind of friend one doesn’t see often and that still, the amount of time gone by just doesn’t really matter. When we do see each other, we connect immediately and get down and dirty with what’s going on in our lives.
If she had been my friend while I was in fertility treatment and dealing with disappointment after disappointment, I think I would have confided in her.
I didn’t say, “why me?” a lot while facing infertility. I dove right in to managing the particulars. What had to be done. Which doctor to see. What fertility treatment protocol next?
Facing a Loss of Fertility
It’s an interesting question though, when dealing with a loss as major as fertility. Why do we expect to get through life unscathed? Grief surrounds us with infertility. It’s facing the loss of fertility, the apparent inability to successfully have your body undertake what we believe it is made to do. It’s having each monthly menstruation be a reminder. Or the lack of a regular menstrual cycle to remind us.
It’s astonishing how many things remind us of our loss of fertility. Babies, yes. Pregnant women, YES. Stroller ads, yes. Lollipops, yes (a big one for me, don’t know why). Invitations for children’s parties, baby showers, yes. Mother's day and Father’s day, yes.
All of these reminders open the wound of grief. So often there is only just a very thin membrane protecting us from the rest of the world. How many times did I burst into tears with just the tiniest provocation? It was so apparent that my pain was close enough to the surface that build up was as inevitable as the break down.
And break down, I did. And numb myself, I did. And isolate myself, I did.
I never asked myself why not me when other’s got sick. I assumed health and well being as my birth right. I lived with the clarity that my cells, organs and systems were functioning beautifully.
I was right.
Infertility Is Not Who You Are
While infertility is classified, rightly so, as a disease, I was not a disease.
You are not a disease. Even if you have one. Even if you feel diseased, that is not who you are as a person.
I was right. Most of my cells, organs and systems worked and continue to work very well.
I was not and am still not, perfect.
Possibly, neither are you.
And does it matter how we see ourselves?
I vote yes.
My sense of self was severely damaged by infertility problems. It affected how I saw myself in this world.
Still, I know I was right. I am a healthy, living, human being.
Still not perfect.
Much more content with understanding and accepting that these days.
Why not me?
You get to ask the questions.
And you get to answer the questions.
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About Lisa Rosenthal
Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.
Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.
Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.
Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.