Warning: this blog post is written in a sad and frustrated state of mind.
I used to love the holidays. All aspects. The stress of planning, coordinating, and facilitating the events of the day were always outweighed by family love, great conversation, and endless menu options among other things.
Now in our fifth year of the infertility journey, we can’t help noticing the new consistent elements of Thanksgiving that aren’t exactly awesome.
If you’re going through the journey yourself, you may be experiencing the same things (or worse, and I’m so sorry for that). If you’re not going through the journey, maybe this will help shed a different perspective.
5 Things This Infertile Couple Experiences on Thanksgiving
1) Every family member now knows about our progress (or lack there of?), but a chosen few still find uncomfortable ways to ask or comment about it.
Example: my husband’s cousin asking how our babies are coming, while bouncing her latest baby on her hip. When I answer around the question because (dear God) I don’t want to talk about it, she tries to give me her baby to hold.
2) Family tells us very often that they’re praying for us – or in particular, for our procreation. My brother In law this year cheers’ed to or future babies – thankfully to my husband alone.
Now don’t get me wrong- A few days go by and I think that this is very sweet. But in the moment and on the day, it makes me sad for us. I’d much rather everyone pray for us and not remind us that they are.
3) Watching everyone else’s children becomes pretty difficult. In past Thanksgivings I didn’t so much mind entertaining toddlers with silly games. This year I played on my phone to try to drown out the scene- and got exceptionally frustrated the few times I had to keep my eyes on the wandering 1 year old trying to swallow marbles while his own mom slept off the wine.
Maybe it’s me- but I really think in my situation I should have immunity from watching your kids for you on thanksgiving.
4) I realized a little late that we should have gone first when saying what we’re all thankful for. It sounds a bit lackluster to say I’m thankful for my job and my husband when 12 people before you listed off the incredible accomplishments of each of their children.
5) The menu changes significantly for us. In years past we thought IUI or other drug treatments would “just work,” for us. Now, in year 5, we’re organic, clean label and gluten free, going back and forth on whether dairy is good for our chances or not. So ya, options become a bit more limited.
All that being said Here is what I am thankful for:
My cousins and sister in law that whisper to me that Cousin X is an idiot and that they’re sorry I’m having to deal with their comments.
My mother In law who watches everyone’s children without pause because she wants to be helpful, and will never force me to help.
My aunt who made gluten free stuffing, dinner roles, and corn casserole because she understands.
My uncle, who rocked the wandering 1 year old to sleep and held him for over an hour.
Everyone who prays for us, and will continue to do so until babies come.
My mom, dad, and sister, who never bring it up until I’m ready and wanting to talk about it, providing shoulders to lean on and warm hugs without opinion.
My husband, my rock, who always knows what to do and say to make me feel better. I wish I could do more for him.
All of you who are going through the journey yourselves, because you make us feel communal support which helps more than anything.
Happy Thanksgiving from our Infertile house to yours. Bless you and your journey. Though many things are hard to understand and be grateful for now, I believe that when the big picture is revealed we will fall to our knees with gratitude.