I was reading the paper when an article caught my attention, "I wish IVF had never been invented!" it screamed! Now, although I have made up my mind not to pursue this avenue for myself, I was interested in what had brought the author to this particular position where she would wish away the whole process. As I read through her piece, I almost cried for her - except I was at work (on a coffee break!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)!
It was written by a woman in her forties who has undergone the process of IVF first-hand. describing the utter heart-break of the two failed attempts and the constant reminder of her failure as she looks at the bottles and needles still tucked away in the fridge, "our world has been on hold, in a terrible emotional limbo, ever since. I recognise that mine is a controversial perspective — and yes, IVF has brought untold joy to countless childless women. But I have first-hand experience of the physical and emotional anguish you endure when the expensive, invasive treatment Sir Robert developed happens to fail."
What the majority of fertile couples fail to understand is the rollercoaster anguish of TTC. But for the one in six couples who struggle to conceive, and I believe that figure is rising, the fact is that life on the rollercoaster of subfertility can be completely overwhelming. It threatens to impinge on every area of life, with the ability to transform a regular balanced woman into a bag of emotional wretchedness, focused on the one thing she desires to the point where, like in a cartoon nightmare, everything flying at her face is either a pregnant woman or a baby, or related to the new nursery she would like to create, as she spins round and round in a whirlwind of her life!
It becomes all she thinks about, as she follows her monthly cycle meticulously, particularly if she is taking fertility drugs / attempting IVF / IUI / GIFT and all the other letters, her conversations are filled with hints or facts or information relating to what she is going through, where she is in her cycle, how many days till she knows a month was a success or a failure, the effects of the drug treatments, the number of eggs she produced.... if you ask her how she is, you will know intimate details you never thought you wanted to know! when she walks into a coffee shop, a church, an art gallery, she can instantly tell you who is pregnant and where all the new babies are! When she visits a new town, she has clocked all the stores related to baby products!!
But not every woman TTC has the network of understanding friends around her - some even seem to have negativity thrown in her direction, just because she is struggling to conceive. As many of us can testify, we never thought we would reach the age we are and still be childless. We never expected to have a problem with what is one of the most natural things in the world. We never asked to walk this path - but here we are!
At the end of the article is a facility for leaving a comment, as I read through some of the comments, I really hoped within my heart that the author would never ever read some of the things people had written - people who seemed to be so full of anger, pride and total disregard for the woman behind the piece. It is so easy for us to sit in judgement over other, but until we have walked ten miles in their shoes, how can anyone condemn another person who they don't even know. I added my support, just in case she did read the comments.
If you have ever encountered the negativity of people from the five in six couples who don't have any fertility problems, I pray God will help you to forget their unkindness, and to surround you with people who can support you - even if they don't fully get what you are going through. I think it is important to raise awareness of this issue, because in educating those who don't know what happens, we may be able to limit the amount of judgmental attitudes towards us. We don't choose to wait until we're old before trying, sometimes life is just like that! We don't choose to have a condition which affects the uterus, the Fallopian tubes, the ovaries, our ovulation, etc... life can just hit you like that!
So before you allow someone to intimidate you with their negativity, remember that God knew the journey He was taking you on, before you even stepped onto the path; when He made you, He made you "fearfully and wonderfully" YES! Even with that condition you have and didn't realise! When He looks at you, He looks at you with pride, like a father looks down on his children, and He is so pleased to have you in His care. And He upholds you, day by day, strengthening you in the battle, encouraging you in the darkest night... listen out for His voice, instead of those other voices! The ones who will hear the song of your heart and sing it back to you when you've forgotten the words or the tune.