- Depending on where you are on your IF journey, how did this book affect you? For example, if you have a child/ren after IF was it easier or harder to read? If you are in the middle of your IF struggle did the book help or hinder? Give me your thoughts on how you were affected reading the book no matter where your IF journey has taken you so far.
Since I fall pretty squarely into "post struggle" this book affected me in a flashback sort of way. All along there are echoes of thoughts, feelings and situations I struggled with. Some parts made me sad as I read them and said to myself "Oh yes, oh yes - I remember how hard that was." Still other parts made me laugh as I recalled the craziness that often engulfed me - the sad, tragic - yet comedic gyrations of trying to coordinate a "normal" life interposed with syringes and tiny vials of white powder, frequent monitoring (which required 4 hour trips each time) and all at the whim of my Auntie Flo who often was sporadic in her appearances and had a knack for showing up at the most inconvenient times.
- On p. 141, Jenna describes hiding out in the bathroom during her nephew's third birthday party but then realizes, "I couldn't even come close to having fun. I hate myself for that... I don't want to turn every moment into a moment about me and my sadness. It is never my intention, but it is always my impact." She describes how she doesn't like the person looking back at her in the mirror. Have you had a similar "mirror moment"? If so, describe it. Did this realization result in a lasting change in your outlook or relationships with others? How much of the responsibility for "impact" lies on the infertile person's shoulders?
As for the responsibility - we make our own choices and responsibility for our happiness doesn't lie on the shoulders of others. Some choices are harder than others, particularly when behind them are strong and emotionally charged emotions. Some days I was less than valiant - others I surprised myself with a strength and grace I didn't know I possessed. I came to believe it wasn't so much what happened to me, but what I did with it and I was determined to not let it destroy me and permanently turn me into the bitter, unhappy person I sometimes saw flashes of over the years. That said - I didn't expect myself to be admirable and perfect every day either though! Nature of the beast - some days are just going to require herculean effort just to get through, smiling not an option! Just surviving it being the objective.
3. On page 147, the author talks about being more aware of the pain of others. How do you
feel your infertility has affected your relationship with others?
Okay - in honesty, I lost friends along the way. Oftentimes my dh could not understand why I was so miserable and tried to tell me that other people's happiness did not detract from my own. My own family - those who should love and support me the most - often failed in being the support I expected. Not everyone understood my need to talk - but I have a bit of the martyr in me and I continued to talk even though I knew it made them uncomfortable at times. The interesting thing is - all that talking did have a beneficial effect later on - a sister in law had a few miscarriages and my mother told me that because she had seen me go through mine, she felt better equipped to help my sil through hers. My baby sister lost her baby to SIDS and suddenly I was the family expert on baby grief and I was constantly asked what they should do, what they should say, how do they respond? My family is much more open and compassionate about baby loss and infertility struggles now than they had been in the past - while this is a sad thing, it is also a good and comforting thing.
I "see" hurt people now. I see in the eyes of others the hurt and frustrations I saw countless times in my own. Sometimes I feel like I can "come to the rescue" and say I understand. Other times, I flashback and I start shaking from the memories and recalled anguished feelings and I have to remind myself it's over now and I am okay, that I survived and pray that we both find our peace someday.
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