(If you're not infertile, you can keep on reading as well, this may interest you as well.)
I was involved with a moderately extended Facebook conversation in which some Infertiles sounded off about how frustrating it is when people who have been trying to get pregnant for less than a year claim infertility. You want the definition of infertility? Our friend Wikipedia shares its take on the matter:
"Reproductive endocrinologists, the doctors specializing in infertility, consider a couple to be infertile if: The couple has not conceived after 12 months of contraceptive-free intercourse if the female is under the age of 34. 12 months is the lower reference limit for Time to Pregnancy (TTP) by the World Health Organization." [link here]
I'm going to be honest, it is frustrating on occasion, when other's claim infertility when it's not. But that's my fault, not theirs.
We, as Infertiles, need to reach out to people who are experiencing the fears and sadness of wanting children and not having them, no matter how long they have had those emotions. It's still scary, it's still heartbreaking, it's still lonely.
The first person I shared my fears with was a close friend. She was single and did not know even a morsel of the worries I had, but she empathized and cried with me. That experience happened after Nick and I had been trying to get pregnant for a whopping 4 months! How foolish I would have sounded to others who had been dealing with actual infertility and not my little problem! My friend was an angel for me, but how nice it would have been for me then to have someone who really understood my pain and fears to hold my hand through that scary time in my life!
I naively thought the every other woman got pregnant whenever she wanted, but that was ignorance. Can we really be upset with those who sincerely are searching for a helping and comforting hand and do not know enough about infertility to identify it appropriately? Those syntactical errors maybe keeping us from loving and serving others, which is really silly! Are they trying to offend? No, and it is a fool who takes offense when none was intended. Often times they can't go to a doctor, and they may only have a handful of friends who have experienced what they're feeling. What would we have them do, suffer alone?
Personally, I don't want others who maybe feeling the fear of infertility to be afraid to come to me and ask for help, no matter if those feelings have been with them for a day or a decade. We, as Infertiles, should be other women's first resource of help and strength, and not someone they are worried of offending.
Did Christ ever say "You don't know pain or sorrow. Once you get to Gethsemane and are suffering for the entire world, then come talk to me about heartache and trials"? No, instead He puts up with all our little petty problems and doesn't make us feel like less than He is. In fact, He does not even make our petty problems even feel petty or less than our own personal Gethsemane.
When we struggle, Christ says "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest...For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." [link here] What do we as humans really know about being "heavy laden[ed]," but Christ, our Redeemer and Savior, said we can take our burdens to Him. If His yoke is easy, what do any of us have to complain about, or why should we make others feel less because we think their burden is less than our own?
Infertiles everywhere (within the readership of this blog), let us take upon ourselves the yoke of Christ, which is to "bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; Yea, and...mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort." [link here] We went through our infertility trial for a purpose, and I like to think that purpose is to better serve our fellow [wo]man and God. Isn't that what all our trials are for anyway?
Speaking of serving, a dear friend of mine who held my virtual hand through our failed adoption is having a Hysterectomy and is sad and scared. Please keep your thoughts and prayers with this amazing woman! She inspires many and now needs our help. Thanks!