Unless a woman has walked in the size infertility shoes, try as she might, there is just no way she can understand, completely, our experience.
It can be easy for those of us for whom these shoes have become a permanent part of our wardrobe, to feel anger, disappointment, sadness, and frustration at fertile friends when they seem to overlook our pain.
Today I received an email from a friend who, though not a close friend, is still someone I love spending time with. A few weeks ago we had dinner with her and her husband. During that dinner we told them about the struggle we’ve been through in trying to start a family these last few years of our life, and just how hard it has been.
So today when I received her email asking for me to vote for her in a “baby bump” photo contest (she is six or seven months pregnant), my initial reaction was that old feeling, the one all of us living through infertility know well, a stab in the gut–perhaps a stab in the uterus is a more fitting description.
After recovering however I realized I had two options. I could feel angry, consider her extremely insensitive, and shy away from our friendship, or I could simply click through and cast my vote.
And so, I voted for her bump.
Her world is simply not big enough to grasp mine. She did not reach out to me from a place of “rubbing it in,” or trying to hurt me. Her joy is just so big that she cannot see outside of herself to anyone else, or at least to me.
Was her behavior extremely insensitive? Yes. Was it intentionally so? No.
And so, we roll with the punches each time they are dealt, and then we move on. We can not expect any woman to understand our pain, our struggle, the depth of our hurt, except those who have walked in these infertile shoes.
Some who really love us will try, they will be sensitive, they will love and support us as we need to be loved and supported. Others however, simply can’t. And perhaps, it is unfair that we would expect them to.