I think it goes without saying that having fertility issues will inevitably have an effect on your relationships with people. However it’s not always negative, some relationships are stronger, some have dwindled out, and new ones have developed. I can’t change it and I wouldn’t change it, the ride’s already started and I can’t get off, so I may as well try and enjoy the ride!
I’m going to start with the most obvious one, Mitch. Now of course my relationship with Mitch has changed, it’d be stupid to try and pretend that it hasn’t. When I first told him about my diagnosis it didn’t change a thing. We both kind of accepted it and kept moving forward, acknowledging that it was something we would deal with if and when it came to it. Then January’s incident happened, and that’s when things really sunk in for us. I will hold my hands up and wholeheartedly admit that in the last four months I have become moody, angry, miserable, and probably just down right insufferable. Living with me must be a bundle of laughs right now! Where as Mitch has become quieter and avoids talking about the whole thing where he can and I know that that’s his way of dealing with it, but despite all that our relationships is stronger than ever. We’ve always been very open and honest with each other and talked through our issues before they escalate and become something massive, which is something we try and do a lot more now that this has happened. Even though Mitch tries to avoid talking about it where he can, we do sit down every now and then and get all our thoughts and feelings about it out in the open. We have an incredibly long and trying journey ahead of us but I’m so thankful for the fact that we’ve been pulled closer together, when for some people a diagnosis is enough to rip them apart.
Mum if you’re reading this, I’m so sorry but I need to be honest here otherwise I’m just kidding myself and everyone else. Back in 2012 when I was sent for scans and told “it’s possible you have PCOS” and in 2014 when I was sent to see what felt like every specialist under the sun and received my official PCOS, anovulation, and amenorrhea diagnosis my mum was right by my side holding my hand tightly while I tried not to cry, and held me afterwards when I then cried uncontrollably in the car park. My mum and I have always been close and I’ve always been able to talk to her about anything (and I mean anything) but after that appointment I felt like I couldn’t really talk to her about it anymore. My reason being that when the specialist said “There’s a high chance that you will never be able to conceive naturally” I understood what that meant, doctors aren’t allowed to use the term “infertile” just in case you do get pregnant and sue them saying “well you told me I couldn’t have children” so that sentence is as close as it gets really. My mum however kept saying “that’s not what they said! there is a chance” thing, getting more and more irate each time she said it. This continued up until this year, so after two years of getting that reaction I just stopped talking to her about it, we’ve remained close but I just couldn’t talk to her about this. It wasn’t until earlier this year that I understood why mum has been reacting this way. After the situation in January with our doctor, I didn’t tell anyone for a month or two as I needed to process everything on my own. When I did tell my mum she was upset, and I know it broke her heart hearing me sob hysterically down the phone because there was nothing she could do to make it any better. She then said the sentence that made me see why she’d always been so adamant I should be hopeful – “I just really hoped that they were wrong” I realised then that for the last few years I’d been avoiding talking to my mum about my infertility because I didn’t want her to upset me, but all this time it had been hurting her too. Instead of shutting her out of that aspect of my life I should’ve been letting her in.
This next one is honestly something I wish I could go back and change, but I can’t so I guess I have to spend the rest of my life trying to put it right. My goddaughter Elsie. From when she was born in May 2014, I tried my hardest to see Elsie and her mum Tash whenever I could. Then in November 2014 I received my diagnosis and I just stopped going to see them. Obviously I still kept in contact with Tash and she was (and still is) more than understanding. I just couldn’t handle being around Elsie for a while as I saw her as a reminder of what I couldn’t have, and things stayed this way for about 8 months. Since then things have gotten a little easier and she’s the best little girl in the whole wide world, but it’s still hard for me sometimes. In fact I think in the last two years I’ve only seen her seven or eight times, but each time gets easier than the last and can only continue to get better. I really do regret allowing my infertility to interfere with my relationship with Elsie, because it wasn’t her fault but I’m going to spend the rest of my life putting that right and being the best role model I can for her. The kind of role model I should have been from day one.
These are just three out of many examples of how my relationships have changed. Friends have come and gone,and 90% of the ones who’ve stayed don’t really know what to say to me but I love them all dearly. There’s a wonderful community online of people exactly like me, who know exactly where I’m coming from and I am so so grateful for them. I really am. A lot of people seem to think that after an infertility diagnosis, that you’re sad for a while and then you carry on as normal. This really isn’t true, every aspect of my life has changed and been effected, and probably will continue to be for the rest of my life. It isn’t something that I can just get over and forget about like a lot of people expect me to do. It takes time and it’s always going to be a challenge, but I’m more aware now as to how it effects my interactions with people and I’m aiming to do everything possible to stop things from going so far again