Some days I have a hard time believing that I deserve to be sad. That's a ridiculous concept, isn't it? One of my Truths of Life is just because someone else may have it worse doesn't mean your problems are insignificant. Which basically means, to me, that my problems should always carry weight. What hurts me should always matter, what brings me sadness always means something. Even if someone else has a worse situation. No one should be allowed to make another person feel that their problems pale in comparison.
And yet when it comes to infertility I fail completely at this. I have such a hard time allowing myself to feel what I feel. There are a lot of reasons for this. It hasn't been kept quiet that quite a few loved ones think us having more children is a bad idea, I think because their own perfect family unit is made up of 2 adults and 2 children. Because of this I don't feel comfortable talking about what we are going through with 99% of the people I love. Squashing my feelings makes me feel like they aren't important.
In a lot of TTC circles, secondary infertility is considered a lesser problem. It isn't as 'important' or 'hard' or 'difficult' as going through infertility from the get go. At least you have kids, right?
There is a lot of weight placed on women struggling with infertility that already have children, especially multiple children, such as myself. We aren't going through as much as that lady who doesn't have any children. We have kids to tuck into bed at night. Why aren't we more grateful for what we have? Why are we so selfish? We shouldn't be greedy. These are things that I have heard. Directed at me and directed at other mother's struggling with secondary infertility.
I'm writing this out because right now I feel like my problems DO matter and I want to see this on a day when I feel like I should be squashing them down and pretending I'm not aching. And maybe someone out there comes across this and is going through the same thing and they realize their problem is important and their hurt deserves to see the daylight too. The more we cram these things down, the worse it gets. The resentment toward others builds, the hurt grows, the problem gets bigger and eventually we explode. It's not healthy for us or our relationships.
No one should ever say that your problem isn't important. Maybe it's not as big as their problem in the grand scheme of things. I understand that I have 2 beautiful, healthy, kind, smart children. Does wanting more children and being sad from my infertility make me appreciate them less? Of course not! Do I need to be reminded to appreciate the kids I have? No, I don't. I also understand that at least I do have my kids and there are plenty of people who long to be parents that don't have children and will never be able to conceive. I understand that this pain might be greater than my own pain. To them. It doesn't make my pain any less real or horrible for me.
All pain is different but it's still pain. And that deserves some grace and some love and some understanding. Not only should we expect it from others but we should give it to ourselves.