Thursday, April 27, 2017

How Infertility Has Taught Me to Listen

Infertility is a blessing in disguise because it has taught me to listen. I know, it sounds crazy that infertility can be a blessing in disguise when it's an emotional struggle. It sounds even more crazy since the emotional affects are not visible to others, even to those in our inner circle, making it that much more of a struggle. Because it's not visible, it doesn't look like we have anything to be upset about and we occasionally get told that to our faces. This attitude towards our "invisible" struggle has taught me that it's not a good idea to judge a book by its cover so to speak, even though that is human nature. It's taught me that not everything is as it appears, and so I do my best to listen.

Our judgement of others is often clouded by our own experiences. I know my judgement is clouded by my infertility diagnosis and experience with being treated as if I don't have an internal struggle. On the outside I am a beautiful young woman with seemingly nothing visibly wrong with me. On the inside, I have two physical defects - my infertility (lacking a full reproductive system, known as MRKH), and scoliosis caused by a deformed vertebra resulting in lower back pain. Also on the inside, I struggle emotionally with these issues (more so with the infertility) so because I have my own battles, I understand that others have their own battles too.

I know what it's like to not be heard because I appear to have it all together. Between my good job, an education, food on the table, a place to live, family, friends, and the front I put up on my bad days, I understand that people may think all is well. On the inside though, I am struggling to not be hurt when I am reminded of what I can't have, like the other day when I saw a happy toddler with his parents at lunch. This is just one example of the myriad of things that could bother me. Some days, I'm fine and nothing bothers me. Other days, everything upsets me - from the simple mention of the word pregnancy to a baby shower invitation, or a baby's crying, or a pregnancy announcement on Facebook to the sight of a pregnant woman. Experiencing these reminders and pendulum like reactions are a constant battle in a league all their own.

There have been so many times when I have wanted someone to simply listen to me. That's it. Just listen. Listen to me, to my story, to the song my heart has to sing. Listen to really truly hear me. I've learned that it's not such a simple task after all. so now I understand the internal struggle and the desire to be heard. And I have learned the importance of listening to understand, not to reply.


  1. I applaud you for being so open about your struggles with MRKH and scoliosis. It takes a lot of courage to speak up.