When experiencing fertility issues the topic of blame comes to light eventually. You are doing everything you can but its still not happening for you so you begin to search for a cause, a cure! Sometimes that finds something quickly - ah ha! - but other times it turns up nothing - unexplained infertility. Either way we search to assign reasons as the unknown is much harder. And often with assigning reasons comes assigning blame.
- Blaming your partner
- Blaming your genetics
- Blaming your miss-spent youth!
It’s a slippery slope.
Self-blame is something I think women in particular do very well. I know I have.
See in our case, on paper, a lot of this trouble we are experiencing is technically down to me. Hubby is already blessed with a healthy child, and all his test results come back with flying colours. Me - I've uncovered a laundry list of fertility impediments- blocked tubes, endo, MTHFR gene issues, natural killer cells...
I remember just after we'd had a million tests done I was getting what felt like daily letters to say something else was deficient. Hubby finally got one (turns out to say, of course, that his chromosome studies were perfect!) and I caught myself for a moment feeling almost hopeful that there might be something small wrong with him too so I didn't feel like it was all on me!!
Bad wife!!! ;-)
Of course I don't actually want anything to be wrong with my wonderfully perfect husband! I love him and I'm blessed he is so healthy. And the less problems to overcome the better!
I think that feeling I had is a symptom of the fact that the reality is its not nice (whether its you, your partner or a combination of you both) to be at the root of the 'cause'. No one wants to feel that they are the blocker to their own dreams as well as someone else's.
So what's my advice to beat the infertility blame game?
Accept, as my wise husband says, that infertility is a couples issue not an individual issue.
Regardless of whether one of you has a clear cut issue or not conception takes two, you are a team. It is the responsibility, experience and dream of both of you. Your setbacks, losses and wins are all shared, no matter what the origin.
Look after your relationship!
Blame is hard on both sides. It hard if you are blaming yourself, if you are feeling (true or not!) like you are being blamed, and if you are the one directing blame. Blame can get self indulgent - and sometimes devalue how hard it is for the other party - and it can get nasty. If you find it sneaking in, talk it out!! Don't let it fester.
Focus on the solution, not the problem.
It's important to know what you are up against, especially if there is specific medical issues that need to be overcome...but if you spend too much time wallowing in all the "whys??" and "who's" then you lock yourself down into that version of yourself - you start to view yourself as broken.
A big thing for me has been owning my situation and accepting it just is what it is. I'll probably never know exactly why. I needed to draw a line in the sand, and start from there. Blaming myself was taking energy away from things I can change going forward and anchoring me to things I couldn't change, making me feel disempowered and negative.
My body is not broken, its strong and amazing and deserves my respect, support and trust.
How have you coped with the infertility blame game?