Being the queen of uncomfortable conversations, ya’ll are in for a doozy here. But this feels like an important conversation to have. What happens when you start to feel isolated within an already statistically small group? Let me tell you firsthand, it’s no fun.
So what do I mean? Infertility affects 1 in 8 couples of childbearing age within the united states. I don’t necessarily agree with this statistic, but let’s roll with it. To get even more specific, there are currently 6.1 million women within the United States dealing with infertility. Out of all infertility cases, only 20% of people fall into what is called unexplained infertility. A category I otherwise refer to as “who the fuck knows”.
So here I am, sitting in the unexplained category. For 10+ years. STILL not parenting. At this point, not only are my fertile friends lapping me with children, but the infertile friends are as well. And lemme tell you, that shit is isolating.
You know what can make that a step worse? Being an atheist within that already small group of people.
You start to feel like statistically, the odds are stacked against you.
Your chance of even being infertile was only 10%.
Once diagnosed infertile, the odds of being unexplained were only 20%.
Once you finally afford IVF, the average success rate is 40%, so the likelihood of still not parenting after 3 rounds is slim.
And here I sit. I’m the story newcomers to the infertility community don’t want to hear from, because they’re afraid of my current situation. Honestly, I don’t blame them. It’s a crappy seat to be in. But here I am. I keep speaking out because I want those who do end up sitting on this bench to have someone they can turn to.
Not all of us get success easily. Not all of us get a diagnosis we can point to or a reason for why our bodies seem to be working against us.
And not all of us have the majority faith to lean on. And that’s okay.
I just have to remind myself sometimes that being the odd one out isn’t personal, it’s just my story. The best way out is through, so I own my story and am not afraid to tell it.
If you’re feeling left out, maybe like me you fall into the statistically small demographic within an already small group, just know you aren’t the only one. The best way to manage that feeling of isolation is to own it. Learn to accept it. Make your path and find your people. There will be someone out there that gets it, even if it isn’t the exact same seat, you’re all on the “unicorn” bench, and you can be each other support.
Warm that spot and own it.