We forget sometimes that the infertile are not the only ones that are suffering because of their infertility. Read this email I received, and you’ll see that the would-be grandparents share the pain, even if their coping mechanism leaves something to be desired. Please share you wisdom and experience with this mom.
I have a lovely thirty-two year old, single daughter that was diagnosed with POF about six years ago. How important is it that she is open to discussing, researching and understanding the issue? She totally avoids the subject, and is not interested in the knowledge and plans that I suggest might help her heal and would help her look forward to the next phase of her life. She is just not ready, but she needs to act now.
Boy, parenting is hard and it doesn’t necessarily get easier as our kids age, does it?!?
Everyone deals with a diagnosis of infertility (including premature ovarian failure (POF) or primary ovarian insufficiency (POI)) in a different way. Our dreams and thoughts for our future, as well as our basic temperament and coping styles affect how we react. And for some people, who are open to a child-free life or are totally open to adoption, this diagnosis in simply not that devastating. (I should mention that there are other health consequences to premature menopause or early menopause other than infertility that may need to be treated.)
Uniqueness of Coping
I have no idea where your daughter is on the coping continuum. Truthfully, you probably don’t either. It is entirely possible that she is slowly and surely gathering information in her own way and processing what it means for her, but isn’t ready to share it with you. It could be that her primary concern right now is finding a life partner or building her career, and she will deal with the implication of her infertility when those pieces are in place.
Infertility Affects the Whole Family
Something we don’t often talk about is the impact of infertility on the grandparents. As our children grow up and move out on their own, most of us look forward to becoming grandparents. I know I am!
I have spent time dreaming about being a grandmother. Oh, I’m certainly not in any hurry considering the age of my children, but I have every intention of being a kick-butt granny in the future. I would be very sad if that dream was taken away from me.
Perhaps your coping technique for grief and anxiety over this potential loss is to take action. (Again, that is my go-to coping mechanism, so perhaps I’m projecting here.) The problem is that it isn’t your problem to fix. And the fix you might want, may not be the best fix for your daughter.
How did your infertility affect your family? How did your parents react?Image credit: Tomas Hellberg