I have a question for you: Is it appropriate for someone who has two children by birth, but has been unable to get pregnant with a third to post on an infertility support group?

I’m 30 and have been trying to have a 3rd child for 2 years. The reaction I get from people when I say how heartbroken I am is usually “You already have two children. You should just be thankful.” Or “There are couples that don’t have any. So be grateful.” I feel like my feelings are being disregarded, and that they are insinuating or getting the impression that I am not thankful for my children! My heart is grieving for the child/children I can’t have. I am sure it will lessen in time. But I feel like I have the right to be sad for a while.

Mixed Reactions

Most people on the group were kind and supportive: “I’m sorry you’re stuck in this place.” “Of course you have a right to be sad.” “You’re not alone.” But then there were:

  • I would trade places with you in a minute.
  • Can you imagine how someone with primary infertility feels like reading this…
  • It actually does make the pain less with secondary infertility. Because you HAVE children and cannot understand what it’s like to never carry a baby.
  • I’m not saying you don’t have the right to be sad, you do. But it’s nowhere even CLOSE to what people who don’t have children go through. No comparison at all. Your pain is 100% less than mine. You HAVE children. And it’s a slap in the face to say you have the same pain as someone who can never have kids. That’s absolutely awful to say to an infertile barren person. You have NO idea what it’s like.

Do you see their point? Maybe just a little?

Comparing Pain is a Fool’s Game

No one wins when we compare pain. Period. I still hurt. You still hurt. I feel misunderstood. You feel misunderstood. {sigh}

I’ll be honest though – when I first saw her post, I did for a moment think, “You’re only 30. You still have time and a proven track record. The odds are in your favor.”

But then I stopped. She wasn’t asking for an assesement of her chances. She wasn’t asking for me to be a fertility cheerleader. She was asking for support and recognition of her pain. Surely I could channel my own experience with pain to offer her that.

I think the following comment was particularly insightful.

For those with primary infertility … what if you were posting about how painful your journey is, and someone came along to say, “Well, at least you have a uterus and can try! I had to have a hysterectomy – I would trade places with you in a minute!” Would it be helpful?

Well, no, actually that wouldn’t be helpful. Not one little bit.

Infertility hurts… regardless the type.

So, what do you think? Should a 30 year old who has two bio kids and been trying for 2 years post for support in an infertility support group?

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