by Stephanie Fry
Imagine a world where only about 40% of weddings actually happened.
No really, imagine it…
Two people meet. They fall in love and make the life changing decision to marry. They are excited, enamored and ready. There is work to be done!
(Side note / rant: Sadly due to archaic and unfair laws that remain in much of the world many same sex couples don’t have to imagine this scenario. They live it. And, for the record, it is wholly and utterly unfair.)
So our imagined couple begins to plan for the big day. They pick a date, a location, they spend months, even years and thousands upon thousands of dollars on details both large and small. They shop and consider, daydream and prepare. They are fully invested and ready.
As the big day approaches family and friends begin celebrating. Why wouldn’t they? This is the way things work. Parties are thrown, gifts are given.
Finally their wedding day arrives. The bride and groom are excited and a bit nervous. They have completed all the necessary preparations, paid the venue, signed all documentation and they are packed for their honeymoon.
Family, friends and acquaintances gather and prepare to celebrate. The bride and groom stand together. Recite their vows, profess their love and exchange rings.
At that moment, just when they can’t wait one more second the officiant looks at them and says,
“Sorry, but this one didn’t take.”
“But you can keep trying. You just have to wait a few months, pay for, plan and go through everything again.”
I couldn’t find a bride and groom being whip lashed video so this will have to do.
Seriously, imagine this happening at the last wedding you attended.
Would there be outrage? You bet! Would society tolerate this? Heck no! What if this happened to your daughter, best friend or sister? What would you do if it happened to you? How would you feel?
This is the story I told and the questions I asked recently when I was trying (at first unsuccessfully) to explain what it feels like to battle infertility and go through a failed IVF cycle to a particularly ‘tough customer’. It worked, a jaw dropping aha moment was had.
So the next time someone isn’t really getting it – a failed cycle, a miscarriage, infertility in general. Try asking them to use their imagination and maybe it will help them understand. While everyone certainly can’t (and quite honestly, shouldn’t be able to) relate to infertility, most can relate to marriage.
Don’t forget to remind them that this isn’t even a fair comparison because weddings are actually fun! The planning is fun. Instead of drugs, syringes and side-effects there are parties and presents and vacations. Everyone knows about and is excited about your upcoming wedding. You are not isolated and no one feels uncomfortable talking about it. In fact, you spend many happy hours discussing it with your partner, your family, friends and often anyone else who will listen! You are congratulated and showered with gifts. Multiple times.
Having them imagine what it would feel like to be told sorry – this normal, expected everyday occurance can’t happen for you. Even when you have worked so hard, when it is the most important thing in the world to you and your partner, when you have done everything you are supposed to.
I think it hit home in the case of my ‘tough customer’ Maybe it will for yours too.