“We see you.”
That’s the phrase that Fertility Matters Canada has adopted for Canadian Infertility Awareness Week (CIAW), which is happening now.
Is this true? Is it even possible? Zeynep and I have been through our own infertility struggles, through many moments of doubt, grief, helplessness, angst, uncertainty, and hope.
Do we know exactly what you are going through? Do we truly see you? I don’t know. No one can know exactly what you have been through or are going through – your experience is unique, so no, maybe not exactly.
But what I can say is that when we hear your stories, we often find that we either personally identify with them, or have heard them reflected in other patients’ stories.
And so often we wish we could connect you to each other, or to reach across and give you a big hug. Because we know it can feel so lonely at moments, even if you may have the most amazing support network around you.
“We see strength that our patients never knew they had.”
But we also often see something else, something that sometimes you don’t see. We see resolve, we see strength. Sometimes it’s quiet, sometimes it’s not. But we see it.
We see it every cycle, where you muster the courage to try again despite the risk that you will be badly hurt again. We see it on cycles where you don’t try, where you have the courage to step back, because it means a lost opportunity, and that is just about the scariest thing you can do.
So maybe we do see you. In fact, maybe we see the best of you. We see the complexity of emotions that lies underneath the surface, and we see the strength buttressing it all together to help you put one foot in front of the other. We see strength that patients never knew they had.
If you are struggling, we hope you can reach out. To someone you trust, to a counsellor, to a group of people going through something similar. We hope you can find a moment of peace in these otherwise difficult times.
And no matter what, we hope that you see yourself, and the strength you have shown to get to where you are today.
About the Author
Alan Vu ND
Alan is a Licensed Naturopath as well as a Clinical and Academic Adjunct Faculty Member at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. He is also a member of both the Canadian and Ontario Associations of Naturopathic Doctors and the Canadian Fertility & Andrology Society.