Funny Girls of Fertility

The Lost Art of Empathy

Sharon

Seeing the infertility struggles many couples go through on a daily basis, I wonder what their support systems are like outside our office.  I feel as though a lot of my patients don't have the support or just aren't comfortable opening up to talk to their family and friends about what they are going through.  One reason I believe that these couple keep a tight lip is due to the lack of empathy they receive.

((Going to give myself a little pat on the back here)) One of my favorite qualities about myself is my ability to be empathetic. Empathy is an interesting quality.  It's all about REALLY getting to the nitty gritty and identifying with a person completely; see how they are seeing, feel how they are feeling, understand wholly where they are coming from.   Some people just can't even begin to understand the heartbreak of dealing with infertility.

I see it everyday and I FEEL it.  Patients going through their 3rd IVF cycle and not getting any mature eggs.  Patients going through FET with their last PGS normal embryo and getting a negative HCG.  Patients who make it to the 8 week mark and are finally feeling good all to see the heart beat come to a stop.  I feel horrible for my patients when having to call them with bad news, knowing that they are most likely going to be upset all night wondering all the "what ifs," thinking of anything they might have done wrong.   I hear the heartbreak in their voice yet I know they are trying to stay strong until they hang up the phone. ((Those phone calls never get easier.))

My brother and his wife had just given up on their last attempt to have a child of their own.  A family member (that I shall not even give a title to) was pregnant.  I had no idea that this VERY close family member was pregnant.  She knew exactly what my brother and his wife had been through.  She knew how much they struggled and that their last ditch attempt failed.  You know what this lovely relative did?!   POSTED HER POSITIVE PREGNANCY TEST ON FACEBOOK WITHOUT EVEN GIVING MY BROTHER A HEADS UP.  They literally had JUST got their final negative test, after 30k of treatment, after they had put their hearts and souls into making it happen.  I was furious for them.  I couldn't believe that someone who was so close to us could care so little about what they were dealing with.

It was then I realized not everyone has the ability to empathize.  Some people just live inside their own bubble.  Some people wont feel for you, heck don't even want to.  Some people don't care about your happiness or your struggles.  When you find the people who want to be there for not only your good moments but your lowest ones; those are the people to keep around.  :)