My Struggles With Infertility

How To Talk About Infertility With Me

Recently someone straight out asked me if they could talk to me about infertility or if them bringing up the topic will ‘trigger’ me. It caught me a little of guard because well what do you say to that? I personally believe there is such a fine balance when it comes to triggers and trigger warnings. For starters, you can’t expect the entire world to be sensitive to your triggers and go out of their way to avoid triggering you. Humans aren’t that nice. Secondly, at one point you have to address the ‘trigger’ and deal with it. What I mean with that is: you can’t hide from the bad thing (the cause of your trigger) forever as this, in the long run, can cause more damage. You need to face the shit storm and somehow make peace with the bad situation. It’s not easy. I’ve been there. Even I’m rolling my eyes at this bullshit. You know exactly what I’m talking about. When bad shit is going down and someone shoots the ‘you need to stay positive’ spiel. You just want to punt them in the face and tell them to shove that stay positive shit where the sun doesn’t shine. I get it. I’ve been there but it’s fucking true? Like, you don’t want to hear it and hearing it does little to make you feel better, but when bad shit is happening, you need to cling onto any warmth you can get. Any goodness, any happiness, and any hope. It’s that drive you need when you have to force yourself to get out of bed and face the world. It really all comes down to staying optimistic that eventually – things will get better. In all honesty, I think the key is to find those special things that make all the bad shit worth it. Anyway, I digress.

I told them that it really depends. How are you going to talk to me about it? A ‘family friend’ (read: I have no idea to explain the relation of this person to me) went about it all wrong. For starters, she behind my back said if I do this and that I will get pregnant immediately. When asked why the hell she wouldn’t just say this to me, her response was that I wouldn’t listen to her advice. The entire ordeal rubbed me up the wrong way. I’m using this exchange as an example because she literally did everything wrong. Let’s start with bullet point number one. Yes, it has that many layers.

  • Do this and that…

Okay, first of all, it’s completely sound to say that if you try this or that and your chances might improve (this family friend is in the health profession) BUT FIRST TAKE THE FUCKING TIME TO ASK ME WHAT THE FUCK I DO AT HOME. Oops, my anger slipped out. What bothered me about her listing a bunch of lifestyle changes I could do to improve my chances was that she didn’t ask or bother to take the time to actually ask me what I do at home. She just assumed that 1) I’m not conscious about my lifestyle choices and 2) I’m doing everything wrong. When she brought this up (behind my back), she hasn’t nearly spent enough time with me to gage my lifestyle habits and quite frankly – me fresh from a 28-hour trip and sick to my stomach isn’t a good gage of my eating habits.

  • … and you will get pregnant immediately.

My problem with these types of statements is the false hope they can install. Oh, if you do this you will get pregnant like tomorrow. When you’re struggling with infertility and you’re so desperate to get pregnant, you will try and believe everything. You bet your sweet ass I will drink that fucking African tea under the moonlight and somehow believe that I will magically conceive even though I haven’t fucking ovulated in months. And then, my period starts and my heart shatters because I was stupid enough to cling onto this false hope. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s important to carry around hope. I believe with everything inside of me that my time will come (I have too or I won’t ever be okay) but I need to protect myself a little. I can’t go through that same soul-crushing heartbreak every time my period starts and ignore that logical part of my brain (How the fuck can you get pregnant if you don’t ovulate?) that desperately tries to protect me even if by only a little. It still hurts but if you manage to convince yourself that this month will be different, seeing those stained panties can just twist that knife a little deeper.

  • I won’t listen to her.

That’s not true. I’m quite open to those who have struggled with infertility or have come into contact with those who have, to share their tips and advice. BUT YOU NEED TO LISTEN TO ME FIRST. You need to hear me out and who knows, maybe I’m already doing everything your friend did. It might’ve helped her but it clearly didn’t work for me so please save me that pain? It really all just comes down to this: DON’T DISMISS MY PAIN AND STRUGGLES. DON’T DISMISS MY EFFORTS. Hear me out, listen to my story and if there is still something you want to add, please feel free to do so. Let’s give you another prime example. A good one this time. My cousin who also struggled with infertility brought up the test that changed the game for them AFTER she asked me what I’ve done. She asked me if I’ve done Clomid, IUI, and IVF before she even brought up this test her doctor ran that was ultimately the driving force that made her conceive her beautiful baby girl three months later. That’s how you give your two cents. Hear me out and if you hear I haven’t tried this, bring it up and mention why you believe in it.

So yes, you can talk to me about infertility but please choose your words wisely. Don’t tell me to just relax. Or it will happen in God’s time. Or my personal favorite: Maybe it’s not your purpose to have biological children and it’s your purpose in life to adopt (this is an actual real response I got when I told someone about my struggles with infertility). I know I’m basically saying to be sensitive to my feelings but I mean a decent human will be? Especially if they know me well enough to know that infertility is my trigger.

“BUT WAIT, didn’t you just say like one minute ago that you can’t expect the world to be sensitive to your triggers and you need to face the source of your trigger head on? Like, uhmm hello? It’s right there in the introduction? You’re saying the exact opposite a 1000 words later? I’m so confused.”

  • I’m not expecting the world to walk around me on tippytoes and cover my eyes every time someone speaks of infertility. I’m just quite frankly expecting people who care about me (and knows that my infertility is a sensitive subject) to be conscious of their words and the impact they might have. THAT’S IT. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for. I know that x subject is sensitive to my friend, so I choose my words carefully if the subject is brought up. In my eyes, that’s the decent thing to do. I care about my friend. I know this subject is sensitive to her, so I’m going to try my best not to rub salt in the wound. Saying that, maybe the person in my bad example didn’t know any of this. She had no idea the impact of her words and what effect it could have on those struggling with infertility. That’s quite honestly okay too. I can’t expect you to know everything, but that’s why I’m writing this blog. Hopefully, this can be a source of education so that next time this person happens to talk to someone struggling with infertility, they would be a little more careful with their words.
  • In my eyes, I see the fact that I’m actively talking about infertility and sharing my true feelings on the matter as ‘facing the source of my trigger head on’. Yes, at the moment, I’m not entirely allowing myself to give it too much thought, but I’m taking small steps everyday. Acknowledging that I have a long way to go, is a baby step.

My advice to anyone who knows someone who is struggling with infertility is quite simple. Just hear us out. Sometimes just having someone listen is all we need. You might not have profound advice (which is completely okay), but let us rant and cry. Don’t tell us everything will get better and our day will come. Instead just say this: “I can’t imagine how hard this is for you. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I’m always here for you if you need to cry and vent. I love you.” Someone has said this to me before and I promise you, it actually made an impact.

My infertility is a sensitive subject for me. That’s no fucking secret. It is a source behind some of my worst soul-crushing heartbreak I’ve ever experienced. I wish I could say it’s getting better but, in all honesty, I haven’t really allowed myself to think about it too much. Onno and I have been on a break (it was needed for our sanity) for a while now… I’m scared to start trying again. I know what type of pain is waiting for me once I allow myself to think about it or once I actively try for a baby again. I’m not ready yet, but I’m hoping I will get there. Some days I feel mentally strong enough to handle infertility treatment again but most days, the thought of that crushing heartbreak month in and month out again, makes me want to crawl into a little ball and suck my thumb like a child. I just need time to process everything and heal. And that’s okay too. I will get there.

That’s everything I wanted to say. It’s incredibly difficult to talk about these types of sensitive subjects. I never really know what to say when it comes to ‘triggers’ and ‘trigger warnings’. Sigh. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this blog. Keep an eye out for Friday’s blog. It’s an interview/collab with a special someone. I can’t wait.

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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Writing Corner

Cassandra Meaker As A Writer | Read This Before You Read Or Buy ANY Of My Books

PLEASE READ!!!

The purpose of this blog is to warn anyone and everyone who is considering reading or purchasing any of my books in the future. This is about trigger warnings. I personally dislike it when an author will warn me at the beginning of the book or prior to the scene in question about x subject matter. It spoils the mystery for me, and I feel that it takes something away from the book. Recent events have taught me that if I continue to write about sensitive subjects with a vague warning at the start of the book (Example: This book contains strong language, sex scenes, and extreme violence.) I will trigger some of my readers. The content of my book can cause them extreme emotional distress, and if I have warned them from the start, they could’ve made the choice if they wish to read the book (scenes) or not. Before I briefly touch on the recent event in question, I want to stress this now.

I write about sensitive topics ranging from suicide, depression, infertility, rape, anxiety, trauma, torture and etc. I doubt all of my books will contain all of the subjects listed above, but some of them will. If you’re triggered by any of these topics, please don’t read my works. From this point and onwards, if you see the warning: “This book contains sensitive subject matter” please know that I’m referring to this list. If I happen to write a story that doesn’t contain any of these scenes, I will clearly state it from the start. I WILL NEVER AGAIN TAKE YOUR CHOICE AWAY.

After the launch of my first eBook: My Alpha Mate Got Me Pregnant And He Loves It, a received a comment that brought the high from my dream coming true from a level 6000 to a level 0. It was quite clear in her comment that she has suffered extreme emotional distress with some of the content in my book. I just want to clarify from the start that I can see now that I didn’t handle the situation correctly, but honestly, I have no idea how I should’ve handled everything. I just made things worse, and that is really fucking sad. Saying that, this shit storm has been an eye-opening learning experience.

While I knew that the sensitive subject matters that I choose to write about is well sensitive, I never truly considered the consequences of this. I personally feel the topic of triggers and trigger warnings is messy with no clear winner. After I saw her initial response (I’ve decided not to share any of our interactions together as I don’t want to make an already bad situation worse by possibly putting her identity out in the open.) I went back and forth about what I should’ve done or what more importantly I should do so this doesn’t happen again in the future. I quickly had to realize that it’s impossible to please everyone. It’s impossible not to trigger someone or upset someone when you write about sensitive topics. The thing is, I like writing about sensitive, almost taboo subjects. I want to write about things that people don’t really talk about. I want to open the dialogue. Another thing to keep in the back of your mind is that I write from personal experience. I’ve always done this.

My trigger is anything related to suicide and infertility. I have a special sweet spot for religion related to infertility. Now those comments really grind my gears. I think every single person has something they respond to intensely. We all have some sort of triggers. It’s just one of those things. I’m not about to sit here on my little throne and preach that you need to learn how to cope with your triggers and blah blah blah. You’re allowed to feel what you’re feeling. No one on this big earth can tell you how you’re supposed to feel. Pain is pain. But in that very same breath, sometimes a push into the deep end is all you need to learn how to swim. Allow me to explain. So, one night, I stumbled onto a romance story with a little tragic twist to it. I like my characters to have some trauma to them because that’s what I relate to. Anyway, in this story, the main character is struggling with a breakup. It’s only a few chapters in that you learn that the love of her life is in fact, dead. Probably a good ten to fifteen chapters later we learn that this person had committed suicide. It caught me off guard. I was blindsided, and I was upset, but I kept reading. I couldn’t stop reading. I had to know what the main character’s response is to this. It was a whole new perspective for me. For the very first time, I could see the people you leave behind’s point of view. As someone who was suicidal, I’m on the other side of the fence. I never for one second thought about what the people who I left behind would think or feel. So, that little plot twist send me down a truly ugly rabbit hole, but it was good for me. I needed to learn that other perspective. With that being said, I still cried quite a bit and struggled to sleep for a few days because my brain wouldn’t shut the hell up. That author had no trigger warning. It would’ve ruined the plot twist. It would’ve ruined her message. She didn’t stop mid-chapter or mid-story to throw out a trigger warning. She simply pushed me into the deep end, I swallowed a shit ton of water, and the chlorine burned the shit out of my eyes, but I doggy paddled my way to the middle of the pool where I could stand and gather my thoughts.

So, what’s I’m trying to say is that I get it. I’ve been triggered before, and some warning would’ve been nice, so I could’ve protected myself from the pain and not read it, but then I wouldn’t have gained that new perspective. But in the very same breath, it could’ve gone the other way. There is just no winner in this situation. What I realize now is that if I continue to write about the sensitive subject matters, and I continue to grow, at some point, I’m going to upset more and more people. I’m going to trigger them. My heart goes out for them because I’ve been there before and I understand that these types of things never happen in a good timing in your life, but I’m not going to change. I’m going to talk about abuse because it helps me overcome my own abuse. I’m going to talk about suicide because nearly ten years ago, I nearly took my own life. I’m going to talk about rape because I feared every single day that he will sneak into my room and take that part of my being away with him.

AGAIN, I want to stress that I didn’t handle the situation with the girl I triggered correctly. Even though it wasn’t my intention, I made things worse. I kept going back trying to explain myself when I should’ve just accepted that yes, I triggered her and she’s upset, but no. I can’t make it alright again. I shared some of the bits above with her (and then some more) with the idea that maybe she will see where I’m coming from and truly understand that I didn’t misuse these sensitive topics for shock value as so many other entertainment sources do today. It came from a good place and from someone who is sympathetic and educated on the matter. This didn’t happen, and I kept digging the hole deeper and if you’re reading this: I’m sorry. I’m sorry I didn’t warn you about the triggers present in my book. I’m sorry I took your choice away.

The purpose of this blog slash announcement is to warn any future readers, so I will never blindside them again and cause them extreme emotional distress. I’m not going to have a big warning at the start of the book that says this book contains scenes of torture or etc. (Again, in my opinion, it spoils some of the mystery for other readers) but I will state the following. This book contains sensitive subject matter. There’s no harm repeating it so prepare yourself for some déjà vu.

I write about sensitive topics ranging from suicide, depression, infertility, rape, anxiety, trauma, torture and etc. I doubt all of my books will contain all of the subjects listed above, but some of them will. If you’re triggered by any of these topics, please don’t read my works. From this point and onwards, if you see the warning: “This book contains sensitive subject matter” please know that I’m referring to this list. If I happen to write a story that doesn’t contain any of these scenes, I will clearly state it from the start. I WILL NEVER AGAIN TAKE YOUR CHOICE AWAY.

Before I finish this annouchment, I want to touch on one more thing. Why do I write about these sensitive subject matters? Other than writing from my own experience and starting the healing process inside of me, I write about these subject matters with the intention of highlighting my underlining message. Not all of them will be the same, but it’s always in the same field. Bad things happen to good people, but we all have that inner strength inside of us that gives us hope. That strength can be your armor so eventually, you come out as the victor. No matter how bad life is, with that inner strength and hope, a great support system, and the belief that the good will balance out the bad, you can overcome anything. I fully and passionately stand by my message because I’m living breathing fucking proof that it’s true. That little voice inside your head that comes forward when you really need that little push and hope is why I’m here today. That inner strength kept me together these last few months when life handed me a shit storm left and right. That inner strength lifted my chin when I collapsed into pieces because I hated my body and feared that I would never be able to carry my husband and I’s child. So, I guess what I’m trying to stress is that I’m not misusing my platform and voice. I’m not writing about these sensitve subject matters because it’s popular these days or for shock value. It comes from a good place with deeper meaning and lessons hidden throughout my work.

Thank you for supporting me.

Stay awesome,

Cassy xxx