It’s a tough season out there isn’t it?
The pregnancy announcements seem to come in droves when you are on your own journey.
Does Winter make it worse? Most of us sitting at home, online more than normal, instead of throwing the phone on the towel and ignoring it from the ocean?
I’ve had a significant amount of clients these last few months battling through what can be an incredibly lonely and triggering time. Social media, while it’s been eye opening for infertility struggles and starting conversations around miscarriage and baby loss. It can also be a slap in the face with baby bump after baby bump on your feed.
If you’re still on your fertility journey, or going through loss and grief, then you can be happy for the person you also know had a rough road to their baby. You can also mute them, or unfollow for a while.
Being happy for someone else does not usually decrease what you’re going through. In many cases it simply amplifies your feelings. Take care of you! We do not all need to see daily bump photos – some of us had horrific pregnancies, some would do anything for one.
For the online IVF warriors we have much needed voices talking about IVF treatment, normalising infertility struggles, and making folks going through reproductive medicine feel less alone. However, there are complicating factors for those who cannot access public funding due to BMI. Especially so if they cannot afford to pay privately at all.
I don’t have the space here to dive into the fat-phobic research driving these archaic and dangerous guidelines. Honestly there are people who have done an amazing job already and can speak from experience. I’ll link some of them below. It is not lost on me that while my role is to advocate for my patients, I am still a slim woman who never needed to access such treatments for her family. My voice needs to be in the background and in support of – not leading these conversations. Put simply, I do not know what it is like for you.
The BMI cut off for accessing public funding for fertility treatment is traumatic. As a client so eloquently put it this month. “I need to weigh less than I did as a teenager and that’s considered healthy?”
The work involved when a baby just doesn’t happen quickly is immense. But to do it in a body that is consistently told to shrink itself at all costs is dangerously traumatic. Despite all the evidence available to call bullshit for infertility being linked directly to larger bodies, we are still battling with systemic fat-phobia and the policing of your bodies. Do I dare say by mostly, slim, cis white men and women with genetics? Genetics that overwhelmingly influence their body shape, irrespective of what they eat or how they move.
Who can support you?
I want to offer some people now who I have immense respect for in the hopes that those battling the system also find solace or just the right amount of anger that feels productive.