Whenever I watch the reality TV show Giuliana & Bill, I tell my husband: “Their lives parallel ours!” (Well, except for the minor details that they are rich, famous, and beautiful.) She wants to live in L.A. He wants to live in Chicago. They go back and forth. I want to live in L.A. Ron wants to live in D.C. This winter, we’re going back and forth. They are experiencing infertility. We are experiencing infertility. She is concerned about what the hormone medication might do to her body; so am I. I hope she hooks up with Pulling Down the Moon in Chicago. I’d love for America to be able to watch how alternative medicine can complement fertility treatments.
Anyway, one of the things I appreciate about the show is Giuliana and Bill’s willingness to be open about the pain of their miscarriage and the difficulty of their journey through treatment. It’s not like they’re looking back and reflecting on their grief. They are being filmed as the events unfold. Giuliana even invited the cameras in with her during her session with an infertility therapist. They aren’t the only reality TV couple sharing such struggles. Jen and Bill of The Little Couple are going through the process of surrogacy. Anna Duggar, married to Josh Duggar, openly shared the pain of her recent miscarriage on 19 Kids & Counting.
Watching the shows, I couldn’t help but gain a better understanding of my husband’s perspective. When things don’t work out as hoped (a baby is lost, a chance of surrogacy is missed), the women are overwhelmed with emotion and need a listening ear. The men are like, “What’s the next step?” It’s not that they aren’t hurting too, but as natural problem solvers, they want to find a solution. Fast.
Part of infertility is learning to live in uncertainty. Uncertainty isn’t a very comfortable place, so it can be hard. How to find rest in transition? Gratitude is a good place to start.
During this Thanksgiving week, I feel blessed to be surrounded with so many wonderful people in my life. Even people I don’t know personally. Thank you Giuliana, Bill, Jen, Bill, Anna, and Josh for being open about your fertility challenges and pregnancy losses. I think there is nothing that connects human beings more than sharing our personal stories.
About Jenny Rough
Jenny Rough is a lawyer-turned-writer. Visit her on the web at www.jennyrough.com