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Personal Desires Still Strong During World Crises. And That's Okay.

By Sonja Kristiansen, MD on March 25, 2011

As I write this blogpost, I recognize that there are many people in the world trying to survive dire circumstances. And I suspect that many readers who are infertility patients might be experiencing twinges of related discomfort.

For example, the other day I read a Facebook post from someone expressing a sense of guilt over how good her life is compared to people in places like Japan and Libya. She revealed her true feelings: that she was having a hard time enjoying the excitement of an upcoming, hard-earned trip to Disney with her family, because she was so acutely aware of the world's distress.

As you might imagine, her friends responded with comments supportive of her desire to be happy. As one posted, "Nobody in Japan wants you to be unhappy!"

With infertility, the pain you feel is most often hidden from the world. You don't want to be the one who brings sadness into a baby shower. You'd rather friends not see the hurt on your face while they chat about their little one's latest antics. The very fact that you keep grief a secret can compound your sense of isolation, which makes a little pain feel overwhelming.

On the other hand, just as we realize how much worse things can be for others -- as in the case of so much recent news from abroad -- you don't begrudge your friends' pleasure at being new parents.

The bottom line is that we are all human, and we all have drives, the strongest of which is to have a baby. We cannot all feel direct empathy for everyone, but we can strive to understand and be sensitive toward each other. In truth, we really do want everyone else to be safe, happy, and have their hearts' desires.

As many of you are, I am praying for people around the world, for peace and restoration in their lives and communities. I also continue on my personal path toward making life better for myself and for those directly around me, including my patients, because that's where it all begins.

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