- September 16, 2016 at 11:22 am #219
Shout-out to Fran Meadows for her beautiful post. Follow her:
Twitter: @Franmeadows https://twitter.com/FranMeadows
Infertility: Silent or NOT!
When a couple goes through the journey of infertility it is an unfamiliar territory that they are entering. This journey is a private road with many ups and downs. From the moment you walk into your Doctor’s office you are testing the waters with your emotions.
Today, many people, including celebrities, choose to share their infertility journey with open arms, sharing every detail. There are many bloggers that share their journeys while actively going through treatments. They are the brave rock stars that started raising awareness for this disease from the start. Then there are others, like I was ,who choose to keep their journey silent until I was ready to open up. My conversations consisted of my husband and I with our Doctor. That was it! No family, no friends! Why, you ask?
SILENCE IS LONELY BUT NECESSARY: When I kept my infertility journey silent it was the only decision for us. The pressures of everyone knowing your every move was stressful enough for us so we chose NOT to share it with anyone. IT took a lot for me to tread around my Doctors appointments and work at the time but somehow I did it. I was so embarrassed and could not dare to tell a sole because I felt so alone. Everyone around me was getting pregnant, once, twice or three times that it felt as if I was doing something wrong. Being able to get pregnant is supposed to be a natural thing for a woman but for me it wasn’t.
When you’re silent about your journey you feel like everything is crumbling around you and people are staring. You get that paranoid feeling as if they know exactly what is going on. I would get defensive and tried to stay away from any type of baby conversations and even tried to ditch the baby shower invites I would receive. The experience was lonely and I wished that I was able to share my experiences but I knew what was best for me. Only you will know that the decision to be silent is the right one. Don’t let the pressures of anything break you. There is a reason why you chose to be silent.
TIPS FOR THE SILENT JOURNEY:
Journal about your experiences. This will make you feel like you’re opening up to someone about the truth without really doing it.
Stay busy or find a new hobby. Maybe start a new T.V. Series to pass the time.
FIND SUPPORT!! I know this sounds like you’re not silent anymore but therapy is key to a healthy journey when you choose to be silent. I found support, non-judgement and a new friend to help me through my tough times. Support groups in-person or online are also great but beware you might see someone you know. I did a “drive by” to many support groups just to see who goes and shows up or sat in the parking lot to see who actually goes in. For me it wasn’t the right type of support. It made me feel more stressed about someone finding out about what I was going through. I needed one on one support.
Keep an open communication with your partner so that you both understand each other’s concerns and feelings. This is extremely important when keeping the silence. Take time to be there for each other and discuss everything together. This is a journey between you both. Celebrate as a couple holding out for hope that you will soon be a family. Also include an open line of communication with the Doctors and nurses as this is the only place you can feel like you’re not silent because they know why you’re there. The time at the Doctors was when I opened up a bit and then back to the silence.
The silent journey might not be for all but only you will know that. The best part of the silence is that you can start to open up when you feel ready all at your own pace. It’s a sense of trust and knowing that the person you are confiding in will support you and hopefully not share it with the world unless you want them to.
NO SILENCE JUST OPEN: My experience with not being silent comes after the long road from infertility to pregnancy loss and to the birth of my son. At my pace I was able to share my story with so many in my book The Truth Behind The Secret “Infertility”. It was a time that I finally felt comfortable coming out to everyone after I built my family. When I finally opened it was like a weight off my shoulders but I was nervous on how people would react, especially family and friends. Surprisingly they were very supporting and forthcoming about their experience with infertility that I had no idea about. There were strangers and friends of friends that were reaching out to me. That’s the thing we never know what is going on behind closed doors. Sharing the most personal experience helps others find their words to share their own experiences.
Those that are open about their infertility struggles online or in-person might have to deal with those that think infertility is private and should not be shared openly. Why is it okay for those to announce that they are pregnant and you can’t share about your infertility struggles? Is it that they are uncomfortable with the talk of sperm and eggs? Or is it because they never looked at it that way? Going through infertility is personal but today more and more people share their experiences on Social Media. For those struggling it might be their only outlet or it’s easier to share a post rather than talking about it head on. I commend those that are open and actively seeking treatment. I really don’t think I could have ever been able to do that. Being open about your struggles can help you through the healing process and make you feel less alone. Online social media outlets connect you to so many other men and women that can relate where resources can be shared. I’ve met so many great people online and whether you were in the midst of treatment or have built your family you supported each other. Infertility is never that group that is at the top of the list to join but if you have to you will find your way through it with many right by your side.
Silent or Not it’s not about what’s right or wrong it’s about what’s right for you as a couple!
Whether you choose silence or being open about your infertility experiences know that you made your decisions based on what you felt. It’s your journey and you should take it as your own, relate to others but don’t compare since each experience and outcome might be different. If you told me that the journey of infertility would have given me strength, confidence and a feeling of worth I would have thought that you were crazy. Infertility is filled with many choices or decisions and no matter the outcome we are all our own person! From all my tears to the deepest and darkest places this journey took me, I’m proud to say that I made decisions that were right for me and I don’t look back with regrets. I move forward to tomorrow.
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.November 28, 2016 at 12:58 pm #625
This was a great read! This isn’t something everyone is comfortable talking about, but I’m glad that we are not alone. Great piece by this writer.December 1, 2016 at 3:47 am #665
NiceDecember 1, 2016 at 3:52 am #666
yesFebruary 24, 2017 at 3:37 pm #1300
Thank you Tom…. and testing. hahaFebruary 28, 2017 at 4:45 pm #1324
Hi my name is Ailish I’m new to this community. I’ll be honest silent was hard but for me is intital was embrassed because we already have one child and now when we tried for number 2 it was very difficult. I know my body well and after about 6 months of trying, I reached out to a fertility clinic… Something just wasn’t right. Long story short in a matter of 2 years something had happened to my husband’s sperm qaulity. I guess I wasn’t really embrassed I was sad…And angry. We ndid our first cycle in January with PGS and ended up with 1 genetically good embryo, I start a new cycle with pgs this weekend hoping for 1 or 2 more gentically good embryos. My husband is still very silent about it…But I am pretty open with my co-workers and family im just not to the point where I feel comfortable to share with soical media…
I think the hardest part is that unless you’ve been through infertility because they never can understand how emotional this process is…And frequently might mean well but say unintentional hurtful things..So I get why many people stay silent.March 13, 2017 at 4:54 pm #1400
Silence is hard. Sharing is just as hard. I needed to share the news of needing to see an infertility specialist with my boss and to tell him that my husband and I are trying to have children, lest he thinks I was just playing hooky from work. Then it gets spread around at work, so people who know very little about my situation provide unsolicited advice. Their well-wishes are thoughtful, but my emotions usually get the better of me, so I distance myself from their probing questions. It is quite ironic when I feel I want the support, but I don’t want to share out my experiences or feelings, especially to family members. (It’s especially not helpful when my sister and best friend are both pregnant at the same time.) It feels somewhat wrong to feel that way, but I’d rather share them with people who are going through what I am going through, strangers on the Internet. Hopefully, I can make a connection with some people who are going through similar experiences as I am, and luckily, make a friend. 🙂October 27, 2017 at 2:56 pm #2625
Hi beautiful ladies. My hat’s off to the author. Really touchy and powerfull words. You have a right to be silent if you want. Also you are welcome to speak up. My DH and I decided that silence is not our choice. It wasn’t easy. First of all it wasn’t easy to accept that I am different from others. That 3 IVF cycles didn’t work! It was such a big deal to me to admit that I was not like most of the women around. But I just coudn’t be silent. And those words helped me to accept myself. Here and there I started raising the topic of infertility. It turned to be that this topic is such a taboo! Women are ashamed. But girls, this is not your choice! This is not smth that you can improve. So just accept your body! Now I am pregnant. But I am pregnant with a donor egg. It was terrible to say to my friends and family. Even more terrible it was to share the news with my DH’s family. They are Muslims. They don’t talk to me now. Oh well, I accept this too. I made my choice and I ask people to respect it. I don’t know what I will tell to my baby, when she grows up. But I am sure I will tell her the truth of her birth. Just because to my point of view it will be fair. I will feel better this way. However, it is my choice. Yours might be different. And everybody must respect that.January 5, 2018 at 12:48 am #2911
Thank you for sharing this piece with us.It is heart wrenching how infertility is treated by the society when it is just a medical situation which has amazing remedies today. The cause to infertility are many and can be diagnosed. Treatments are available and ladies like us enjoy happy motherhood. Ladies need to be vocal about their journey and only then can we support each other. The writer has elaborated every detail so well that you connect to it. Thanks again for sharing.!
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