Myth: “I don’t need to talk to anyone about this. It’s private.”
Obviously, I value my privacy, after all, this is a mostly anonymous blog. I am willing to share personal things under a cloak like this, or if I feel my experiences can benefit another. However, I don’t always want to share everything with the world.
In my family growing up, we learned to put on a happy face and let people know we were fine. Sometimes we weren’t, but we knew appearances and people’s perception were important. It was drilled into us that we were a reflection of our parents and shouldn’t share the things that would embarrass them.
I married someone who was much like this. You don’t talk about personal things, medical issues, financial problems and so on. So, when we started trying to conceive, we told no one. We thought it might take us a little while and didn’t want to answer questions. Then, we discovered the true extent of our infertility crisis. We told no one. Through testing and treatment, we did it alone. Absolutely alone, only sharing with the friend who would be our ride home from egg retrievals and embryo transfers.
After my first miscarriage, we told my parents. They were full of platitudes and hurt our feelings indirectly, so we told them no more. His parents shared with us their beliefs about those who go through infertility and how they are “going against God” so we decided to tell them nothing.
Throughout ultrasounds, overstimulation, IVFs, miscarriages, we told no one. We said nothing. We valued our privacy so much that we cut ourselves off from any support we might have gotten. I believed we were saving ourselves some grief, but looking back, I think we were adding to it.
He didn’t want to admit to testosterone problems and a lack of sperm, for fear of what people would think. I didn’t want to admit to fertility troubles and multiple pregnancy losses for fear of what people would say. So, we told no one.
Eventually, I found Resolve, and we leaned on strangers who understood for support. We finally told people, though not those close to us. Coming out was hard, at the end, and both good and bad things came of it. I won’t say you should tell everyone, but you should tell those who will love and support you.
You’ll need it, doing it alone is so much harder.