We’ve always wondered: why do people not talk about their infertility? We certainly didn’t for a long time. Embarrassment? Shame? It seemed like everyone was able to effortlessly do what we had dreamed of for years. It seemed that way.
When we first decided to start Bottles & Banter, it was a way for us to try new things and to catch up with everything we’d tuned out entirely for years. Baby pictures, baby showers, baby products… all of the things we’d been willfully ignorant of until we finally got that positive test. But then we started to think about why people don’t discuss infertility. In ways, it’s very nerve-racking to suddenly be on the other side of the coin. You try to not show too much outward excitement because you just KNOW there is someone else out there who is reading this and struggling.
And we now had a platform. Sure, some people knew of our struggles – it’s basically impossible to get through all of this in secret. But after talking about it a lot, we had to decide: is infertility our disease? Was it only our business? Or were we doing others a disservice by keeping quiet?
One of every eight couples experience fertility issues; everyone knows this number if you’ve got any involvement in infertility. It doesn’t feel that way, though! No one wants to talk about the latest failed IUI or how big her follicles are today. Weird, right?
It seemed like everyone was able to so effortlessly do what we had dreamed of for years. It seemed that way.
The night we posted our Infertility Journey piece on Facebook, we got texts/messages from a dozen of our friends who said they too were going through treatment, had given up, or were thinking about scheduling a consultation. A couple of people asked what was the trigger to go and see a reproductive endocrinologist. Others just had kind words of support. Only one person made a negative comment, and well, we’re no longer connected on Facebook. We don’t need that kind of negativity in our lives. Moral to the story, some of the people we thought were starting their families so effortlessly were indeed struggling.
Talk About Your Infertility
So what’s our point? Talk about it! Get support! There is certainly help out there, people to connect with, and information to dig up. Fertility Centers of Illinois, where I work, offers patient education webinars you can join from anywhere, and RESOLVE (the national infertility awareness group) offers support groups across the country.
We totally understand if you don’t want to talk about it to friends and family – we were right there with you. But what we can tell you is that if you have any questions or just want to chat: we’re here. We’ve gotten nothing but great support from our circle of family and friends, and we hope that will be the case for you.
Who do you talk with about your infertility? How do you balance privacy with sharing? Do you think you owe it to others to be more public?