Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Infertility Unawareness Week

If it weren't for other bloggers, I wouldn't know that this is Infertility Awareness Week. What is the single bravest thing with the most impact I could do this week? "Come out" to my Facebook friends, all 600+ of them. But I won't. I just can't do it. Here are my reasons:

  1. I'm not in this alone, and there's no way my husband would go for it.
  2. We haven't even told everyone in his family what we're truly experiencing.
  3. I don't want the ignorant comments that I'm sure I will get.
  4. I'm still not convinced that this is a cross I need to carry publicly. It's one thing to let close friends and family (even coworkers) know that you are dealing with infertility, but to blab it to people I haven't really talked to since grade school seems like too much for me.
I certainly feel called to be an advocate for NFP and want others to know that infertility is real and affects so many couples, but I'm just not there yet. Maybe someday I'll be ready to tell my story in a public way, but certainly not right now. I guess this blog is the closest I will get to that for a while.

How about you? How "public" are you with your infertility story? Where are your boundaries? Do we have a responsibility to be public with our stories?


  1. I could write a book on how conflicted I am about going public about our infertility this week. While my blog is one of the ones listed on the post that's being posted to lots of sites and I helped write it, I'm not sure I'll post anything to my own FB page.

    I'm more public than I used to be, but it's usually because of work (I work in Marriage and Family Ministry). I think we have a responsibility to be honest to the point we are comfortable (for example, that is why we told my parents we were struggling, because by avoiding questions/comments about babies I felt like I was being dishonest - but for someone I just meet or coworkers? nope, they don't need to know). I used to have a "tell no one anything" approach, but I've started to just base what I do on a case by case basis. So far, it has worked.

    Don't feel pressure to say or do anything, pray about it and talk with your DH about it, and go from there. It's your story and no one says you have to share it with the world.

    Prayers for you!

  2. I agree with Rebecca, and I am mostly the same way. Occasionally I will surprise myself by sharing details with a relative stranger...but in those instances, it is usually someone who has subtly clued me in on their own suffering. And in that way, we really do form a world-wide community...a sort of secret sisterhood. It is painful to share with others, but I have found that by sharing with others who have had similar experiences, I do feel comforted. That being said, it is still too painful to share the details of my experiences with most people in my life. I completely understand why you feel the same way.

    I suppose... we just do our best, to be both honest with others, and comfortable in our own skin. A hard line to walk, but our 'best' is all we can offer.

  3. I'm right there with you! I'm not sure my husband would be pleased if I went off telling all my FB friends about our cross. Plus, I'm pretty embarrassed to do it myself. I did sort of allude to our infertility today when I wrote about our plans to adopt on FB, but I didn't outright say "WE'RE INFERTLE AND IT STINKS!" First, I'm not sure if we're actually "inferitle" or "subfertile" so I'm not ready to apply the "INFERTILE" tag to us forever. And also, I don't want the average person knowing about all the procedures, drugs, surgeries, etc. I'm happy to tell close friends and family, aka the people we can trust, but strangers don't need to know all that stuff. And you know strangers or barely-acquaintances will want to pry. The only good that can come of sharing your infertility sorrows with the FB world is the possiblity of reaching out to someone else who is silently suffering and alone. That may be worth it! But I certainly do not blame you for not wanting to post something! That's what these great blogs are for, anyway. :)

  4. I definitely don't think we have a responsibility to "go public" with our infertility situation! Your #1 reason is huge - I think sharing such a personal struggle has to be something both spouses agree on, absolutely. Similar to the other ladies who commented, I tend to treat situations on a case by case basis. Sometimes I surprise myself by sharing with someone I've just met (and sometimes it's a really beautiful result!) and sometimes wild horses couldn't drag it out of me. At the end of the day, it's really no one's business. Not even my parents. We've shared with a number of people by this point (almost 3 years in! it's hard to never talk about it =)) and mainly they're people we trust and we knew well, and they're an ongoing support for us. I don't share at work because I need a safe place to be emotionally.

    So that's my two cents! =) Definitely don't feel like you "have to" make someone more "aware" of IF!

  5. I agree that it all depends on the situation and who you are talking to. The nice thing about sharing, however, is that often you find that others have had similar experiences that you never would've guessed and they are often desperate for someone to support them. Like miscarriage, infertility is one of those things people don't talk about much and it leaves those going thru it often suffering alone. I admire all of you who find the courage to share your infertility struggles with the rest of us, especially while you are in the middle of it. I think if we pray about it, hopefully the Holy Spirit will lead us to know when to share and when to keep quiet.