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Letting People In...

Posted by Rachel T. , 14 February 2012 · 1587 views

IVF same-sex infertility fertility TTC
I'm becoming increasingly frustrated with the silence that is held around infertility. I go back and forth between not wanting to tell anyone we're trying so I don't have to handle the questions and the expectations and wanting to plaster everything with what i'm going through for two reasons: 1) I don't want to be alone and 2) I don't want other people to feel alone. How are there so many of us going through this and yet it's so taboo to discuss?

My wife and I have officially been trying to conceive for one year. Five failed IUI cycles and one failed IVF cycle.
With all that we've gone through in the past year, we've let very few people know what is going on. The people that do know, don't know the extent of it and for the most part do not seem to get it. It's not their fault. It's a combination of never going through this and US not having the vocabulary or energy to express and explain. We have friends and family who are supportive, don't get me wrong, but supportive doesn't mean they understand.

I want to raise awareness. I want to fight for provincial IVF coverage and I want to educate the people around. I just don't know how to start being so public about a part of me that makes me so vulnerable. I keep thinking that once I'm pregnant maybe I'll be able to open up to people more. Maybe once I'm not failing I can say "this is what I went through".

Right now though, I just feel like there will be too much judgement for me to handle when I can't stop judging myself.

I sort of felt like that in the beginning - like I could only tell the world about IF once I conquered it. So far, that hasn't happened, and fighting the world seems much less important than just surviving. I feel like just trying to stand up for my basic rights in my interactions with the medical field and with the adoption field is battle enough.

However, I have so much admiration for people who do have the energy to deal with all this and also speak publicly. I'd say that if it makes you feel stronger, then you should go for it. No point in waiting until you're pregnant. Once that happens, you'll probably become less angry and have other things on your mind anyway.
Feb 14 2012 08:19 PM
I think you are smart to create an inner circle of support of people who you keep informed. The larger world can be judhemental and closed minded. You don't need to tackle it on all levels at once, if ever. You've already got a lot to cope with, so don't be hard on yourself for keeping some things close.
Feb 14 2012 10:55 PM
Silver is right. Start small.

I have stood up and spoken out in newspapers and on Television. Our family and friends are supportive. Those who've been there appreciate it it. But the close minded asses who say hurtful things, seem to know just the right buttons to get the blood boiling and push us down. It's a hard soap box to balance on. It's hard to find out that even some of those supportive friends and family, really only support you, not your cause.

With that said, i wouldn't undo what i've done.

If you're really interested in finding your voice and a way to help. Contact Beverly Hank at the Infertility Association of Canada. She'll help direct you.

Good Luck

I found it much easier to be 'open' with others once we had DS. Now trying for number 2, I tell everyone and their dog that it's not as easy for us.
Thanks for all the feedback everyone. This was absolutely just thinking out loud and I'm not sure where I will go with it but I mostly am concerned that so many of us are interacting with others that are in pain and we're not opening the lines of communication to build our support systems right around ourselves for a myriad of reasons. I don't want anyone to feel alone going through this.
We were not open at all about IVF until a few years into the process, even then we didn't tell any family members until our surrogate was 26 weeks pregnant and the odds were we would actually have a baby of our own.

Now we are fairly open with people, I know DH is open with his colleagues, and a lot of them know we did ivf (not the surrogacy part). For us, it was easier not to tell everyone, but you ned to do what is right for you.

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