This is a guest post written by a reader who wishes to remain anonymous. Enjoy!
There are SO many people involved in the intimate details of your life when you’re waist deep in infertility treatments. They see your body. They see INSIDE your body. They know the days and times you do the dance with no pants. I never dreamed the details of my intimate life would involve so many people. While that may be the situation in your doctor’s office, it does not have to be the case in your everyday life. I know this because my fertility treatments are a secret. That’s right – I can count on one hand the number of people who know where I’m going when I head off to yet another doctor’s appointment.
We have chosen to keep our fertility a secret from almost everyone in our lives, and it’s proven time and time again to be the right choice for us on our journey. For some of you, this seems absolutely crazy! You can’t imagine not telling your family and friends about your life and what’s going on. But I know there are others out there who want to take a different path – a path that involves keeping fertility closed to public view. That’s what I chose. Here are a few things I’ve picked up along the way:
It’s not a secret, it’s private.
What happens in your bedroom is your business, period. We live in a share-everything world and for some people, sharing their personal business is perfectly fine. Don’t apologize for keeping things private if that’s what’s right for you and your spouse.
Practice makes perfect.
If you’re keeping things private, you’ll most likely find yourself in a situation where you’ll be asked questions you don’t want to answer. We’ve all been at that baby shower or family party when you hear…”So, when will we hear the pitter patter of little feet at your house?” …and you panic and say nothing. Or say the wrong thing. Or cry. How do you answer honestly, with tact, and without revealing something you’d like to keep private? Here’s what I do: Before the event, I have a friend to ask me all the questions I anticipate being asked. Sometimes during the practice session, I’m stumped and I don’t know how to answer. So, we wait a few days while I think of what I’d like to say, and we try again. I find rehearsing what to say lowers my anxiety about these situations.
Put yourself in their shoes.
Imagine if a friend or relative didn’t tell you something ON PURPOSE. Or told people in your family the “secret”, but not you. How would you feel? Maybe you would understand immediately. Maybe you ask yourself “why didn’t they tell me? Don’t they trust me?” or “we must not be as close as I thought we were”.
When you finally tell someone about your infertility for the first time after a long period of privacy, their response might not be positive. Be proactive and start thinking of ways you might tell them someday. You don’t have to defend your decision, but explaining why you decided to keep it to yourself might ease hurt feelings that might be on the other side.
Don’t let your happiness be a secret.
One of the main reasons we decided to be very intentional with who we told about our infertility was so that we could live a normal life and be focused on what we DO have, not what we don’t. I’ll admit, it’s not easy. On the dark days (of which we have had many) it’s hard to stay positive. There is certainly a time for tears and sadness. It’s healthy to deal with the realities of infertility and sometimes those realities are not pretty. But – every day I can pick myself up and keep going with a smile on my face, I’m telling infertility that I am still strong. I’m telling infertility that it won’t ruin my life or my marriage. I’m showing infertility (and the world!) that even if life brings me sadness and sorrow, I’ll come out on the other side.
I sincerely hope and pray that for all ALL of us – whether we are living out our fertility in public or in private – that’s it’s just a small stop on the road of our lives. And in case you’re curious – I do plan to tell my story someday, maybe even post it on the internet! I am very thankful for the ways God has blessed us on our journey, and when it’s all over, oh what a story I’ll have to share!
Anonymous loves living with her husband in Texas with their dog, 2 cats, and 2 chickens. They’re hoping to one day add a baby to the group…and tell you all about it.
Image courtesy of Boss Fight