Apr 23, 2013

The shame of silence

*It's National Infertility Awareness Week - I encourage you to read and share information to help make people more aware. As always, thanks for being so supportive of me sharing here!*

I'm the kind of person who takes something and runs with it. I've always said, "I need to find a cause to advocate for - because once I find it, I know I can make a difference."

Well the cause found me - in the form of infertility. I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome in December of 2011, and a year later was told the best chance Ben and I have of getting pregnant involves medical intervention. This June, we will have been "trying" for three years.

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes...peeing on sticks and visits to the doctor?

(Doesn't quite have the same ring to it, huh?)

Through it all, Ben and I have managed to grow closer. We've laughed at the ridiculous, researched medical terms, and held each other up when the going has gotten tough - we've moved through it together.

Infertility can wreak havoc on an individual, not to mention on a marriage; it eats away at the very core of you, and can easily turn from annoyance to a way of life. It plants seeds of doubt - about yourself, your partner, your worthiness to become a parent - which blossom when you are your most vulnerable. It's ugly, and painful, and leaves a hole in your heart you're not sure will ever be filled.

But this is why we have to talk about it.

Infertility is a roller coaster of emotion and while there are some highs, there are some extreme lows. When we feel ashamed, we should talk about it. When we're feeling angry, we should talk about it. When we're feeling hopeful, we definitely should talk about it.

There's a stigma attached to the word infertility and it goes hand in hand with silence. It's personal, and can be painful, and people don't want to intrude so it's not discussed.

Is it hard to talk about your struggles? Of course. But it is absolutely necessary.

People need to know there's more to infertility than associating it with IVF. People want to know what is good (and not so good) to say to someone struggling. People should know that it's okay to embrace their emotions - but no one will know if a conversation isn't started.

Whether it's your experience or someone else's I encourage you to stop whispering and start talking.

There's no shame in infertility - but there is in the silence.

(If you'd like more information about how to help get those conversations started, visit Resolve.org, and do something this week to bring awareness to Infertility).


Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

Beautifully written, Becky. Although I don't know a lot about your own situation, I have always been impressed by how open you've been about your struggles. And I think it's amazing that your relationship with Ben has grown stronger through your struggles together.

Amber said...

Great post Becky. I agree it is so so important to talk about things we are struggling with instead of shoving them under the rug. I admire your bravery with this topic so so much!

S.I.F. said...

I love this:

There's no shame in infertility - but there is in the silence.

SO perfect!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Great post... I have not personally experienced this but I watched my sister struggle to conceive their 2nd child and I know how hard it was on them. I really respect the fact that you are so open about your experience and emotions. I think it definitely helps others. Sending love and hugs!!

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

This is a great post and I've always found it inspiring how open you are about your struggles, as I know that must help so many people.
I know I'll probably be revisiting a lot of your posts when I begin this journey... something tells me it will not be a quick process for me. I think most of the people who talk tend to have an easy time getting pregnant and it's important for everyone to know that's not how it is for everyone so that people will know they are not alone.

Emily said...

i bawled when i read this. having been there, your words went straight to my heart. thank you for sharing this.
would it be ok if i shared this on my own blog? your words, with a link to your blog?

Cherry Blossoms said...

Beautiful post and know I am praying for you.

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