My son is an IVF baby. This is a fact that I am proud of. It makes me (indescribably) happy to know that we succeeded in having him, despite the odds. And some people may find it strange that I share this fact so openly. It may seem too personal to them.
But here’s the thing. Infertility can be a very lonely journey. And for those couples that keep it a secret, feelings of loneliness and isolation are only increased (or I can only assume). Because believe me, when you want to get pregnant and can’t, it feels as if everyone else is easily able to conceive. All you see around you are baby bumps and happy families. For me, it helped to know that some of those families struggled in their quest to become a family. Once we opened up to fellow church members, we found out a couple we knew well had their daughter through IVF…16 years ago. This gave me a sense of hope. And I needed that during a time when it was difficult to stay positive.
I’m not saying every single couple who goes through this journey needs to share it with the world – everyone has their own struggle and may not want to indulge the world by keeping them in the loop. In our case, though, it helped to let people know, to have family and friends who could be supportive. Because we needed all the love and support we could get. And from a practical perspective, I needed others to understand why I had so many doctor’s appointments (believe me, you miss enough days of work and people start to make up horrible terminal diseases you may have). You may say “Hey, just tell them it’s none of their business.” But people have a way of making things their business, especially those people you see on a daily basis. And when I was open about it, all I got back was love and support.
Some people have long journeys to becoming a family (whether through medical intervention, by surrogate, or even through adoption) and it’s something that people should be more comfortable talking about. Because, believe me, more people than you realize have gone through this struggle. And I’m pretty sure most of them would say it was worth it, assuming they are willing to discuss it.
Linked up at Sharing Saturday