Posts Tagged ‘Infertility’

I blog, I blog in English, and the blogging community is dominated by Americans. So it would be impossible for me to miss that it is National Infertility Week in the US.   This week, they are trying to promote awareness by getting bloggers to “Join the Movement” and talk about how we are making a difference in ways large and small in the lives of people with infertility.

Now, my fertility issues have been resolved. I mean I’m 50, so I’m past all that now anyway. (I’m not a big supporter of women getting pregnant in their 50s and beyond). I’ve found resolution, but not in the way most people assume, ie by having children. Nope, no kidding, that’s me. And that’s okay. So in one way, I struggle with the exhortation to “join the movement” and make more people aware of the fact that 1 in 8 people will have fertility issues. After all, right now, I just want to be me. I don’t want to be defined by anything, certainly not the issue of whether or not I have children. Or more specifically, whether or not I could have children. This blog is not about infertility.  It’s about my life.  The one I just happen to be living without kids.

Consider too that up until last year, I volunteered for an ectopic pregnancy organisation, and I know what a difference I made in the lives of others going through pregnancy loss and those who then faced infertility.  And I write in other places about infertility.  I don’t think I need to be exhorted to do more.

Yet, 1 in 8 couples have difficulty having children.  Between 30-50% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Infertility is a very real and quite common part of life. We all know someone who has been touched by infertility.  And yet these topics are not talked about; instead they are hidden away, rarely acknowledged.  We live in a world that assumes everyone will have children, that idolises the state of parenthood, and that often looks on those of us with no kids as lesser, or lacking, regardless of why we don’t have children. So I do really support the principle of raising awareness. The more people who are aware that fertility isn’t a given, being a parent isn’t a given, the better. In fact, the more people who realise it isn’t required, the better.  It will mean that people will feel freer in their choices not to have children, or the circumstances they find themselves in.  And it will mean those of us who tried, but couldn’t (or those who are trying right now), will not feel judged and found lacking.

And perhaps maybe, just maybe, someone reading this will think before they ask someone, “do you have children?” And it might stop them (or you) – forever – asking the follow-up question that almost always sounds like an accusation, “why not?”

For more information, follow these links:

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This week is National Infertility Awareness Week in the US.  It doesn’t seem to be recognised here in New Zealand, which is a pity. The theme this year is “Don’t ignore …” And so I had been considering posting about my infertility here, on my everyday blog, conscious that – by and large – I do ignore it in this space. Yet that’s exactly what I complain about over on my life after infertility blog. A small case of “do what I say, not what I do.” Sigh. Guilty as charged.

I had drafted up something, but wasn’t entirely comfortable with it. The thing is, our infertility is ignored – by my husband and I, most of my friends, my family. This can be explained because I have been quite private about it (yes I know, at the same time writing about it all over the internet so hundreds if not thousands can read some of my most private thoughts), because I’m now of the age where having kids isn’t really an option, and because we’ve been (just) a couple for so long, there doesn’t seem anything strange about us not having kids.  So talking about the subject where friends and family will see it is far scarier than talking about it with friends I’ve met on-line, who have always known this part of me. Hence my procrastination about writing anything; an explanation for why my No Kidding blog has never been linked here.  That fear of judgement and horror of pity is hard to shake.

Then I got an email.  Go to sleep, and wake up to find that I am published on The Huffington Post. Under my REAL NAME! Argh! Talk about coming out big-time. And I linked to it on Facebook. (Because, I mean, it’s The Huffington Post – why wouldn’t I?) Argh again!

My piece was originally posted under “The Secret to Happiness is …” headline – quite different from the “Did I grieve enough?” headline used by The Huffington Post. Still, I’m not complaining! You can read it here.

Note:  I’m too scared to read it in case there are dreadful errors and I sound ridiculous!

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Coming out of the closet

Those of you who know me well, or who have been reading me for some time, know that from time to time I talk about infertility, or ectopic pregnancy. But by and large this blog is not about that. I don’t think my readers want to hear my complaints, or my thoughts, or the way I’ve coped with the life I’ve been dealt.
And so, last year, about the time I wrote this No Kidding post, I took the plunge and started a new blog. I felt I needed a space for thoughts on my no kidding lifestyle, the good and the bad, remembering what was lost, and celebrating what I have. I didn’t mention it here, other than an oblique reference a while ago. I haven’t included it in my website list on Facebook. I’m a bit nervous still to mention it here, because I might refer to people in real life – things they said, or the way they reacted or didn’t react – and they might get upset. I don’t want that.

But recently I read an article that pointed out the fact that couples who are infertile, who can’t have children or who have difficulty doing so, can’t expect others to be sensitive, to understand their lives, to be considerate of the differences, if the infertile don’t talk about their situation. I gulped when I read this. Because I am one who doesn’t talk about this very openly. Sure, I’ll do so anonymously online. But otherwise I am quite private about it. I’m not sure why. Am I ashamed? Am I embarrassed? Am I afraid people will judge, or pity (argh!) or laugh or sneer? Perhaps all of the above. I don’t want to feel like that. Intellectually, I don’t think any of that. Emotionally … that might be another matter. I do want people simply to understand, or to try to understand, in the same way that I know how difficult it might be to get sleep with a newborn, or how busy a parent with children is, or what it means to deal with any other difficulties. But how can they possibly understand if I don’t talk about what it means to be me?

And so I think it is time to come out of the closet. Hence this post. If you’re interested, you can email me or leave a comment asking for the link and I’ll contact you. If you’re not, stay here or at my Travelalphablog where I most recently raved about the delight (well, that’s one way of describing it) of driving to Echuca, in Victoria, Australia.

A caution though. It is quite possible my cowardice will win out, and I may end up deleting this post after a day or two.

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