Saturday, January 18, 2014

Coming Out of the Closet (so to speak!)

I can't express to everyone how grateful we are for all of the kind words, thoughts, and prayers you have sent our way since we came out of the closet (so to speak) 18 days ago. I never thought that telling my story about our infertility and our struggles to have a baby would be so freeing!  It's like a weight has been lifted off of our shoulders that we've been carrying around alone for all these years.  

The very first post was pretty hard to write. I summed up almost 10 years of infertility silence in one post.  It was even harder though to press "Publish" and share with all of our friends on Facebook.  I remember the exact moment early in the morning on the 1st of January as I was getting ready to press the share button.  I was sweating, was short of breath and my hands were shaking! I think it took me 10 minutes to share it. The words, "This is it, there's no going back after this!" kept ringing in my head.  All the "what-if's" kept rolling around.  Finally I did it! I put on my big-girl panties and I pushed the button. In that moment I held my breath and just waited.  What would everyone say?  What would their response be? Why do I even care?!?!

I cared, because for so many years Dave and I carried this secret around by ourselves. We were looked at like a selfish, weird couple because we didn't have kids.  People look at you as if you have 3 heads when you're happily married and don't have any children. First, you get the pity looks from people. Then of course comes all the stupid shit people want to say to you! I think it would have been easier for people if Dave and I were on the verge of divorce and unhappy because then they would have said, "Oh thank God you don't have kids! All you do is fight and argue and kids don't need to see that!" But guess what, we are happy...most of the time!  We are in love...yep, still head over heals in love with each other!  And we aren't on the verge of divorce. That's hard for people to understand.  If you're married, and happy, then you should have kids. I agree, but guess what...that's not always the case! Infertility had other plans for us.

People don't know how to talk about infertility. People don't know how to respond to it when it is brought up.  So what ends up happening is people keep quiet.  They don't talk about it. That's what we did! You feel like you're all alone in this.  You feel like no one else is going through it.  You hear about infertility every so often on TV or in movies.  You hear about the celebrity who used a surrogate or did IVF, but you still feel alone.  You know in your head that you're obviously not the only one,  but in your heart you feel like you are the only one! You feel ashamed because everyone around you is having kids so easily (so you think) and you can't, so you keep quiet. You put a smile on your face in public, and you cry yourself to sleep at night.

When my friend, J, invited me to her Resolve group after I slipped and opened up about our infertility almost a year ago, I finally found women going through the same thing as me!  I wasn't alone anymore! There was a group of us!  This group saved me and gave me back my hope for having a baby. Slowly I opened up more and more and I was beginning feel more comfortable. Holy shit, this was so freeing! I wasn't so ashamed anymore, and I didn't feel like I had three heads! Now I'm trying to be a voice and a face for infertility.  I want to help other couples going through the same thing!  You are not alone! For me, talking (and now blogging) about it was the most freeing thing I could have done. For others, it may be art therapy or writing in a journal. I don't really regret waiting so long to do it because I needed to get to this place, but I do wish I would have found my support group sooner. Knowing in your head and your heart that you're not alone is the best feeling in the world, especially through all the years of pain and disappointment!

So what I wanted to say to all of you reading this and commenting is...thank you!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for listening and reading our story! For all of you still suffering alone in silence about your infertility, please know that you are not alone!


Post a Comment