People don’t usually acknowledge that they are trying to have a baby until they announce they are 12 weeks gone and provide an ultrasound scan picture for you to coo over. I think this makes admitting/acknowledging you are having difficulty trying to conceive harder. How much do you tell people? Have you actually told people? Are you planning on telling people? Questions. Pressures.
I have read so many people’s stories on blogs, Twitter and forums. A lot of people say that they haven’t told anyone anything. They haven’t shared they are trying to conceive, they haven’t told friends or family that they have fertility issues or that they are going through fertility treatment. I often read that those who haven’t told anyone outside the online community feel lonely and that they are living a lie. That it is becoming harder and harder to keep the smile on their face as others show off their ultrasound pictures of their “happy accidents” and they get asked when they will be having children. A question that people don’t realise can be so painful.
I feel I am lucky in that I never felt I should keep us trying for a baby from anyone. In fact, naively now I look back, I told my mum we were trying for a baby about two months after we had decided we were. Admittedly this was because of my Epilepsy, I had to tell my Neurologist so he could make sure my medication levels were ok. I thought that if I was telling a stranger I might as well tell my parents. I’m glad I did. It may have been early into our journey but this means my parents have been with us every step of this journey so far. My Neurologist referred me straight onto his Gynocologist friend after I told him we were trying for a baby. I had taken medication during my teen years that has now been linked to women with Epilepsy developing PCOS, so my Neurologist just wanted to make sure everything would be straight forward. As it turns out it wasn’t. I got diagnosed with PCOS and my husband got told he had high quality but low mobility sperm. By themselves they could be managed but together it meant our best chance at having a baby would be via IVF. I remember telling my mum and her crying. Not because she felt let down but because things were not going to be straight forward to easy for us. My parents have been there for me throughout my life, it has never been easy my Epilepsy made sure for that but I always made it through. My mum cried because she just wanted an easier life for me.
I’ve seen some people say that they haven’t told their parents because it feels like pressure to them or that they are letting their parents down. I asked my parents about this, they said it is noone’s right to be a grandparent that they didn’t have children so that they could be grandparents and that is far more important to support their child. It made me quite teary. I had felt like a failure in that I couldn’t have children naturally as so many people do without thinking, to hear that my parents only cared about being there for me no matter how hard this journey got was a big relief. It can be so lonely and I encourage you to reach out. Yes, there will be days when all your family or friends will say will be cliches like “don’t worry”, “it will happen”, “what will be will be” because they don’t know how to make you feel better. Infertility isn’t often spoken about and I want to change that. I am not afraid to tell anyone and everyone what we are going through. The more we talk about it the more “normal” it becomes, less taboo and more couples will feel less lonely.