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a blog by Justine Froelker, June 4, 2014
As a mental health therapist who provides sacred safe space for other’s authentic courage and vulnerability I knew there was no way I could go through infertility treatments in secrecy like so many couples do. Every day, I encourage my clients to always live their truths out loud and to always own every single part of their story. I knew that I would not be honoring myself if I allowed the shamed silence of infertility to suffocate and silence me.
So I spoke.
I broke my silence.
My husband and I were open with our loved ones throughout the entire process. I figured this meant more people were out there hoping, praying and sending us positive vibes. It also meant I more easily found the soft landing spots I needed for the bad days. And of course, it meant that I came across vast misunderstanding and judgment, to which I simply chose to educate.
This openness also meant gut wrenching and heart breaking phone calls when our treatments failed. It meant having to explain over and over why we knew stopping treatments before we got the desired result of a baby was right for us. And, even more explanation when our loved ones and the world found out we were not choosing adoption but going to work on accepting a childfree life.
I still spoke.
I broke the silence.
Continually working with clients through infertility treatments and telling my own story on a broader scale has only strengthened my belief in breaking the shamed silence surrounding infertility. The more we talk about it the more people are educated. The more we talk about it the less alone we feel. And, the more we talk about it the healthier and happier we will all be. This doesn’t mean you have to tell everyone in your life. But make sure you are not going through this difficult process with only your partner and your medical team as support. I also think our support system must include more than just the online message boards and blogs, especially more than the ones that only focus on the difficulties of this journey.
Our lives must be more than just our infertility status.
Owning our stories and making sure we are more than our infertility statuses, more than our treatment protocols and more than our diagnoses ensures we can be okay no matter what ending we get. I even dare to hope and think that this ownership of it all could actually make some of our treatments more successful. And with my whole heart I know that it will at least ensure we will be okay no matter what happens.
And so, I speak.
And, I will always break the silence
Whether or not you are at the beginning of your infertility journey, in the midst or fighting for recovery thereafter; trust that owning your story is the way through it and back to you. No matter your outcome, I promise, we all can redefine, find and make our own ever upward.