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To Share or Not To Share
a blog by Maya Moskin, March 16, 2015
Whether to share your fertility struggles, and with whom to share them, is an extremely personal decision. I never thought much about it because I’m a sharer by nature and knew I needed to share in order to get the support I needed. But in the beginning, my husband was much more reserved and much less inclined to talk about it. This wasn’t so much because he was embarrassed, but because, well, sometimes it’s a complicated conversation. Because infertility is usually a two person adventure, it’s important to be able to agree on disclosure issues. Over time, as we became aware that our fertility challenge was not a simple fix, Noah and I decided to go very public. I started writing a blog, and together we started documenting our journey on film, in hopes of sharing our story and the story of others in a similar situation.
Being open about our struggles has helped me for a variety of reasons. It has connected me to a community of incredible people, and taught me about the many different ways people cope. It has helped me feel like I am contributing to the education of people who conceive easily, and helping to normalize alternative ways a family can be created. And it has opened up a huge support group, as we learned that we are definitely not alone in this. And now that we are 37 weeks pregnant with a donated embryo, sharing allows me to feel proud of our alternative family building solution, and proud to tell others, even if it’s hard for some to accept the unusual but, in a way, still natural aspect of this method. While Noah and I have chosen this public route, I know many others who prefer privacy. And it’s completely understandable. Many are not supportive of Assisted Reproductive Technologies, and disclosure on the part of the affected couple may invite unsolicited advice, insensitive comments, or even derision. Those who go the route of donor eggs or sperm might feel the need to protect their potential child’s conception story. And sometimes it’s just too painful to talk about.
I am always saddened when people don’t want to share their stories because they feel embarrassment or shame. Infertility is a medical diagnosis, one that affects at least 7.3 million Americans and millions more around the world. Those affected are not at fault and shouldn’t feel ashamed, and yet many of us know all too well the stigma often associated with this diagnosis.
Each individual battling infertility has to decide what is going to work best in terms of sharing. My hope is that no one going through this feels alone or embarrassed.