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New Episode: You've Got the Right to Shut Up!
a blog by Alec, March 2, 2011
Hello Wannabe Dads (and Wannabe Moms, too!). Welcome to the brand-new blog: The Infertility Guy.
I'm a dork with a sponge-like mind for useless information. Pop culture, sports trivia, history, mythology. I love golf, and my closest friends and family have heard the story of my hole-in-one 101 times. I love poker, too, and my poor loved ones have heard the story about my tournament win at Binions in Las Vegas so often they could puke on it. I once picked the entire Final Four perfectly in an NCAA tourney pool. Naturally I won the pool. The pool operator stiffed me.
That's me. Then infertility comes and shapes a fellow anew. Now I'm the same but different. A wiser dork.
I know of a couple that has experienced four miscarriages. They've been reluctant to talk about their infertility issues with family and friends. I'm going to begin with my premise right now.
It is their right.
Infertile couples everywhere — hear me well. You do not have to talk about your infertility with anyone.
There are so many reasons that dissuade us from speaking about our infertility. Recognize some of these?
- The Endless Questioners: "How is it going?" "How are you doing?" "How are the fertility treatments going?" "Are we going to hear good news soon?"
- The Know-It-Alls: "Just keep trying." "Try to relax." "You should try IVF!"
- The Compassionate Believers: "I just know that you're going to have a baby!"
- The Platitudes: "I will be praying for you."
- The Helpers: "I know a great fertility doctor!"
And worst of all:
- The Fatalists: "It's God's plan."
For all of these reasons and so many more, it's your bloody right to keep your mouth shut.
But it's also hard.
Infertility is a lonely, harsh taskmaster. Since discovering the infertility blogosphere, I've discovered stories of decade-long infertility journeys. Frankly, I don't see how you survive such a journey unless you can talk about it with others.
JK had such an outlet. A yoga class at Pulling Down the Moon (partnered with the Fertility Centers of Illinois) helped her beyond words. Friends who had been through infertility helped me.
I guess this all amounts to a message. To the infertile couples out there: the people who have come before you want to help. We understand the journey you are on with all of its frustration, hurt and disappointment.
To the fertile friends and family: no matter how much you believe you know and understand about infertility, you can not understand how to live with it. I implore you, please, if your loved ones prefer silence, respect their wishes.
And to the couple in question, whether you are aware of this blog or no, I wish you luck in your journey.