One in every eight couples knows what it is to struggle with infertility. They know what it is like to wait every month for a positive test that never quite shows up and this can be very agonizing and especially more if they have to keep this struggle hidden away.
Everyone talks about pregnancies, childbirth and babies, and with good reason. But we rarely talk about how these babies are made. Unless you count those awkward conversations in your teenage with your parents, some of which am sure you dread having with your own kids. Or unless you count the times just after a condom advert when everyone in the room seemed to be shifting in their seats and even time seemed to stop to let you enjoy the oh so divine moment of uncomfortable silence.
But the thing is, in our adult interactions and conversations; we treat the subject with the discomfort of a condom advert in the presence of a teen you have been trying to teach to abstain. We rarely talk about how babies are made in our adult conversations. Frankly speaking, not many of our friends want to know about our intimate details and so how do we bring up infertility? How do we speak when all our intimate moments result only in negative pregnancy tests and our periods show up with a bucket load of tears? When someone achieves pregnancy, we always assume that it happened the first time they tried as we like to assume regarding our own conception.
Luckily, people have started to speak up, mostly through social media, but we are still a long way from where we ought to be. As more and more people talk, it is helping them to learn about the effects of infertility on their lives and provide support as well as receive it yet, so many continue to suffer alone, crying alone, swinging between emotions, weighing their pain over others or just negotiating with their emotions. The scenarios are many, but the point is, you should not walk alone.
However you decide to unburden yourself is totally your choice, just as long as you try. You will be surprised at how much you are in good company. So to help you get started, I put together some suggestions on how you can break the silence:
- Talk to your partner. Many people are going through this struggle without their partners knowing. This mainly affects women, but there are some men too. You need your partner in this.
- Look for support groups. As stillamum we are working to provide support for you. we know there are many groups that could help you on this journey and so we encourage you to plug in to one.
- Share your story. You could do this anywhere. You could share with a friend, a family member, stillamum, etc. Just as long as you are sure that the environment is safe. There are many groups that allow you to share your story while maintaining anonymity. Sharing is part of the process, embrace it.
As I said, they are just suggestions so don’t get surprised that the list was so short. The main point though is, share your story, it was not meant for the closet.