Don’t Ignore the Silent Ones
This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. I feel like a bit of a lame participant, honestly, since I am not “out” about my struggle with infertility. As much as I want to show my solidarity, I don’t like posting really personal things on my facebook page for the whole world to see, so I will not be promoting awareness of infertility the way I should. On twitter and on this blog, I am an open book about it. But most of my real life friends and extended family have no idea.
So this week, ironic though it may be, my “Don’t Ignore…” message is to not ignore the silent ones. There are so many of us out there, struggling with a diagnosis or a total lack of clear diagnosis, but wanting nothing more than to have a child of our own. This year my husband and I were lucky to finally get ours. And I don’t hide the fact, when nosy (but presumably well-meaning or just plain curious) people ask, that it took us a long time to get here. And for my really close friends and family, I will even divulge the fact that I had to undergo hormone treatments and we had an IUI in order to get pregnant. But to most of the world, I’m silent about it. They just assume I got pregnant the way everyone else does.
But I still want people to know that there are a lot of us out there. That it isn’t okay to bug your married friends about when they’re going to get pregnant already. Or that it isn’t wise to post every single bump or ultrasound picture that you have on your facebook wall. Or that it is insensitive to complain constantly about your pregnancy symptoms to your friend who has yet to get pregnant – she just might be suffering inside and desperately want those symptoms herself.
So yes, perhaps I am a hypocrite to try to spread awareness and call something solidarity without actually sharing my story with the people in my life. But I am still part of this community, silent or otherwise. That may annoy some people, but it is what it is. I still struggled and pined and cried along with the best of them. And that still matters, and will always matter to me.