On her post yesterday, April talked about being open about infertility. She wrote really eloquently about the struggles to come out of the infertility closet. She wrote about how raw and exposed she felt talking about IF.
I have always been open about my feelings and more willing to talk than DH. He did not want to get our families involved, and he did not want them to know details of our personal life. So he didn’t tell his family, and I respected his wishes and didn’t tell mine.
He respected my “need” to talk to some of my closest friends, and so I was open with some friends right from the beginning.
After a while though, it became harder and harder to shield and answer questions from our families. At that point, we had been married over 6 years, and both sets of parents were keen on receiving “good news”. I got tired of lying to them, so I told DH that if he wanted to keep it from his family, he could. I was not going to keep my pain from my own parents any more. So I told my mom. It was so “relieving” to tell her, because now suddenly, I could talk to her without pretending that we weren’t ready yet, or that life was so cool and we hadn’t thought of having a baby yet.
DH saw the relief I felt, and the ease with which I was now able to converse with my folks, so he told his parents too. Informing them took a lot of pressure off of us. It made it so much easier to deal with things.
The support we received was incredible. The questions stopped – at least “those” questions stopped. Now the questions were more like “What does the doctor say?” or “What’s the next step now?”
Our IF was “unexplained” for the first 6 years. I think it was easier for us then to talk about it. “Doctors can’t say what’s wrong. All tests have always come back normal.” When DH’s balanced translocation was discovered, it added a layer of complexity to our situation.
I did not want to tell my family about his translocation, because I did not want any negative thoughts about him, ever, even subconsciously. DH told his family, and then we discovered cases among his mom’s siblings, which we now can attribute to the BT. His mom’s sister had 2 babies that died, and from the symptoms, they probably had an unbalanced translocation on the same chromosomes that DH’s BT is on.
We were suddenly dealing with chromosomes and percentages and genetics, and we did try to explain to some of our friends. I don’t think most of them got it. We were talking about doing a biopsy on the embryos (PGD), and most people did not understand what we were talking about. We were talking day 3 biopsy, vs. day 5 biopsy and the culture in the lab and FISH analysis etc. For even an average IFer, these are complex discussions. For a fertile friend for whom getting pregnant is only equated to intercourse, these were discussions that were Greek and Latin to them.
Then I got pregnant, and subsequently miscarried. After that, I completely shut off from the real world. I turned to online message boards, blogs and friends that live in my computer.
Since then, one chemical pregnancy and one ectopic pregnancy later, now, when I have the diagnosis of my T shaped uterus to add to the complexity of our case, I seem to have closed off from the real world even more. There are possibly 3-4 people in real life who know the entirety of our current situation.
I told my family about my uterus, and he didn’t tell his. I guess we do this out of protection of each other in front of our families. We told a couple of friends – the couple that are still friends enough to want to know.
However, I now find myself exhausted, and feeling very raw and exposed and vulnerable every time I go into a detailed discussion of all our issues. It’s one thing to say, “I’ve done 6 clomid cycles, 5 IUIs, 4 fresh IVFs so far” and leave it at that. It’s a whole different ballgame to get into chromosomal discussions, and uterine shape discussions and biopsy discussions!
So while I am definitely out of the closet, I’m tired. I am really tired of being infertile. I am tired and disgusted that I’ve let my IF become me. I’m tired at the length of my story on this topic. So tired that sometimes I have a hard time remembering how many clomid cycles we did or how many IUIs we did and whether the IUIs were with injectable drugs or with clomid!
I’m running out of steam, and I’m so ready to close this chapter. Come February, and whatever be our outcome, I am going to stop being infertile. I will either be pregnant, or I will be childless. ☹
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