Sunday, 13 September 2015

Keeping fertility issues a secret

It worries me that this topic is still so taboo for many women and their partners. There are many couples out there whom I have met who have children now and still have never found the courage to tell their family how those children were conceived. They believe it would be easier just to pretend the children were conceived through natural means and not through artificial ones. They are afraid they'll be judged and people won't understand.

This creates couples who feel even more isolated during their journey through IVF. Not only are they worried about the process of IVF and the outcomes; they also need to hide as they feel like they must not tell anyone they have fertility issues. This increases the stress and reduces their support considerably. IVF is difficult and isolating enough to do with support from family and friends. I am not sure I could have done it secretly without any of this support.

Not everyone I told understood my reasons for doing IVF or even agreed. In fact a lady I knew who was deeply religious ranted about how I was going against God's wishes and what I was doing was devils work. I had to ask her to leave my life. Not everyone can agree with your decision, but that is their choice and I don't believe anyone should have their chance to understand taken away.

People do surprise you and many will understand. In fact it is not until you share that you realise how many people really do understand on a personal level, because they have struggled or are currently struggling too. I found when I shared my journey with some people it actually gave them a voice; to talk about their fertility concerns. That is what I see my book doing on a grand scale. Although every time you help to give a voice to a single individual it is very powerful.

I remember a neighbour innocently came to my door one day after I had just found out cycle three had not worked. I broke into tears as soon as I opened the door. After my story fell out and my tears  dissolved I listened to this older lady. I heard her story of her journey through adoption. Don't feel alone in this. If you are honest and speak up about your story you may actually heal another who thinks they are all alone too. As soon as you speak out you realise you are not alone at all. Many of us are in fact in this together, we just haven't met each other yet.


Narelle Hudson

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