Friday, April 3, 2015

IVF: Why I Chose to be Brave

I have received so many messages and e-mails telling me that I am brave and courageous in sharing our story of IVF, which, I am so incredibly thankful for, but gosh, those are words that I save for people like Jason Bourne if I'm totally honest ;) But, I thought I'd take a second and tell you all why I chose to share my story so publicly.

Not initially, but, shortly after, I felt this legitimate longing to share it.  Not because I wanted pity, or a good story to tell.  But, because I knew so many couples who had gone through this, and they all seemed like they genuinely wanted to talk about it, but, felt embarrassed, ashamed, and, obviously, this is a process that can be incredibly heartbreaking.  So, it's a lot of emotions that you lay out when you tell someone about this.  I know, because, I will never forget when we were told that we couldn't have children on our own.  That moment when my stomach dropped and my heart completely fell out onto the floor, and, despite trying really hard not to cry in front of this doctor, the tears just kept rolling down my cheeks as I sputtered out questions.  It was a gut wrenching day, and, although we told close friends and family, we too, wanted to keep it private.

But, then I felt this need to share.  Because when I even chose to share with close friends and family, their stories came out.  And I kept thinking to myself 'there is a need for these people to be heard!'  'They want to say something to someone!'  I didn't tell anyone that I felt this longing, I didn't even tell my husband, I just kept thinking on it.

Finally, as the months passed and our IVF cycle was coming up, I talked to my husband about it.  After all, our issue is male factor infertility, so, it was really important that I had his full support in the decision.  And I absolutely loved his response; 'what will people say?  I'm not a man?  I'd like to see that.'  So, there was my answer.  And, I fell a little more in love with him too <3

For a long, long time, I had the same reservations about sharing things that are very personal to me, but, after a legitimate period of time in suffering with depressed thoughts, and telling no one, and it continued to get worse, and finally, FINALLY after a year of not sharing this, I told someone and felt immediately relief, I knew that my answer was to share my story when it came to IVF.  I can be an incredibly prideful person, and admitting anything that appears to be a 'problem' does not come naturally.  I like to appear that I'm together and, well, perfect, haha.  But even saying that out loud makes me chuckle a little.

Here is what I have found to be in true in my own life, so, take it for what it's worth. Secrets tend to take root in our hearts, and, if we're not careful they can very much shape us into someone that we don't necessarily want to be, or, cause more pain because there is feeling of shame that goes along with them.  However, when I shed a light onto whatever issue that I have, there is no longer any room for doubt, fear, or wallowing.  Because I now have someone else who can ask me about it, and see how I'm doing, because I've opened the door.  And, I am often surprised at how many people feel the same exact way that I do.  Am I really the only one who is going through IVF?  No.  I see that every other day when I head to the clinic and I'm sitting in a waiting room full of women just like me.  So, when you talk it out, you are no longer alone with just you and your thoughts.  You've got a friend.  And really, that's all we need.

In regards to fear of what people will think, well, I've had to throw that out the window on a number of occasions.  And, honestly, if someone takes up issue with something that we have no control over, like fertility issues, then, why would I care what someone so heartless and careless truly thinks of me and my husband?  People can be hurtful and cruel, but, I have found that everyone who actually speaks to me about it shows nothing but love and support.  I have not had one bad message, one comment of 'you should keep that quiet', nothing.  Now, if there are people who choose to talk about it when I'm not around, well, what I don't know won't hurt me, and I absolutely, positively, refuse to live in fear of what people might be saying or thinking about me.

I don't think that everyone needs to write a blog about it.  But, I do hope that whether it's IVF, or another issue that you are going through that you find a safe person or people to talk with.  We all are going through something, and I hope and pray that you find a way to shed light on it. <3


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