Thursday, June 23, 2005

In response to Anna's post about the neighbors...

Doesn't all this infertility secrecy, hurt and frustration (sometimes pain and grief too) make you realize how many people are going through bad things. Since my loss last year I now try to remember that around me are people who are hurting because they lost their father, or someone in their family is sick or things aren't going well in their life right now. There are some things that you can't say though you wish you could wear a badge sometimes and have people be nicer, more understanding.

Thanks for checking in on me.


Frances said...

But Ann, wearing a badge would draw more uncomfortable silences, condolences, and well meaning (but hurtful) advice... no, I'll not wear a badge. If I could change one thing about infertility it would be that when asked about my fertility the inquirer would have more sensitivity without being shamed into it.

Lastnight I ate dinner with some collegues at work. While dining the discussion turned to children and family planning. I was not very participating save for a few comments about my "son" and when asked if I'd have another I was silently torn between lying and saying, "oh no, one's enough" or "yes, but most likely through adoption as I am not Andrew's natural mother and infertile..."

For the record... I lied.

Anna H. said...

You are so right -- I've learned lots from infertility, but one thing is the sense that we have no idea of the pain that other people might well be experiencing. And when we do know or find out, when we get a glimpse into the difficult parts of other people's lives, we can understand it a bit more and (hopefully) give more.

I'm different from Frances, though. If anything remotely related to IF or questions about kids come up, I'm totally honest about it. Some people aren't interested or don't say anything particularly supportive, but many people are very kind. Most importantly for me though, is that the less I hide, the less I feel like IF is considered a shameful thing. While *we've* never been ashamed of it, there are a lot of people who think we should be; I feel like our 'owning' our infertility gives those folks a different way of thinking about it.

At least that's the hope.