I feel so relieved to have started this blog site. I actually burst into tears on my husband's shoulder after I published the first post. What a huge relief to be finally admitting that I need to talk and that I'm ready! I've been consciously aware of my desperation to communicate the difficulties I still have with being infertile more and more lately. Even just a few words helps alleviate that awkwardness that you feel in company when you feel you're holding things back. That's what it's like being infertile, especially second time around - like you're hiding behind a pretence or like you're wearing a mask with a huge inane grin that says "Yes, honestly, everything is GREAT!"
OMG, what a relief to no longer feel so locked in by fear of what people may think. And the miraculous thing about all this honesty is that it fills you with a surge of good feeling, positivity and greater confidence in yourself. It's time to throw away all the shame, anger, guilt and fear that's all part & parcel of infertility.
During our ectopic pregnancies and our IVF treatments, I was always very open and honest with my husband and I'd talk and cry with him on a very regular basis, sometimes daily! This ability to talk freely with each other has undoubtedly strengthened our relationship along the way. But what I've found is that it's incredibly hard to maintain that level of intimacy when you become a mother.
Since becoming a mother (and probably since becoming pregnant) I have devised a new coping method for getting through my negative thoughts & feelings associated with infertility. I give myself self-therapy every day - sometimes even without my realising it consciously. I've convinced myself that this is a sign of my growing strength, the fact that I can console myself alone without having to 'bother' anyone, even my husband! But the truth is, my unwillingness to share the fact that it still hurts is to do with two factors - a lack of time because of my busy new life as a mother and also because I feel guilty and ashamed that I still feel this way.
Things have undoubtedly got easier since our little one has come along, especially since getting through the first year which we found very stressful indeed. Slowly our life is unfolding and blossoming day by day. She's our little jewel.
But it's still hard. And yes, it's great that I can give myself self-therapy....sometimes very effectively indeed. I've become something of a pro, I think! ;-) But the down side is I do a lot of bottling up. And my husband & I don't get the chance to communicate as much as we did before having our little girl when we had so much time to indulge in looking after each other. Often by the time we get a moment at the end of the day, I've kinda already sorted it in my head, even if that means having a cry on my own. And that's just not the same. I feel reluctant to offload on him these days because I feel I should be past all of that and God love him, he's heard it all 5000 times before!
But also, whilst I know it's important for my husband & I to maintain communication, I've come to realise (hence the blog) that it's about communicating to a wider audience - friends, family and beyond....
I read somewhere that secondary infertility is even more lonely than primary infertility. And in some ways I have to agree. But why does it have to stop there? I think that whether you are infertile with no children, 1 child, 2 children or even 3!!....you are still infertile. That's the thing you have to live with as a woman. It's like being blighted with an early, irreversible menopause - the curse of growing old before your time. How horrible to feel this way about yourself! (and apologies if any infertile men are reading this....I hope you understand that I am not dismissive of male factor infertility. It's just that I can only speak from my own persepective...as a woman.
I do feel strongly though that the way forward (for both men and women) is to talk......
So, I thank you in advance for being my listeners and I look forward to reading your contributions. Whether you know me or not, whether you are infertile or not, I am opening this out to you all.