Yesterday was the baby shower for our friends. They are the other Indian-Chinese couple in our circle whose pregnancy has been a lot harder to deal with emotionally than other friends’ simply because of their ethnicities. We mailed them a gift but declined the invitation. We are closer to the husband of the couple. Last week, Bob said that in the future, he would like to speak with our guy friend about our fertility struggles. In fact, he said he would share our struggles with anybody who inquires about us having a baby because “there is nothing to be ashamed of”.
We have been vocal with our close friends and family about our struggles. However, many church acquaintances are not the ones with whom we had been open with. People haven’t asked. We haven’t divulged. At work, I mostly keep mum about anything fertility related except for a few coworkers. Many of my Fac.ebook “friends” do not know our story either. We have not made it public. This blog is mostly anonymous with about a handful of friends in real life who are readers.
In 2014, a friend of mine tagged me in her Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day post on Fac.ebook. I was not ready to show the world my struggles and my loss, so I untagged myself. It was just difficult for me to be Fac.book public about something so private and painful. I applaud those bloggers who made a decision to make their struggles and their blogs public because tremendous courage is required to do so.
Last Tuesday after my unexpected bonus afternoon nap, I woke up to a notification on Fac.ebook. A dear blogger friend of mine tagged me in my other dear blogger friend Elisha’s post about fake pregnancy announcement on April Fool’s day. It was a wonderful post and I whole-heartedly agree with Elisha. The thing is, I knew that since I was tagged about an hour prior to my discovery, many of my Fac.ebook “friends” had probably already seen the tag in their newsfeed. My husband even clicked “like” on the post already. My heart started to pound and my first reaction was to untag myself. This reaction showed how much I was afraid of letting other acquaintances, namely the wider Fac.ebook world that I don’t get to see, talk to, or hang out with, to know that infertility is part of my life and my everyday vocabulary. I’d rather stay in that safe “bubble” than risk exposing myself to the outside world.
All of a sudden, I remembered what my husband said earlier last week. “There is nothing to be ashamed of, ” his voice came to my head. We have been married for almost five years. I am sure some people may have wondered if we would ever have children and/or why we have not had children. If they have any questions about that, they can ask us. I will answer them. Like what my husband said, there is really nothing to be ashamed of since we haven’t done anything wrong.
My thought process that afternoon led to me leaving Elisha’s post on my Fac.ebook page. I didn’t hide it from my timeline. I did not untag myself. It is there exposing me and the subtle/not so subtle hint of infertility. A tiny glimpse of what is a big part of our life.
My dear friend Jane alerted me that I was tagged in an infertility-related post. I explained to her my thought process and decision. Her comment was that I was “out and proud”. My response was, “out and saying nothing else”. But I think, even when I am saying nothing, this is still a brave first step to show the “world” that we are one in eight.
We are one in eight, and there is nothing to be shamed of.