MicroblogMondays: Nothing to Be Ashamed Of

Microblog_Mondays

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.

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13 thoughts on “MicroblogMondays: Nothing to Be Ashamed Of

  1. You always have to take a first step!!! I am not super vocal about our IF struggles but to close friends and family they know. It takes a lot of strength to let the world know that you are struggling with anything especially fertility.

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  2. Like you, it took me a long time to share our story, and even know im guarded with some people more then others. But i think whats really important about sharing is that we do it when we are ready to, and it sounds like you are ready so good for you!!

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  3. Wow, I relate to this so much. My blog is anonymous, and I can count on one hand the number of real-life people who know about our struggle. I have been super reluctant to “like” anything on facebook or accept any invitations to join groups, etc. I’m still relatively new in the journey and am not ready to make any decisions yet– but I like your reasoning here. Good for you- there is NOTHING to be ashamed of.

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  4. For so many it’s private and I can completely respect that, but I have really only found joy and understanding by making our struggles public. I have also found that it has helped me in my healing tremendously. I find that because people know of my struggle they are more likely to open up to me about theirs, and it helps me not feel so alone. You will always get the few that say something that hurts or offends you in regards to your journey but that comes with anything. At the end of the day, your husband is totally right, there is nothing to be ashamed of. Infertility is not a punishment, it is such a huge part of so many people’s life and it’s good that he’s being so supportive. (HUGS)

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  5. I totally agree!!. It took me a while even to start a blog about my journey. It happens. Its normal. We dint share our journey with anyone else yet. Just we 2😊. I would like to write an article on our journey abd publish it sometime when i bring my baby home and publish the article to the world.

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  6. Our friends and family know of our struggles, I found we were being thrown the baby questions every 5mins and it just stopped them, and then they knew why I was so down. We have had a lot of support, although thats only from sharing things on Instagram. I have liked a few things on Facebook, but like you I am wary. We have had some incidences of awkwardness, and only a few friends know of my blog. I often get asked if I have a blog on my Instagram, but I don’t think i’m ready to share it yet, as i’m usually brutally honest and i’m not ready for my family to see this yet. xx

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  7. That is a big first step! It can be so scary to put yourself out there in real life, especially on facebook. The first time I did it though, I was amazed at how many people came out of the woodwork and private messaged me about their own experiences or struggles, things I knew nothing about. They asked me to talk to other friends of theirs. It’s hard though, the other side is that now people know and can give their feedback and input and ask for updates when you may not want to give them. But, in my opinion, I think the connections you may make and the helping to relieve the stigma associated with infertility and loss can outweigh that. You don’t have to go further than liking an infertility post or being tagged, but it’s something to put yourself out there. Very brave!

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  8. It is hard to take that first step toward openness, even if it’s so small that a lot of people may not even notice. My first FB reference to infertility was also so buried I don’t know how many people read or even processed it (I bet it folks who already knew that noticed it the most, anyway) But once you start talking about infertility, it seems much more normal to do so. And I for one support anything that discourages people from posting stupid April Fool’s pregnancy jokes.

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  9. I think that’s wonderful. So many people, myself included, are happy to share when no longer actively trying and even though I was one of those, I think it’s a shame to keep completely silent. It’s so much more widespread than anyone knows because nobody talks about it.

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  10. There is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s hard to get the conversation started sometimes, but I think it’s a good one to have because it often makes you feel less alone.

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  11. Share whatever you’re comfortable with. Your husband sounds like an amazing partner and I am so thankful you have him to support you through this journey. He’s right, there is nothing to be ashamed of but I totally get feelings of shame.

    I find the deeper I get into my story, the more comfortable I am sharing with others. Or maybe I just care less about people judging me as I mature.

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