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Monday, September 17, 2007

Ashamed

I was a jerk about this whole IVF thing at the beginning. When Eric and I found out that we needed to go through IVF, we only shared it with a few people. I told my family and Eric's family, and I shared it with one of my friends. That was it. And the reason that I didn't share it with a lot of people was because I was ashamed and embarrassed. I felt like I didn't want to share with all these people the problems we were having, kind of like my body was a failure and I was embarrassed to admit it. Also, it seemed like everyone I knew was trying to get pregnant, and it was easier for me to say "Oh, we aren't even trying!" then to tell everyone about all of our problems.

But then it worked, and that's where it got weird. If we had ended up pregnant with a singleton, I don't think one person would have asked us how we got pregnant. But almost everyone in the world asked "Oh, do twins run in your family?". Uh, no. And then some people point blank asked "Was it natural or fertility?". Which made me REALLY uncomfortable. Some of my closest friends in the world didn't know yet, was I going to tell a random stranger? So I lied. I lied to a lot of people and said "Oh, it was just a total surprise!". Ugh.

And then someone said to me in response to my "total surprise" lie that we were "so lucky". That damn word again. And I realized that it was stupid to lie. I realized that maybe one day I would be telling someone who was also battling infertility and was trying to get pregnant. Maybe it would totally ruin their day to hear how me and my husband just randomly got pregnant, with twins, no less! I just realized how bad I felt, how sad I felt, whenever someone told me about how they were pregnant. It felt like a constant reminder of all the people who could easily accomplish something that we couldn't. And I didn't want to be that to someone else. I wanted to be the person that this stranger turned to and said "really, you went through IVF? We might have to do that too. Can I ask you some questions?"

I feel like a schmuck for lying, and I feel even worse for feeling ashamed of what we went through. Now I almost wear it like a badge of honor. I'm so proud of what Eric and I went through to have our family. I'm so proud of my perfect little kids. Now I find myself telling all sorts of people. It's like a total flip on how I originally felt. Because it is nothing to be ashamed of. It's not like I chose infertility. And how can I get upset about all the people who make comments like "Oh, we just rolled over and she got pregnant!" if they don't know the hardships we were going through. People don't know to show a little sensitivity if they don't know that you are going through something hard.

I'm curious to hear if anyone else went through this. The feeling of just not wanting to share such a personal part of your life with everyone. And not wanting the fact that you are dealing with infertility be your identity. I didn't want to be "oh, that's Eric and Erica. They are dealing with 'infertility'" and have that be our identity. Or have everyone feel sorry for us. I don't know. Maybe now it's easier for me to be so open and honest about it because it was a success for us. Maybe if our first cycle had failed, I wouldn't have shared anything with anyone, and would still be going through this sharing it with limited people. I'm not really sure. I want to think that I would have come to my senses even if I hadn't ended up pregnant. I hope so.

On a side note, we went to a picnic at Eric's grandmother's housing place on Saturday and it was very fun to get all the kids together. Here are a few pictures from the event.
Jake and Daddy

Oh, and did I mention that I'm a psycho and bought Hailey the cutest thing ever! You can see it here. Yes, I did pay $60 for that!

Enjoy,
Erica and Eric

7 comments:

June Bug Momma said...

Oh I would not be ashamed for not telling the truth. I totally understand where you are coming from! With my situation, I do not tell the truth either, because it really is no ones business! Only my family knows. But...Just like you, I am damn proud of my decision! Our babies were very much wanted and blessed!

topcat said...

That t-shirt is so cute! Paris Hilton bought one for Nicole Richie (sorry if I just ruined it for you!)

I didn't want to tell a single soul we were doing IVF - that's why I started blogging. I just didn't want to be "the poor woman who wanted a baby". If everything works out, I will shout it from the rafters. Actually, I kind of have to - since my husband has a vasectomy. People will think I've been up to no good!

Tinker said...

My husband is the one who doesn't want anyone to know about our infertility, so for him I've kept it (mostly) to myself. Like you though, I feel like something of a fraud when people ask if twins run in the family, or when I lie outright to those who ask if I've taken fertility meds. I actually feel like something of an impostor now calling myself infertile (you know, with a toddler and two more on the way). You really can't win. I'm just so thankful for this great online community -- you girls have helped keep me sane, that's for sure.

Jenna said...

Everyone handles theie diagnosis differently. I don't know of anyone who just blurted out to everyone and their neighbor that they were infertile. Please don't feel embarrassed or ashamed that you didn't admit to it.

*and you are always welcome to my blog... post away. Just because you don't walk in my shoes, doesn't mean you can't empathize in some way. I appreciate all of the support I can get.

MoMo said...

I told all my closest friends about our struggles since I got tired of them asking when we were going to have kids. Some of them didn't know how to respond or react to us, hence they just all together stop calling or asking us out. It was very strange and I am not sure if I would take the same approach again.

Gemini Girl said...

I think many people go through what you did. I only told those who were close to me and dont like sharing it with everyone else. If I find out that random people know about what I went through, I just shrug it off and say that maybe my story could help them.

It is what it is. If the whole world knew, I would not be ashamed- my children had to be created a little differently but so what?

I think it's great that you are sharing with people- you never know who you may be helping.

Carrie said...

I understand the ashamed feeling. I am so ashamed that my body just won't keep hold of our babies. So ashamed, I just couldn't share the feeling. Even my best friends don't know how much this has taken over my life. I don't know that the secrecy is healthy but its all I can cope with right now.
If this journey ever ends happily then I think I would share, until then it is just too raw.
I am glad you're ok with sharing now. It does give hope to those of us who are still in the trenches. It can work sometimes, that's a hard thing to remember sometimes from where I am standing.