The Professor and I have been going back and forth about who to tell about this pregnancy and when. He argues for telling, saying that if something were to go wrong we would want the support of others. I argue that if something were to go wrong I don’t want the “Poor Belle” song & dance and the judgement.
I also still choke on the words “I’m pregnant.” This is hard to explain: I’m not necessarily afraid of jinxing things so much as this still does not feel real. You know? It took a while for me to become comfortable telling people that we are infertile. It took an even longer time to be able to talk with the grocery cashier about it. Eventually, however, the words started to come naturally and I became secure in my “infertile” identity. Being “pregnant” is an entirely new identity to work with.
I also have this fear that I’ll tell someone I’m pregnant who is silently struggling. I was preggo bombed by many well-meaning women and every time it left me feeling like someone had sucker punched my soul. It left me reeling and struggling for the proper words of support. You can’t break down and tears and scream “NOT FAIR” when your neighbor casually mentions she is pregnant again, you know? I don’t want to do that to someone with my news.
On the flip side, I realize that I have been gifted a voice that not everyone has; I’m comfortable sharing my journey via the written word. Infertility has taught me that it is so important to speak up about our disease to spread awareness and build the support we so desperately want and deserve. We, the “lucky ones” who make it to the other side, should not feel shame over our success but instead view it as the perfect opportunity to open up and let all the baggage we have carried for months start to go and if heaven forbid something dreadful happens, take solace in knowing that the vast majority of people will offer love and support*.
After lots of tearful discussions we reached a compromised – we would share our news at 12 weeks via a sensitive blog post on our Adventures in Marriage blog, which we promote via our Facebook feeds. I reminded the Professor that I never want to plaster Facebook with ultrasound and belly photos and that I will not tolerate either of us complaining about pregnancy. We noted that at least one of the women we follow on Facebook has very recently lost a pregnancy (late in the second trimester at that) and more than a handful have come forth and confided that they are also struggling with infertility. I never, ever want to sound boastful or harsh to those who might be hurting.
And so I wrote, deleted, wrote, deleted, wrote, edited, edited and edited. It took three weeks to put together a post I was comfortable sharing. Last Friday at 13 weeks I hit publish. A few minutes later I shared the post on Facebook. During the following days every time I logged into Facebook or my WordPress account I had heart meltingly kind comments and some very personal, very warm emails.
I have to say that the support and recognition of our struggle has brought more peace then I would have expected. It feels good to share this with the world. It feels even better to know that people read our story and understand the path we took to get to this point.
How and when did you “go public” about your pregnancy? Have you gone public about your struggles with infertility? Do you think that by being bold and stepping forward about our fight that we might, in time, see a shift in perspective and maybe eventually see a change in insurance policy?