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Going Public in NYC

09/30/2013

Belle

My Chicken with her chickens!

My Chicken with her chickens!

I was really uncertain how I would handle my infertility past in New York. On one hand I pride myself on being a positive advocate for infertility treatment and on my ability to use my writing talents to help other women. I am not ashamed of the road I took to build my family and am thankful daily, hell hourly, of the science that made my baby possible.

On the other hand, some days I’m ready to move forward. For us there will be no more treatment unless we hit a financial jackpot – there just is not enough money to go through this again. So using more science to make another baby is out. The chances of my ovaries magically springing to action is pretty damn low, too, so I am coming to terms with this being it. Sabine is our one, our only, our perfect baby girl. I am thankful to the moon and back for this one chance.

With no more treatment on the horizon, do I want to let these new families in on our “secret?” Is this “secret” mentality really good for my crusade to put infertility and it’s treatment into a more positive light, though? It’s a tough choice. The first week or so I was just vague with folks. When asked if we were going to have more children I simply said that no, it took years for us to have Sabine and we are eternally grateful for our miracle. She will be our only.

There were no details into what all we went through to conceive. No public sermons about infertility treatment and how strongly I feel that it should be covered by insurance. No mention of Scrambled Eggs. Nothing. For all intents and purposes I am just some girl who sucks at monitoring her cycles  and kept missing ovulation month after month.

Honestly, I felt like a fraud. I want to tell people about Sabine’s creation. I am proud of the road we took to bring her home. I am proud of how strong my marriage is to withstand it. I am proud of the men and women working in labs finding new ways to improve reproductive technologies. I am so fucking proud of all these virtual women I have connected with, who have cheered me on despite their struggles, who come back to this blog for inspiration as they press on, who laugh at my dumb mistakes and cry with my losses. This little virtual world has come to mean so much to me that it seems terrible to check it at the door.

I opened up to three mamas I feel closest to this week. We were discussing when we are returning to work and what we are planning to do. I shared my hopes to become a trainer and work with women struggling through infertility and then i shared our IVF story.

A little while later one mama shared that she has PCOS and thought conception might not happen. She was a lucky one and shortly after tossing the birth control got a positive pregnancy test. Another mama has severe endometriosis and worried she would also struggle. She was lucky, too. The third mama struggled for two tearful years. I don’t know how much treatment she went through, as I don’t pry, but she said she was at the end of her rope and in therapy right before they got their positive. They were ready to live child-free, keep their one bedroom and move on.

Three women, three stories. All echoing mine in one way or another. All of us lucky.

It’s hard to keep up this public face, but I feel it is important for both my healing and the healing of other women. I will share my past in New York. I will be open when we celebrate Sabine’s transfer day and fertilization day. Hell, I might invite all the mamas over for cake on Fertilization Day! Why not celebrate the miracle that is my special conception?

How do you feel about sharing after you have “made it to the other side.” Will you be open about the time it took and the science you used? How will you talk about this with your child/children one day? Will you celebrate Transfer Day or Fertilization Day, too?

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14 Comments

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  1. September 30, 2013

    I already share everything openly with everyone about our struggles. I know we will be very open when this finally does happen for us with our child(ren)…in fact I have scrap booking supplies ready and have saved as much as I can from the beginning of our treatments 3+ years ago. I am proud of myself for all we have been through and I will certainly make it a point to be there for anyone who needs some insight in this scary lifestyle. We are a small community, a lonely one in real life…but I try to make it a little less lonely and some friends have really opened up to me when not even their mothers know of their struggles. It makes me so happy that I can help in any way I can…even if it is just listening because I know what they are going through. You are one strong mama and such a lucky one ❤ Hope all is well in NY

  2. September 30, 2013

    I’m totally open about – and I honestly probably tell people who don’t give a whit to care to know, but I feel like it’s important to share and be open about it. Even if they don’t care today when I tell them, maybe they’ll remember when their sister or daughter or best friend is going through this, and they can tell that person YOU’RE NOT ALONE.

    • September 30, 2013

      I tell everyone who will listen as well, to the point that I sometimes wonder why I do that!

  3. September 30, 2013

    I used to agonize over going public with our fertility struggles, but I got over it a long time ago. It probably helped that my husband has always been very open about it with others. When he’s talked about our pregnancy with others, he’s made it clear how lucky we were and what a miracle our little boy is. He’s never talked about our struggles in a way that makes me feel weird, ashamed or embarrassed. So, I’ve learned to follow his lead, and the medical help we needed in having our baby is now just another part of the story and I have no qualms about sharing it. The lovely consequence of that is that many others have opened up to us about the troubles they’ve had in conceiving and we’ve been able to pass along our experiences and advice to them.

  4. September 30, 2013

    I tell everyone but we are more visible because we have twins so everyone asks “are they natural”… But it’s okay. A lot of people in my mommy group and congregation have been vocal about various treatment and adoption stories. Especially in the NY area, this is not so uncommon (either women are having kids older, or just the sheer number of women packed into a smaller area makes the 1-in-8 is a lot of people here).

  5. karaleen #
    September 30, 2013

    We have always been super open about our journey. First with our 2 year struggle to have our son through IVF. Then with our Embryo adoption journey to complete our family. I feel a lot like you…I want to shout to the mountain tops how grateful I am for medical science and the generocity of other people…because we would NOT have our two wonderful children without it!
    kd

  6. jak #
    September 30, 2013

    i am soooo bad here. i haven’t told a soul. not because i don’t want to talk about it with people who care about me and also strangers who might be struggling, but because i am a stepmom to college-aged children of an immature and catty x wife and i dread the crap that would be said behind my back about how ‘some people arent meant to have kids’, ‘why’d they try so hard, it’s a waste of resources’, etc. which would all be said in front of my stepkids who may or may not act out accordingly. hell, the oldest one cried (and she’s in her 20’s!) when we told her we were expecting.

    but, i’m getting closer to coming out because it think it’s the right thing for our baby. i want him to know how hard i worked for him and how much i loved him before he was even born. plus i want to show him the super cool photo of himself as a blastocyst!! totally cool part of being an ivf baby:)

    have you really completely given up on your frozen hope? i know you’ve got a few (thanks? to OHSS) frozen away. that is the most expensive part, and its out of the way now if those frosties work. well, then there’s college, but that’s a ways off, haha. also, look into insurance in new york. there is bound to be some better coverage than was in kentucky!!! for my part, if i wasnt breastfeeding, i’d already be shooting myself in the stomach with gon.al three times a day!!!!!!!! ugh,,,, and men.apur! am i the only one that feels like that shot stings worse than PIO? that one was def the worst for me….

  7. September 30, 2013

    Having twins makes people ask crazy inappropriate questions about their conception, but luckily I am not shy and simply explain that yes, they were the result of infertility treatment. The conversation doesn’t usually go much farther, which kind of surprises me considering the questions that they ask in the first place 🙂

  8. Sara #
    September 30, 2013

    I am pregnant with twins and I am constantly asked if they run in the family. I am honest and say no we did IVF, the third time was the charm. I think I make some people really uncomfortable but they asked. I like the idea of celebrating fertilization and transfer day!

  9. September 30, 2013

    I’ve been very open about sharing our journey so far, and most people in my circle know we went through two cycles of IVF to get pregnant. My husband, though, is less open about that subject, so I don’t know how we’ll go about telling our child or celebrating something like transfer day (although i love the idea!). He tends to be brutally honest about most things, though, so I have a feeling it won’t be an issue when it comes to telling our child where s/he came from.

  10. October 1, 2013

    I JUST posted something along these lines, because I start to tell people about my pregnancy, I am realizing that everyone in the world finds it acceptable to ask about my family history of twins. Not included in the post, I responded to a commenter by saying something along the lines of the following:

    Just like with social inequalities, the burden of educating the ingroup always falls on members of the outgroup. Being an infertile – a member of a stigmatized outgroup – makes you think about the responsibility you have as a human to learn about other groups that are different in some way than your own, because it shouldn’t be the burden of the outgroup member to act as spokesperson.

    However, it’s worth it to me. I want to do it. I’m proud of my group of women – this group of women – for enduring the hardship, persevering, making difficult decisions about when it is time to stop. Of course, I am less than 1 week into sharing our news and fielding these questions, so we will see how I feel when I’m carting my babies around Ta.rget (please god let me get to this point) and when they are 5 and I’m watching their soccer practice and when they are 14 and I’m dropping them off at the movie theater (do parent’s still do this? or do kids just make youtube videos on Friday nights now?). I can see how it would be easy to just shrug off the infertility cardigan and move forward. Only time will tell, I guess. But. I will say that I found your blog the day of my miscarriage (my 29th birthday, a few weeks shy of 1 year ago) and your willingness to share your story was the first taste of the community that inspired me to join you. So I am forever grateful And I hope you don’t stop talking and writing and sharing!

  11. APE #
    October 2, 2013

    By the way, how are you liking New York?

  12. Cammy #
    October 5, 2013

    I am very open about our journey. I wouldn’t change anything or the money I spent to have Mia. I am not a religious person, but often find myself referring to Mia as a blessing. I am proud of our journey and the outcome and feel very comfortable sharing it with others! Tomorrow is IRH’s reunion day at the Zoo in Cinci! We are headed up there with Mia. I look forward to meeting others who went through what we went through and hearing thier stories. 🙂 Hope NY is treating you well.

  13. October 8, 2013

    She’s beautiful! So are you!

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