This article appeared first on The Girl Behind The Camera
As someone who has struggled with infertility and the questions from family, friends, colleagues and strangers, I totally understand how frustrating and hurtful questions about when you will have children and statements like "you haven't got forever" can be. As Emily also said "You don't know who is struggling with infertility or grieving a miscarriage or dealing with health issues."
However there is one part of this post I have to disagree with. I'm not convinced that telling those questioners "its none of your business" really helps. The vast majority will be asking in a well meaning manner, just making conversation or perhaps naive if they haven't faced any of the above fertility problems themselves. Snapping back at them doesn't teach them anything. After keeping my infertility problems secret aside from a few close friends and family for years, I finally "came out" to my colleagues at work just after an round of IVF didn't work. I was tired of hiding my feelings, pretending to laugh of the statements like "you'll be next" and hiding in the loos for a few tears when another person was pregnant. I was sick of feeling like I was the odd one out, and of pretending life was A-ok, because every other area of my life looked fine. I realised in actual fact I had been isolating myself. By not being open about it, those around me weren't given the chance to understand, to think before they spoke. I was putting myself in the situation where people would make jokes about whether I'd be next because I hadn't told them I wouldn't be.
Whilst I don't feel it is something a woman should HAVE to tell everyone, I'm just saying perhaps the option of talking about it should be considered too. That if someone chooses not to talk about it, they say so in a firm but kind way. I chose not to go into all the health ins and outs, and if asked, just say I don't feel like going into it with a smile. I don't want people to feel awkward about the subject. I'd like them to learn from me, from as much as I am willing to share. However, since I started being honest, that actually we would need medical help to have a pregnancy if we wanted, I have found a huge number of women "coming out" too, about their own fertility difficulties. I've realised how common it is. There are so many of us isolating ourselves by not talking about it. Perhaps if more of us started to, we could support each other and those who haven't walked in our shoes, can start to understand why it may not be best to ask questions about a persons fertility without some thought behind it first.