I am trucking through that last chapter right now, so I'm getting myself set up to work on the next chapter over the weekend. So I have another question. And truly, what is cooler than going into a bookstore and pulling a book off the shelf and turning to the person in the aisle next to you and saying, "check out my thoughts--p. 36." So, yet again, gathering your thoughts so we can have more than my view in this book.
As always, two things: (1) you can either email me a response directly or you can leave it in the comments section below. You can also grab this question as a topic for a post on your own blog, write a long response, and then email me the url for the post. (2) in either case, if you have not been interviewed in the past by me or participated in one of these before, provide a pseudonym that I can use for the quote (aim for semi-common such as Jane, Alicia, Tamara over descriptive such as Uterus-of-Doom-Lady). And include a way to get in touch with you--email address, blog url, etc--in case I have a follow-up question.
So, the topic I'm posing today is telling people that you're infertile, doing treatments, using donor gametes, using surrogacy or adopting.
Though this question may seem pretty heterocentric and marriage-focused, what I'm actually talking about is not after the fact, when you are pregnant or parenting and it is obvious that you must have done something to get there, but instead, that time period that every infertile person--single or married, gay or straight, young or old--experiences where you know that you're pursing parenthood and are needing assistance, but no one else technically needs to know or it can be hidden.
Some people go through treatments privately, without revealing to any friends or family members what they are experiencing. Others choose to tell a select few and still others tell everyone about their E2 levels, including the random woman buying Doritos in line behind them at the supermarket.
There are also people we weigh and decided to not tell and other people who are told despite the fact that we are trying to keep the journey private. Everyone has personal, unique reason for why they do or don't tell.
If you have told anyone, how did you broach the conversation? Did you wait for an opening or create it yourself (and if you created it, how)? Do you tell more than one person at a time or do you like to find private moments where you can talk about it one-on-one? Do you prefer to tell people in a written medium--email, letter--or face-to-face? Why did you tell them and how did they react? Were you disappointed or grateful, and did the telling make a difference in your life the day after and the day after that (in other words, did the telling do anything to change your daily existence either positively or negatively)?
Lots of questions, but at the core is a desire to hear about one or two (or ten or twelve) unique experiences you have had about discussing infertility (or adoption) with friends and family members. You may notice that pregnancy loss is not on this list. This is not to snub pregnancy loss but because the question was already asked specifically in the pregnancy loss interviews for that chapter and because I'll be revisiting it in a future question session on its own.
By the way, for the future, each time I do one of these, the post will be titled: Your Pseudonym in Ink. And I'm still pouring drinks at the Virtual Lushary. Just pausing long enough to ask these questions.