First off, happy February ICLW and welcome to anyone stopping by for the first time! Before I get to the real topic of this post, just a quick update to say that I had IUI #5 yesterday and I can't really put my finger on why, but I just have a good feeling about this cycle, so here's hoping for some good news in 2 weeks!
I've noticed a lot of posts springing up in the IF blogosphere lately about the decision to be open or private about IF treatments. Of course, completely open to completely private spans a wide gamut of in-between where I believe most of us probably fall. I don't see it as an all-or-nothing decision to keep your IF struggles private or to be open about it - while I am on the private side in 'real life', for me the decision of who to share with and how much to share with them is definitely very context- and situation-dependent.
All of this talk about the choice to be open about your IF journey got me thinking about what holds me back from sharing more. I realized the number one thing that drives me bonkers about being open about my issues is that in my personal experience, every woman who has successfully reproduced regards herself as a fertility specialist and therefore, more capable and clearly informed in the issues of reproduction, than me, their pitiful and woefully reproductively unsaavy pet project/friend/co-worker/daughter etc. This is especially true among women who had to, at one point, engage in the trying aspect of trying to conceive for more than 3 minutes (and by 3 minutes I mean one cycle) and therefore, believe they 'get it'. If they are especially saavy, they might tell me about this miracle pill called Clomid that their ob/gyn prescribed.
I find it particularly striking that when IF comes up in conversation (and again, I am not such a big sharer, so I am drawing upon a fairly narrow set of experiences), no fertile woman has ever just said to me "I am sorry" or "that really sucks." Instead it by default becomes a teaching/learning opportunity for them in which I am expected to assume the role of the helpless childless chick while they enlighten me on how I must relax or try this great pill called Clomid or this great pee stick called an OPK and comiserate with me about what it was like for them to be in my shoes. (I am not trying to minimize the tribulations of the normal TTC experience - I know that BFNs suck no matter what the cycle number, but at the same time I resent the assumption that by virtue of not having been successful, I must be less informed, when I spend such an exorbinant amount of time learning about and obsessing over every detail of human reproduction.)
I think it is interesting how us IFers are encouraged to be more open to spread awareness, yet whenever the topic comes up, it is I who is being made aware and supposed to learn from my fertile counterparts. I guess it makes me angry at myself that I allow that to be the dynamic - that I smile and nod and graciously accept their advice. Obviously, if another infertile who had been successful was trying to give me advice or comiserate, I would be grateful and inspired, but I haven't had the privilege of such an exchange yet off of the internet. The irony is not lost on me that if I were more open about my infertility, I would likely find kindred spirits among my circle of friends and acquaintances!