If you share a story, opinion, or in this case feeling, and you are constantly belittled, judged and often criticised, you tend to start to keep your thoughts to yourself.
Add to that, a feeling of shame or embarrassment that you aren’t capable of something you once were and that everyone around you still seems to be and you find yourself not admitting to it, to keeping it to yourself and rarely opening up. To be unable to do the single most natural thing a woman’s body is built to do is difficult to admit. Why can’t I conceive, why can’t I hang onto a pregnancy? What’s wrong with me? They are tricky things to say out loud.
What’s more, you know that there are people who would chop their right arm off to be in your fortunate position of already having a family, and the thought that your words might hurt them, tend to make you clam up and keep your thoughts to yourself. Whilst you often feel like you’d sell your Gran to get pregnant, you’ve not completely lost all sensitivity and you are acutely aware of the feelings of those still struggling to conceive a first baby.
Talking sometimes can also externalise real fears or hidden thoughts that you might be shocked to hear yourself, let alone admit. As milestone after milestone of your child’s life flashes by it’s sometimes easier and less painful to bury those thoughts as if not talking will shield that hurt.
Your life is filled with Mummy friends these days, as you stand in the playground or do the rounds of weekend birthday parties. Chat is filled with baby or bump talk and unless you know of someone in a similar situation, those Mummy friends don’t understand either. Those who had ‘accidently’ conceived or who had conveniently got caught so the end of their maternity leave co-incided with the six week school holiday, couldn’t possibly understand or grasp the pain and so they chatter on freely about planning their next one to pop out in the Summer to avoid another year’s nursery fees! Trying to open up to them is often frustrating and isolating.
Secondary Infertility is a very complex state. When you peel back the layers of guilt, supposed greed and suspected selfishness, underneath there is real pain, self hatred and a desperation that needs to be shared, communicated and supported. Yet to reach the inner core of those feelings and to share them even with loved ones, involves a tricky minefield of criticism, hurt and lack of compassion that for some, is too difficult to bear.
Secondary Infertility is without doubt a complicated web of conflicting emotions. Any infertility is a painful, often lonely journey. To protecting oneself and those around us we create a wall of silence that we believe will help us get through each month of trying, when actually, whatever our circumstance, it is always good to talk.