Couples who undergo assisted reproduction treatment to have a baby are torn between the desire and need to talk about it and the shame and embarrassment of revealing their infertility to their circle
For a couple, making a baby is always an intimate subject that they would like to keep private. Thus, couples who undergo assisted reproduction treatment to have a baby are torn between the desire and need to talk about it and the shame and embarrassment of revealing their infertility to their circle. What’s more, not talking about it makes the situation more abstract, less real, which allows us to act as if the problem didn’t really exist, by denying it … for a time.
It also saves us from listening to questions and comments that could be uncomfortable or even hurtful because often our circle, even if it isn’t done in bad faith, shows little tact in the presence of a childless couple, not to mention the social pressure. Nevertheless, the closest relatives or friends, even though they have not been involved in this confidential matter, quickly realize that there is something that isn’t going right.
The couple lives through difficult moments of incomprehension, doubts, loneliness and anguish. They feel invaded, more than expected, by sadness, anger and tiredness. It’s a long and painful path, both harsh and complex, which requires many sacrifices and consumes a lot of time and energy. Talking about it with people in the immediate circle is essential, and even necessary. Hence, they will have a better understanding of your reactions, fears and anxieties. They will be able to measure the extent of your struggle, courage and perseverance to become parents, and will support you when strength and hope don’t accompany you.
It’s important to have a shoulder to cry on, a confidant who dries your tears and reduces your anger, who listens to you while you release those emotions that invade and eat away at you. It’s essential to verbalize your needs and explain exactly what you expect from your circle, whether it’s advising you, distracting you or simply listening to you. Let them know what words or gestures would help and support you. And also comment on those that sadden and destabilize you. You will feel liberated and lighter. The problem will still be there, present, but there will be no more taboo or secret.
Deciding when and who to talk to is a very personal choice, and will depend on the character and history of each person. Some will need it much more than others! When it’s too difficult to hear announcements of pregnancies or when it’s already unbearable to see your friends’ children, then it will be time to talk to someone and let it all out. By talking about the subject, you’ll soon realize that you are not alone on this journey. By speaking, you’ll see how, gradually, your tongue is loosened, the words flow and the subject starts to settle down. Thus, little by little, society will learn to accompany those infertile couples along the uncertain and painful path of assisted reproduction, and will finally understand the suffering of some of them.