I know that many IP's struggle with this question. Should we tell anyone? Who should we tell? How will they react? Mike is much more reserved than me, but I am so excited by the prospect of finally becoming a mother that I want to tell everyone. I want to scream it from the rooftops or tattoo it on my forehead. It is so hard for me to keep this quiet. Mike and I agreed that we wouldn't tell people until after the first trimester. There is this HUGE thing going on in our lives and we aren't telling anyone for months. I'm worried that some members of our family will be hurt that we did not share this with them from the beginning. For our own sanity in these early stages, we need to keep as many people out of the loop as we can.
There are some people who won't understand why we would go to such great lengths to have a baby. We have heard comments over the years about not taking extraordinary measures to have a baby. Some people say that if they are not able to get pregnant on their own, they would not pursue alternative ways of having a child. I think they feel we are foolish to spend so much time and money on becoming a family. I understand that many people do not have the same desire for children as I have. But those comments, spoken so flippantly by people who have not really tried to conceive and probably could without a problem, hurt. Why is it so hard for people to see things from the other side?
It feels like many people, whether parents or not, find it very easy to dismiss an infertile couple's desire for parenthood and the heartbreak that goes along with infertility. But I wonder if they ever take the time to think about how they would feel if they tried for years and never had a child, or if their children never existed because of a quirk of biology. Infertility is not at all like choosing to live life without children. Infertility is a deep sadness that no one ever seems to discuss. It's so deep, it's often not even an elephant in the room. It makes people uncomfortable and the cliches people say, things like "think of what you can do with all the money you'll save" or "it just wasn't meant to be," they invalidate and belittle the the enormous empty sadness. An infertile couple grieves. They grieve not only the loss of children not born, but the loss of themselves as they had hoped to be, and the loss of the life they had hoped to lead.
So telling people means opening ourselves up to questions and judgements and unwanted advice. Why do people feel like they have a right to tell us how to build our family? Why do people ask if we have thought about some other alternative? Why do people feel the need to tell us all about the horrible thing they heard somewhere about someone else in our situation? Why do people seem to think we walked into this decision with no knowledge of the process and having done no research? We fully understand all of the risks involved in what we are doing...but we are doing it anyway. Because there is hope that at the end of this road, we'll be a family.