Tuesday, February 15, 2011

crossing the fine line

There is a fine line in blogging, what is too much information and what is being honest? I have spent the last year wondering if writing about my struggles with infertility would cross that line. Today I read the article Infertility: The Disease We Need to Start Talking About, and I decided that while I have been pretty open about what is going on perhaps there is more I can do to make infertility less of an unspoken battle. I shared this on my personal blog which was the first time I had broached infertility there. It was incredibly nerve wracking. There is a safety posting on this blog that none of my friends or family read or know about. So today I crossed the blog line.

Infertility is obviously not something that is solely associated with age. I am not infertile because I waited "too long" to have children but rather because I was born with less eggs than most girls, something I am told is a genetic condition. Because of this I will likely enter menopause around 35, something that will bring on a whole host of other health issues. So the simple truth is that infertility is a health issue.

A lot of health insurance plans won't cover IVF or other infertility treatments. I have been lucky so far that all my treatments have been covered but that coverage ends as Jackson and I get ready to start IVF. The reason insurance companies won't cover infertility treatments? There is the argument that having children is a lifestyle choice and not a medical necessity. Personally I struggle with this argument. I was put in this position by way of a genetic abnormality not because I chose to put a certain lifestyle ahead of another. At 24, 25 and 26 I should have and still be able to have children without the need of medical intervention. It's a medical condition that has rendered my ability to become pregnant without medical assistance virtually impossible.

This isn't an easy topic to broach. It is deeply personal and very emotional. Often I end up sobbing when talking about it which embarrasses me to no end. There is a vulnerability that is exposed when talking about infertility that is only compounded by crying, it is a sure way of letting the world know just how deeply you feel the loss. Crying aside, talking about infertility can be awkward. Awkward for me and awkward for you. Many people don't know what to say when talking about infertility and as I told my sister the other day, I am far from equipped for filling awkward silences and pauses.

Almost a year and a half ago when I started to think about seeing a reproductive endocrinologist I found that I was very thankful to my friends who had been open with me about their struggle to get pregnant, it was comforting to have a support system of women who had been there and done that. I often feel as though infertility is treated as a secret that I am trying to keep, and as anyone in my family can attest, I don't do well with secrets. They make me feel claustrophobic. If my friends had chosen to be less open I would probably not have been as open in sharing my frustrations with them. That would have made this difficult experience so much harder. The support of my family and friends has helped me infinitely. Secrecy begets secrecy and I am thankful they chose to break that chain because it helped me.

Did the blogging world really need to know this much about my personal life and struggles? Probably not. The reason I chose to share is that I hope being open will help someone who may be having a similar experience. If nothing else I hope that talking about it will be one more small step forward in removing the stigma attached to infertility.

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