Living Infertility Out Loud

It is always amazing to see the transformation at support groups after a few meetings.

The first meeting everyone is a little guarded, maybe giving the ‘safe’ story, one that maybe contains the frame and stick figures of what is going on inside the infertility picture.

The next meeting the colors begin to get filled in.

One of the spouses has a fertility challenge that wasn’t brought up at the first meeting.

A detail that was left out because of the obvious emotional pain it was causing is revealed and the healing process begins as it is no longer a hidden, festering wound.

The furrowed eyebrows in the meeting are suddenly release to a relaxed curve above brighter eyes as the burden of so much pain is shared with empathetic support.

Smiles and laughter cut through the sad tension, and lift spirits, and mouths curve up into smiles more frequently with each passing week of living their infertility out loud.

That is the beauty of living out loud in the infertility journey.

I still speak very openly about everything we went through because there is always an opportunity to feel the sting of old infertility wounds.

I run across clients who will ask ‘why we only had one’.

I share with them that our ‘only one’ child is a great gift that we went to great lengths to bring into this world.

They usually get it without any further conversation.

I remember the suffer in silence days.

Guys would casually talk about how they had gotten their wife knocked up again, and then incessantly gripe about how the hell they were gonna cope with a second, third or fourth kid when they couldn’t handle the ones they had.

I would generally try to exit the conversation while silently pondering my procreative inadequacy.

If I was lucky, I’d make it out before they asked me any questions about my lack of children, especially as I headed into my thirties.

My stomach would bunch up and I’d never have the courage at first to say ‘we’re going through infertility’.

Suffering in silence made the clouds of depression seem darker, the thunder of anger more deafening, and the lightning of tears more blinding.

Living infertility out loud took away the power of that storm.

The other people in the group reminded me of the sun that always shines above the clouds.

Their comforting words were there when the claps of thunder eventually faded away.

They reminded me that lightning lasts a mere fraction of a second before it is gone.

Maybe that’s what Mark 4:39 refers to: we cam speak peace to the storm.

Or we can suffer in silence.

I choose the living out loud option.








One Response to Living Infertility Out Loud

  1. I could not agree more. I am not silent about my condition. Since being diagnosed several months ago, I have become more bold about being open with people. That being said, I still think you have to be selective with certain people. There are those out there that have no tact and are just not intelligent or understanding enough when it it comes to the subject of infertility. I share mostly with my family, select friends, and people at church, but don’t feel it is necessarily appropriate to do it in another setting. There are many people I know who have no idea what I am going through. I might share in a support group (although my reasons for attending such a gathering at this point would be primarily out of intellectual curiosity–seeing what other guys are doing about their problem), but I have not found one that caters to men or is free of charge. Before I attend a support group, both of these criteria must be met.

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