Talking about fertility is one of the best ways to raise awareness, break taboos and shatter myths about being unable to have a baby. That’s why #TalkFertility is at the heart of National Fertility Awareness Week 2017. The Fertility Network UK want to get people talking about the real facts about fertility – and not the myths and misconceptions. It's also about talking about infertility treatment too.
The first time I stood up and said 'I can't have children' was to the entire faculty of arts at my university when I presented the research behind this site. Mentally it felt a relief because saying it meant I had two years of study with no assumptions. That and I think the attitudes in education work differently, and it's still my preferred environment.
I am told I am brave for speaking out but actually I'm hiding behind a website and talking in person isn't easy. I sometimes disappear when babies arrive in the office, dread family or friend events because people forget even if I don't and networking is fraught with 'mumtrepreneurs'. Ironically people forget because I don't talk about it enough or I don't place enough emphasis on how painful it is. My natural disposition is to skip over it and move on when probably a bloody good snotty cry might do us all better.
Having said that, I have parents who are friends who haven't been through IVF or infertility issues but because they read this site, or we've talked about life with and without children, we have a shared respect. That comes from being honest with each other.
It doesn't work every time and I've lost more friends than gained since my last miscarriage. That might be due to unforgivable insensitiveness on their part or actually as much down to my anger at the time and not giving anyone a second chance. Whilst that may have been better for me at the time, baring the most idiotic of people, most just didn't know what to say. Be honest, if you'd had a child naturally, would you know what to say to someone who was infertile if you took away all you knew? We have to lead the way in quashing the ignorance, even if that hurts sometimes, a make it easier for our tribe.
So here's the deal. I'm going to chat to people when they say or do a hurtful thing. Share with them what would be better and if I'm asked why I don't have children, I'll be completely open about it.
What will you do? Do share with me on social media or on the comments here, let's #TalkFertility