As a writer, less than 50% of my time is spent writing and the rest is spent marketing. It’s one of the many ways in which the profession has changed over the years. As part of my marketing campaign, my email signature includes links to my two most recently published articles (one about dealing with infertility, the other about being a family of two) , a link to this web site, and a note that my new book (a memoir) will be coming out soon! All of these things point blatantly to the fact that I am childless and infertile.
Recently I was in a room of ten people, some of whom I knew but most of whom I’d never met before. I had spoken to them all via email and included my signature. It dawned on me that every single person in the room knew these very intimate details of my life. Believe it not, despite airing my life here on this blog, I am a very private person, and I had a sudden moment of panic and discomfort knowing that everyone knew this information about me. I may as well have pinned a scarlet “I” to my dress.
Later, one of the men I’ve known for a number of years told me he’d read my articles and didn’t realize that my husband and I had dealt with infertility. He and his wife are childless, too. Another woman who I’d never met before also came up to me after the meeting and mentioned that she too was childless-not-by-choice.
Finding kindred spirits in those two people more than made up for the others knowing all my secrets. I am not proud of being infertile, but I am no longer ashamed of it either.