Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Going to the Silence February 10, 2011

Pamela posted this Huffington Post article yesterday and I saw it circulating around Facebook, so I’m sure many of you have seen it.

I thought it was a very intelligent and insightful piece and I was so glad the author was talking about infertility as a disease and how it’s something that needs to be talked about and better understood.

Of course, many of the comments just served to prove the author’s point that infertility is misunderstood, that it’s about so much more than selfish reproduction of oneself, and that the mental health aspects are hugely underestimated. If you decide to read the comments, be warned that they are not kind.

I read the article and I read as many of the comments as I could bear, and then I shrank down in my chair and reached for the mouse to close the article. I was upset, but I didn’t have the strength to add to the discussion. I didn’t want to get involved. I just wanted the whole thing to go away and leave me alone.

I’ve been feeling this way all week, which is why my posts have been creeping in mid-morning, instead of at 6:00 a.m. sharp. Because this week, I’m one of those women mentioned in the article who doesn’t want to talk about it. I don’t want to announce my infertility to the world; I don’t want to have to defend myself against people who would rather say something spiteful than engage their brains and think beyond their own little worlds for just a minute. I don’t want to speak up.

Taped to my computer screen is a quote by Amy Goodman. It says, “Go to where the silence is and say something.” It’s the mantra I use to remind myself to push the writing envelope and dare to say something that hasn’t been said before. I try to do that when I write, but it’s uncomfortable and painful, and just plain easier to not do it.

But the quote applies to my infertility too. It’s painful and uncomfortable to talk about it, and it’s so much easier to stay quiet and say nothing. But there is a silence out there and it’s damaging. As long as we stay quiet, the stigma, the misunderstanding, and the hurtful comments will prevail.

I didn’t want to, but I left a comment on the Huffington Post article and I’m reposting the article here. It’s not much, but it’s my way of going to where the silence is and speaking up until we are heard.

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7 Responses to “Going to the Silence”

  1. Bravo dear friend…Bravo!

  2. sewforward Says:

    Thank you for linking this article. It was interesting.

  3. Mali Says:

    Wow. Thanks so much for this. You’ve helped me decide to talk about my new IF blog on my non-IF blog.

    I liked the article’s comparison to breast cancer, and would also compare it to the discussions we have today about mental illness. A former All Black and popular sportsman has been very open about his battles with depression. But most people aren’t, and in the past depression and mental health issues have been given little recognition in society, and the social stigma has been very isolating. Sounds familiar doesn’t it?

    Maybe we do need to talk more – but I think ONLY when we feel strong enough to cope with the results. And so I feel a responsibility to speak out more than I do. Because I can. And because it should help those who can’t just yet.

    • Mali Says:

      OK. I’ve done it. I’m breathing deeply and trying not to panic. Because it feels a little like coming out of the closet for me. And so that’s what I called it.

      • lmanterfield Says:

        Well done, Mali. Keep me posted on the response you get. I agree; you have to be ready to go public. I have to say that I haven’t had any negative feedback from people I know. Who knows what they’re thinking about me? But I can’t control that.

  4. Kate B Says:

    Excellent article. I have to say, I hope never to meet Farmer Lady. Or more accurately, she should hope never to meet me.


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