Hiding in Plain Site.

I’m still amazed by how many of us there are struggling with infertility. I have a friend at work I’ve known for several years. He’s married with no children, and both he and his wife are some of the nicest folks you’ll ever be lucky to meet.

Most probably think this couple have chosen not to have kids. I remember being one of them years ago. Since finding out about my own fertility problems, I have wondered if maybe he and his wife being childless might be more than simply a lifestyle choice. But how to bring up the topic in conversation?

“Dude, you shooting blanks too?” Seems a little too brash.

“Wife have a bum oven?” That won’t work. My nuts may be worthless, but they can still cause me pain when struck with a foot.

I didn’t want to bring up the topic of children, knowing how much I regret it when someone forces that topic on me. So we end up only discussing safe topics. Video games, movies, sports, heck even politics and religion turned out to be safe topics compared to discussing fertility.

Today at lunch the topic of diet and exercise was brought up. Considering it’s the New Year and we both struggle with our weight, not a surprising January 2nd conversation.

“Our diet got thrown off track when we started fertility treatments.” I blurted out of the clear blue. The initial horror of what I had said hung in the air. I first noticed the room was in fact empty, thank goodness. But the elephant I just laid still made me hold my breath, waiting for a response.

Maybe he didn’t notice or would ignore what was just spoken and continue with the conversation we were having?

“Been there.”

Breathe, breathe, wait…what?

In an instant the connection was made. I knew what he had been suffering and he knew my own.

I wonder if my subconscious knew what it was doing blurting out those words. I sure hope that is the case, because I may have to become a hermit if I start shouting about infertility in a crowded restaurant. I may be open and honest on this blog and I certainly have told my closest friends and family about my situation. But as far as the general population is concerned, like all of you, I’m still hiding in plain site.

© copyright 2011-2013


About ivfmale

Just a guy dealing with infertility.

Posted on January 2, 2013, in Purgatory and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Good for you! I ALWAYS bring up our infertility just in case the other person is struggling with the same thing, but has no one IRL to talk to. I’m an over-sharer. Big time!

    What you did was good for both of you. I guarantee you that your coworker felt relief just by saying, “been there.”

  2. I could see the relief on his face too. The conversation opened up and we started making plans for the 4 of us to get together outside of work soon.

    I planned on bringing up the conversation about infertility, I just didn’t want to force the conversations into infertility. It seems like each time I could bring up the topic, the lunch room would be crowded. Not that it would bother me as much, but I doubt I could get someone to open up with strangers standing nearby. Somehow I just blurted this out at just the right time.

  3. There are childless people in my life that I wonder about. You’re right–how do you bring up the subject to let them know you are a comrade in arms? As awkward as you made it sound, it actually seems like you handled it well. You don’t have to have a long conversation or hug it out or anything, but now each of you can feel a little less alone.

    • The shock of saying it out loud without even thinking threw me for a loop. As quick as the awkwardness started, it dissipated with his acknowledgement.

  4. It’s amazing that when we open the door, people walk through. Good for you for breaking the silence.

  5. Its sad that we have to “hide” our struggles like we have a choice in our fertility…I am guilty of not being so outward with how we got pregnant but I tend to be a private person and if someone where to ask I am not ashamed of it.

  6. The way you just worked it into the conversation was smart! I’m sure your coworker was relieved to connect with you in that way. There is such comfort in knowing other people in similar circumstances, and that goes for all sorts of life issues. I’m fairly open about my infertility, and in many cases, I’ve discovered others currently or formerly in this situation. It helps a lot emotionally to know people who truly understand.

  1. Pingback: Time for a Move « gettingitsorted

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