Shhhh… it’s a secret!

To tell or not to tell, that is the question… or would have been, if Shakespeare were around today and writing about mid-thirty-something infertile women trying to get pregnant and not about ancient Danish royalty facing confronting oedipal dilemmas.

Conventional wisdom has it that you shouldn’t whisper a word about being knocked up until you’ve hit that magic 12-week mark. Three months in. First trimester successfully navigated, all well, now let’s announce to the world, woohoo! Before then, it’s all shush-up and silence, as if the mere public mention that you’re pregnant, or to step back a tad earlier, going through IVF – gasp! – could offend your fertility gods of choice and make it all not work, or something.

I know the reasoning behind it, of course. There’s a hell of a lot that can go wrong in those first few weeks. Waiting until the 12-week mark means waiting until the pregnancy is safer, more secure. And granted, there are certain realities to be faced – I’m not about to go announcing to my work place that I’m even trying to get pregnant, let alone have managed to succeed thus far. No matter how enlightened a workplace it is, the fact remains babies are still a potential career dampener for women. So my work colleagues won’t hear a single rumour about it until I’m at least four months in.

Well that, or they accidently stumble across this blog. Heh.

From what I can tell, the thinking is if something goes wrong in those first three months and you haven’t told anybody the good news, then you won’t need to tell them the bad news either. Which, okay, makes sense when it comes to managing workplace expectations, or indeed, strangers you barely know.

But if you haven’t told anybody the good news, you’re not going to get any support, comfort or help if bad news comes along, either.

Now, you may have figured it out already, but I’m not very good with secrets. When going through IVF, it is simply the biggest, most emotionally charged thing happening in your life at that time. I wouldn’t know how to go through IVF and not tell anyone. Yet many do. There was a whole page in the IVF magazine devoted to managing secrecy, which kind of stunned me, considering The Partner and I yak on about it in detail to anybody who walks in the door. I even faced a moment some weeks back where a friendly acquaintance looked horrified when I mentioned it and immediately began to declare “too much information!!!”

All I said was “I’m going through IVF at the moment”. That’s it. Not a single gorey detail offered, I swear. I was remarkably restrained, considering that if I really wanted to impart Too Much Information, I certainly had the material with which to do so.

Don’t get me wrong. Silence is a valid choice for many. Some people need to keep quiet about what they’re going through just as I need to blog about it in a completely public forum so all the world can see. And if something goes wrong in the first trimester, some people need space to grieve, not have to face those who were earlier congratulating them. I get that. I really do.

But it’s clearly not the choice for me. And if something goes wrong in first trimester, well, something goes wrong, and no doubt you’ll all hear about it up here on this blog just like you’ve heard everything else.

Still, my writing this blog did throw up a discussion or two for The Partner and I when we got positive results last Friday. Who do we tell? Do we keep such things quieter than we’ve kept everything else? After involving so many in the discussions of our attempts at IVF, do we suddenly go quiet? Obviously, our parents were the first told, as was the other couple close to us who are going through it at the moment also. But beyond that…. Hmmm…. 

Well, by announcing it on this blog, at least I’ll weed out which of my friends actually read this thing, and which just say they do, won’t I?


Kind regards

The Patient

Published in: on June 8, 2011 at 10:53 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hehehe. ❤

  2. […] 39.  Shhhh… it’s a secret! […]

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