A couple trying to conceive in a society like ours, hardly has the privacy to deal with their fertility battle alone. There would be those who would ask you intrusive questions, out of curiosity, or out of compassion. The questions and stares would come! Nothing you can do about that. However, deciding who to open up to can be a tricky game. In my experience, I thought it wise to tell everyone that was close to us about the fact that we were trying, with the accompanying Please remember us in your prayers, while my husband believed it was too much of a private affair and should be treated as such. His rationale was that, you can never be too sure who goes to bed smiling about your own perceived misfortune”. As silly as I was then, I chose to tell a few trusted friends and of course, family.
It was not long before I found myself cringing at my decision and wishing I had narrowed that list down to doctor, parents, siblings and four friends, only. My mum’s elder sister had called me a month after my wedding to ask if I was pregnant, begging me to take things serious and not feel relaxed in the honeymoon phase. That was when I told her that I was trying, asked her for any tips and beseeched her to remember me in prayers. Good heavens! Aunty Oby did not fail to send me one novena prayer or the other, every week, or advise me not to eat pepper, or tell me about some woman in the village that would massage my womb and give me herbs! She was so frantic that you would think I had been trying to conceive for ten years and needed dire intervention. Her persistence calls and concerns worried me the more, and because I was her favorite niece, it also really bothered her. I knew that Aunty Oby meant well for me, but frankly, I regretted telling her that I was having to put extra efforts to get a baby.
My ”bestie” on the other hand, whom I thought was really concerned for me, turned out to be a very bad apple. The closest person to me, she was the one I pinged or called when I was down, or felt as though my husband couldn’t put up with my drama. She did show concern but her concern was causing problems for my marriage. For example, I would complain to bestie about DH skipping his supplements for two days, and me feeling as though he wasn’t as emotionally invested as I was, and she would go “What the heck is that? Why are men like this? Always undermining a woman’s efforts! Force him to take those supplements abeg! It’s useless if you are doing your part and he is not doing his! It takes two to make a baby oh!.” She gave me tips like don’t give him dinner, unless he takes his drugs, and starve him of sex for some days, so he knows you are serious…and stuff like that. Hmmmmn, my people, after using my tongue to count me teeth, I had to advise myself! That was just her anyways, I had four amazing friends that stood by me and held fort for me in prayers when I lost the strength to pray.
There are some important people that I believe ought to know that you are trying to conceive, and top of that list is of course your doctor. Your doctor must know that you are trying for a baby, and also what efforts specifically you are making. He/she would then run a diagnosis, check your history and advice you medically on what steps to take. A lot of us praying sisters think it is faithless to run to the doctor with our fertility concerns, when in actual fact, it is foolhardy not to. I know someone who has been trying to conceive for eight years, but has never being to a hospital for a proper diagnosis, talk less of starting treatment. Her rationale is that God gives children and not doctors, and when He decides to bless her with a baby, she would accept with open arms. You might think she is not yet serious, but trust me, she is very serious about having a baby. She is always in church praying, and you can tell that she is really waiting on God. I only wish she could realize that going to the doctor is not a compromise on her faith.
Asides the doctor, choosing who to tell about your TTC efforts is entirely up to your husband and you. Based on past experiences, and the personalities of the people in your life, you can streamline whom you who want to share your journey with. Relatives and friends whom you rely on for support, whom you know can handle it well, who would give you great advice and tips, as well as pray with you and for you, make up the kind of support system worth having. As much as fertility battles are personal, there are times when you need to blow out and let out steam, and you need people for those moments. A lot of women in more developed societies are very open about their TTC journeys and even set up social media accounts, simply to meet with other people, share experiences and grow together. Our society is yet to evolve to that level of acceptance where people can openly talk about their fertility issues. Thankfully, we have an online community here that gives all of us the opportunity to share our struggles and triumphs. You might find yourself regretting telling Mr. A or Mrs B because they didn’t handle it in the way that you ought they would, but chances are you would find some few solid rocks that would make your journey easier, and your triumph more glorious!
Good luck folks!
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