This is hard. Perhaps hard is not the right word to use, uncomfortable is more appropriate….
We are a lucky couple, we have no secrets (or is that incredibly naive…?) and talking about fertility is not a problem for us. Quite the opposite in fact, we have even found ourselves making inappropriate sperm and egg jokes whilst out at the supermarket. It is wonderful that we can talk so openly about things. We share how we feel, what worries us, what scares us and just as importantly we share our hopes, and the things that make us look forward to this adventure.
Writing appears to be a release for Dani. Looking back at her previous posts I am amazed at the detail she is able to find on the processes and procedures related to fertility treatment. I’m also amazed how openly she can write about these experiences and how they make her feel. It is a good way to help make sense of the things that are confusing, whilst hopefully helping others who are going through the same, or similar experiences. I am pleased she has found a way to express herself, a way to share thoughts and feelings throughout this adventure, although I must confess to some surprise at the details given in her writing, sharing things that I didn’t think she would want to broadcast to the world, things we have talked about but are quite personal.
Then Dani asked me to write a blog post for her site, a post about how I feel…
… I can’t, after an hour the blank page stared back at me. Why was this so hard? I have written a book and am working on another, I have multiple websites and must write at least 200 emails every day, so why can’t I write 500 words about fertility?
The issue isn’t in the topic, it is in the medium. I can talk to the checkout lady at the work food hall about giving sperm samples in a plastic cup (more on that in another post….maybe!) yet I cannot find a way to comfortably write about how I feel. This isn’t some macho ‘guys don’t have feelings’ thing, it is down to the different ways people communicate. I like to talk (as those who know me can confirm), and I have no problem talking to people about fertility and how it makes me feel. Writing is different. Writing is permanent. Writing can be seen by everyone. Writing about my feelings makes me feel vulnerable in a way that I have no control over.
So what? What is the point I am making here? Well I guess it is that everyone has different ways of communicating how we feel, and that people find comfort, or discomfort in the different ways of sharing. Couples starting out with fertility treatment should find ways to communicate that suit them both as a couple, and as individuals. It doesn’t matter what method is used, find what work for you whilst also being sensitive to your partner who may find other channels more comfortable.
Dani might have wanted me to write about how I feel and it turns out that I just can’t do that. Yet in a way this blog is about feelings, feelings of discomfort based on talking about feelings. There is more than a little irony in that.
The best part of writing this post (apart from finishing it) is that I know that she will understand. I don’t hide my feelings and often allow myself to be vulnerable with her, but those feeling are not for all the world to read, they are between me and Dani (and the lady in the office food court…)