lifestyle

Mel Greig: 'Why don't women talk about having IVF?'

Are mothers really embarrassed about this?

In the past few months I joined a new club, an elite club of women.

But I’ve since discovered that a lot of these women like to keep it secret that they have VIP membership…are they ashamed? Am I ashamed? I know I felt less of a woman when I first discovered I’d be joining this club. It’s the “IVF baby club.” 

Mel administering her needle.

I’ve been quite open about my battle with Endometriosis and my new journey to fall pregnant. For me it won’t happen naturally and IVF is my best option. When you are first told that news, you do feel like you’ve failed the process of being able to bring a child into the world naturally like a “normal” mother, but my thoughts soon shifted to “but I still have a chance to bring a child into this world and that’s amazing.”

We should NOT feel embarrassed to have IVF babies, or are we just keeping it private so people can stay out of our personal business? There are three main questions we are always asked as women 1. When are you getting engaged?  2. When are you getting married?  3. When are you having a baby?

Are we so sick of the prying that we want to keep everything to ourselves?

“This is nothing to be embarrassed about.”

Read more: The IVF patient who is pregnant with the wrong embryos.

I understand why the majority of mothers want to keep quiet during the process of IVF because I have been told it is long, draining, intrusive, emotional time. Some parents also find it financially hard, all things which I’m about to experience as I get ready to do my first daily jab. But when you are through the battle and are holding your precious baby, you should be happy and proud.

Don’t feel embarrassed to say “they were born through IVF” you need to realise that science helped you with the end result but it was YOU who decided to bring that child into this world, it was YOU (and partner/donor) who provided the magical ingredients to make your baby, and it is YOU who is going to smother this child with unconditional love and support for the rest of their life and THAT is what truly makes you a “normal” mother.

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Close up.

I’m not saying its ‘wrong’ to keep your IVF journey private; I’m asking if society has made us feel that way? Or if it’s just that we want our privacy and don’t want to be asked every 2 seconds if we are pregnant yet? But as I sit here loading up my first syringe I’m thinking “I hope I do this right. Crap, if my doctor doesn’t answer, which friend can I call to ask for advice?”

Women help each other, it’s what we do. But how can we do that if we don’t know who to ask for help? Support networks are so important. I will share as much of this journey as I can, through the pain, heartache, joy, and I hope I don’t feel the need to keep it private too.

Mel is taking the IVF journey.

Read more: New deal will allow Australians using IVF to import eggs from America.

If you are a part of this elite club and you know someone going through IVF, maybe take that first step and privately reach out letting them know you too have membership and you are there for them if they need someone. I know that I’ll be doing the same. We just need to ask ourselves ‘why am I keeping this a secret?’

Is it because we don’t want to be asked ‘why’ we are doing IVF? Or has society started to build a stigma around IVF, making us embarrassed to talk about it? One thing’s for sure, if someone tells you they want to keep it private, don’t ask “why?”

Did you or would you keep your IVF journey private?