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Old 01-30-2008, 02:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wondering, do you tell people you are struggling with infertility, that you are taking medication or doing IVF, other procedures? I ..... don't. When I went through IVF the first time, I carefully chose 2 very supportive friends who didn't know any of my other friends and told them and they were wonderful support. I only told a very few people when I was pregnant the first time, and then was very glad that I only had a few to tell I had miscarried. And I have asked those friends not to refer to it to me, I think about it, probably will be processing it for a long time but I hate to be surprised with it in conversation. No one in my family knows and they won't if I can help it. Our issues are male factor and my dh is very private, which is a big part of the reason. And I also just didn't want too many opinions/questioning of our our choices. I felt like I would have to relive it all by explaining it to everyone (no, just skipping the lube and making my dh switch to boxer shorts is NOT going to work!) And one of my friends, who is a cancer survivor, said "you wouldn't take fertility drugs though, right?". Arrrgghh, if you only knew.... I guess that is one of the things I find helpful about this forum is being able to be more open about it without the emotional risks. Gearing up for another cycle this year, so lots to think about.

mama to two DD's, 7 and 3 (3 rounds of IVF and more FET's than I can remember)
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:50 AM
 
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Actually, I told pretty much anyone and everyone when we were going through IVF treatment. It was my little form of advocacy - just educating people that infertility is common and trying to take away some of the secrecy, shame and embarrassment that seems to surround it. The upside of this is that I never had anyone inadvertently make an insensitive comment to me - everybody was respectful, yet interested in how things were going for us. I would have felt so alone if I hadn't told people. TTC/infertility was such a huge part of my life and if I couldn't talk about it, I would have been stuck for things to talk about

I think it's one of those things that depends on your own personal comfort level, though. Our fertililty issues are male and female factor - I never went into detail about DH's issues (that was his information to pass on as he chose), although I did tell people that we had 'his'n'hers' problems.

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Old 01-30-2008, 10:22 AM
 
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I told my mom...that was it. I needed her support. Then I found out that she pretty much told everyone in my family, but got lots of details wrong...mostly just told people we were going in for an IUI, without telling them that we'd been trying for a while, etc :

I thought, at first, that she'd just told one of my brothers, and my SIL. Irritating that she told, but I'm very close to them, so it wasn't horrible. Then my DH had his birthday last week and got a card from my 92 yr old grandmother who, in her card, started talking to my DH about his "health problems" (we have male infertility issues), etc.! I'm glad my grandma was so sweet about it but I can't believe my mom didn't respect our privacy in this!! Even more so, i can't believe she didn't respect my HUSBAND'S privacy in this! He's only been in the family about a year, and as if it's not hard enough to find out you have male infertility, but to find out that your MIL told all your inlaws about it, too?!?!?!?!?!? I haven't yet talked to my mom about it. I don't know what to say to her. I just feel so bad for my DH because he's already SUCH a private person.

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Old 01-30-2008, 12:29 PM
 
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I blabbed and regretted it. I was also on a crusade to inform, but later was tortured by the constant questions, being treated differently~especially when people got pregnant. Next time, no one knows except dh. He was the only one who comforted me and made me feel better anyway.

Great question......

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Old 01-30-2008, 04:08 PM
 
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I've told immediate family (mom, dad, stepmom, stepdad and siblings). I believe some other relatives may now know too, but they're respecting our privacy. I've told 2 close coworkers and one non-work friend, and that's it. We're still in the "waiting" period for our IUI, but have been seeing a specialist in the meantime...and I wanted to share our journey with the people who care about us. I update them a lot, and they're all excited. It might start to get harder though if these IUIs don't work after a few months. I probably won't say too much to too many other people until we (hopefully) get pregnant.
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Old 01-30-2008, 11:33 PM
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My husband wanted to tell his family, so I felt like we couldn't leave my family out. Because I didn't really want to "talk" about it, I just sent a group email (the distro list was all bcc'd.) after the noteworthy doctor visits. I explained that I would prefer it not be discussed with anyone else and if they wanted to "opt out" of the updates, that would be okay. Since no one knew who else knew, I think for the most part, they honored my request and it was never brought up in person, unless I brought it up.

Now that I have my DS, I am much more comfortable talking about it. I am able to be a support to friends who are having to go down that path as well.

We are thinking about TTC #2 soon and will likely have to go the same route. I think since it is #2 and people have stopped asking "when are you going to have a kid", it will be way less newsworthy in the family circles, so "We are expecting #2" might be the next time anything comes up with the family.
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Old 01-31-2008, 12:06 AM
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I have a big fat blog about it. Online, I told a lot of people. I wrote about it in my blog, here, etc. I needed that ability to scream into the wind and not beseige people with it.

I was too angry to not lash out at people, and too depressed to want to inflict myself on them.

I told close friends IRL, but there are people that don't know, and who won't. I am not even sure my dad really gets it. I did have to tell my bosses so that I could take the time off, but that was the only non-close friend that I told.

I gauged who would be supportive and who wouldn't. There were just some people who wouldn't get it.

When I met a bunch of people I had met online, I found that some of them didn't get it either, and had a really hard time not being dismissive of what I had gone through.

When I talk to people I usually keep it short - "we did IVF" if they have questions, I will answer them, but not go into great detail. I think it does a good thing to have more people hear about it, to have them realize that all kinds of people are affected, and how hard it is in a fertile privileged world to deal, without feeling like a freak, or broken.

One person who is a bit more sensitive can only be a good thing.

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Old 01-31-2008, 01:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peppermint Poppies View Post
Actually, I told pretty much anyone and everyone when we were going through IVF treatment. It was my little form of advocacy - just educating people that infertility is common and trying to take away some of the secrecy, shame and embarrassment that seems to surround it. I would have felt so alone if I hadn't told people. TTC/infertility was such a huge part of my life and if I couldn't talk about it, I would have been stuck for things to talk about
I agree!

DS - 5! - adopted at birth after infertility, IUI, and IVF; DD - 4! - surprise pregnancy discovered when DS was 8 months old ; Hoping for another soon (actively TTC ~ 2 years)
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Old 02-01-2008, 02:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peppermint Poppies View Post
Actually, I told pretty much anyone and everyone when we were going through IVF treatment. It was my little form of advocacy - just educating people that infertility is common and trying to take away some of the secrecy, shame and embarrassment that seems to surround it. The upside of this is that I never had anyone inadvertently make an insensitive comment to me - everybody was respectful, yet interested in how things were going for us. I would have felt so alone if I hadn't told people. TTC/infertility was such a huge part of my life and if I couldn't talk about it, I would have been stuck for things to talk about
Thank you for being an advocate, I just wasn't up for it on this one!! Regarding many other things, ie. postpartum depression, I am all about mentioning it to help spread awareness, but this time - couldn't. So thanks for taking it on!

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I told my mom...that was it. I needed her support. Then I found out that she pretty much told everyone in my family, but got lots of details wrong...mostly just told people we were going in for an IUI, without telling them that we'd been trying for a while, etc :

I thought, at first, that she'd just told one of my brothers, and my SIL. Irritating that she told, but I'm very close to them, so it wasn't horrible. Then my DH had his birthday last week and got a card from my 92 yr old grandmother who, in her card, started talking to my DH about his "health problems" (we have male infertility issues), etc.! I'm glad my grandma was so sweet about it but I can't believe my mom didn't respect our privacy in this!! Even more so, i can't believe she didn't respect my HUSBAND'S privacy in this! He's only been in the family about a year, and as if it's not hard enough to find out you have male infertility, but to find out that your MIL told all your inlaws about it, too?!?!?!?!?!? I haven't yet talked to my mom about it. I don't know what to say to her. I just feel so bad for my DH because he's already SUCH a private person.
I am so sorry this happened to you. I can pretty much guarantee that my family would be the same, I have learned that if I tell one family member, everyone will know. And since ours is male factor, I had to respect dh's privacy. And my mom is the queen of saying the wrong thing, so I didn't want to discuss it with her anyway.

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I blabbed and regretted it. I was also on a crusade to inform, but later was tortured by the constant questions, being treated differently~especially when people got pregnant. Next time, no one knows except dh. He was the only one who comforted me and made me feel better anyway.

Great question......
Ouch! That also, is what I was worried about. And why I'm glad I found this board, if I do IVF again I'll have a safe place to share. Good luck to you for next time. :

mama to two DD's, 7 and 3 (3 rounds of IVF and more FET's than I can remember)
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Old 02-02-2008, 12:16 AM
 
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First IVF, I told my parents, my boss (because of all the appointments) and a few trusted coworker-friends. I also became part of an online group of women cycling at the same clinic. We were blessed with DD and it was nice to have a few people to celebrate with.

This past cycle, we told hardly anyone. I think I had a bad feeling even going into it, and I didn't really want to hear "I'm sorry" very much - actually "I'm sorry" would be ok, it would be all the other 'placating' comments that I wanted to avoid, so I was extremely careful who I told.

Originally, I didn't plan to tell anyone except my boss and my best friend. When it came down to it though, I needed to talk it through with a few people, so I ended up telling my boss, a couple of friends I already knew were supportive, and the same online group - several of us have stayed in touch and become good IRL friends. When the cycle was a bust, I was very glad we made this decision - because the people who knew were able to just say "I'm sorry" and let me talk if I wanted, or move on if I wanted. I could trust that of those friends; I couldn't trust it of our parents. The online support of people in the same boat (many of whom had been through failed cycles) was invaluable.

We plan to cycle again in the spring (I hope - our RE follow-up is in 2 weeks) and if we do, I will likely tell exactly the same group. I completely agree with the advocating - I just like to do it after the fact :-)

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Old 02-08-2008, 06:47 PM
 
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I told everyone when we were dealing with infertility! I felt I needed support. When I actually didn't need to tell because everyone made it much more stressful on me. I felt so much pressure from my MIL! The next time we try we will not tell anyone and I wont tell that I am pg until I feel good about the pregnancy as I had one m/c before my DS. It was nice to know that everyone cared about you, but I got a call from MIL everyday for over a month to see how I was doing and etc.
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Old 02-14-2008, 12:19 PM
 
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My in-laws know, it came up recently with both MIL and FIL's wife so I let them know about my hypothyroidism that I've been recently diagnosed with and that yes we are still hoping for another child and (in the case of FIL's wife) no, I don't think my DS is too old to have a sibling. It's not all about them playing all day together! There are benefits to large age gaps too.
I don't tell just random neighbors or strangers if they ask if we will be having more children. It's usually people like that who ask nosy questions and tell me I'd better hurry if I'm going to have another one (in a tone that makes it clear to me they think it's already too late). I'm 33 btw.

I've also told a few friends and of course my mom and sisters know. It's easier if they know, then they won't make insensitive comments (without meaning to). SIL still will, but that's just her--I don't think she can help it.
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Old 02-15-2008, 02:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Two things I have learned in my fertility/pregnancy/motherhood journey.

1. Don't ask any questions about whether people are going to have more kids/another kid. Ever. Just don't. I had so many hurtful, annoying and/or bizarre things said to me.
2. The only appropriate thing to say to a pregnant woman about how she looks is: " You look great. How are you feeling?"

mama to two DD's, 7 and 3 (3 rounds of IVF and more FET's than I can remember)
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Old 02-15-2008, 02:19 AM
 
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I'm fortunate that it "only" took clomid for us, but still, it's hard to make the decision to do any fertility treatment, I think, and it's hard for everyone in different ways.

I didn't/don't hide it, but I don't usually come right out and say it when I introduce my son or anything. The only time I do come out and say it is when people make insensitive comments, like a woman at church Sunday when I was getting my copy of TCOYF back from someone to loan to someone else - she said, "Fertility! Well you don't need any help with that!" Because I'm pregnant. So I really couldn't let it go, you know? I said, "Well actually we did use fertility drugs to conceive, just like last time," and she was all surprised and it turned into a positive conversation. But still, ouch, you know? The only negative, besides being treated differently when people are pregnant (they are afraid to tell you like you'll explode or something) is this other woman from church who, upon hearing that we had to use a fertility drug, said, "Oh, so you don't have to worry about birth control!" as if that was such a good thing. Blech.

Sorry, didn't mean to vent! There are definitely pros and cons to telling people and you just have to do what feels most right. I so wish people with no fertility issues could just be sympathetic though. I mean I have had friends get pregnant and be unhappy about it, and while I cannot imagine that myself, I could be sympathetic, you know?

WAHMama to Allen (2-10-05) and Alexa (6-27-08)
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Old 02-15-2008, 03:53 AM
 
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Very, very, very few people in our lives know (like 2?). No one else knows including our family. Mostly because, if you've been ttc for years, its horribly embarrassing (especially if you're under 30) and people tend to have their own version of advice. I have friends who have kids in grade school that was conceived when I first started trying. Thats not something I want to share with the world.
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Old 02-15-2008, 04:27 PM
 
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A good friend of mine who I met through cycling at the same time at our local clinic has twin IVF boys the same age as my DD. We go to a couple of toddler programs together.

I missed our Gym & Swim session last week, and she told me that during the session, another parent came up to her and asked if her twins were "natural". After she dida double-take (no... they're aliens actually...) he explained that his child was an IVF baby, and really went into more details than she cared to know.

I simply cannot imagine purposely walking up to someone to ask if they had fertility issues. You'd think someone else with similar issues would know how much pain that would bring up. I guess I'm lucky - with a singleton there's absolutely no reason for someone to assume fertility issues...

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Old 02-16-2008, 02:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Eek! What a crazy situation for her! And it brings up a tangent on this "not telling" issue that I worry about. We plan to do IVF again and what if we get twins? I would be so happy to have another successful pregnancy, but a lot of people kind of know that if you are over 35 and have fraternal twins, odds are good that you had some sort of fertility treatment. We would have to tell or lie when asked, and I'm sure someone would ask. Crap! What stupid stuff to worry about, I know but it all went through my head the first time around, too.

mama to two DD's, 7 and 3 (3 rounds of IVF and more FET's than I can remember)
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Old 02-16-2008, 02:39 AM
 
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the only people that I've told are the women in my M.O.P.S group, one of which is also experiencing secondary infertility. They we all so supportive and keep us in their prayers. I'm so thankful that I have that support system! Other than that we have not said a word to anyone else, especialy family!! My in-laws would give us odd looks and ask really personal questions. They are like that about everything, so I can only imagine how they would be about infertility! We haven't told my side because they are really into the two kid only thinking. They just automaticly assumed that we were done when DD was born, we have a boy and girl what more could we ask for? I know they would not understand, and would very likley be judgemental about it. So for now its our little secret, which I like. Its nice to have some things in or marriage remain private from family members, ykwim?!
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Old 02-16-2008, 04:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peppermint Poppies View Post
Actually, I told pretty much anyone and everyone when we were going through IVF treatment. It was my little form of advocacy - just educating people that infertility is common and trying to take away some of the secrecy, shame and embarrassment that seems to surround it. The upside of this is that I never had anyone inadvertently make an insensitive comment to me - everybody was respectful, yet interested in how things were going for us. I would have felt so alone if I hadn't told people. TTC/infertility was such a huge part of my life and if I couldn't talk about it, I would have been stuck for things to talk about

I think it's one of those things that depends on your own personal comfort level, though. Our fertililty issues are male and female factor - I never went into detail about DH's issues (that was his information to pass on as he chose), although I did tell people that we had 'his'n'hers' problems.
:

This was me, too. I didn't go into detail about the whys unless people asked, and most don't. Actually, I have been talking about it for so long, and IF is such a part of our lives now, that IVF almost seems like a normal way to get pg. Yeah, I'm a freak. :

ITA that this is a very personal decision, though, and I can completely understand and respect the need to keep that issue private. (Crazyrunningmama, when I had ppd and ptsd after our daughter was born, that was the thing I couldn't talk about.)

I was lucky that if people had negative comments, they kept them to themselves. I have gotten a couple of stupid comments from one SIL, but she is prone to them anyway, so I am sure if not for the IF she would have found some other way to insult me.

Wife to Thomas, WAH mama to Sofia Rose 8/04, Ellen Marie 10/07, her twin sister Amalie Joy lost 7/07 , and Maya Grace and Hannah Miriam 4/10
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Old 02-16-2008, 12:22 PM
 
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We haven't told many people, who to tell evolves as we go...who we feel comfortable telling. dh is the one with the fertility issues, and so I feel it's in his hands who he wants to know. He feels as though he has so little control right now, I let him decide who knows and who doesn't. I understand that this is pretty huge for a man, a big blow to the ego. We live in a very rural area, where everyone knows the other's business. this is part of our reason for keeping it quiet, the last thing we want is for everyone in our community and those living miles away even to know our business. He worries about how people will look at him, a common worry for men I think.
I guess the bottom line is who you tell should be based on whether this will be helpful to you, regardless of what tehy want to know. If being open about it is a source of support to you, great! if it will only cause more stress, leave it be. come up with some line you can say when people ask and leave it at that.

married to DH, mother to two amazing little boys born May 18/2010 and May 20/2013!

Infertility has been part of this journey - no more littles for us, but so grateful we have two happy healthy boys and we can now begin to heal from that experience

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Old 02-16-2008, 12:42 PM
 
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After a couple of IUIs, I didn't have the heart to talk about the BFNs to anyone and by the time I made it to IVF, I was only talking to one close friend about it. I blogged a bit, but my blog was spammed -- well, I got some nasty comments by some insensitive folks when I got bad news or was just having a hard time with side effects or just the whole process. It took me a few years of ttc w/ART to conceive #1 so my pregnancy came as a suprise to many as they thought that I'd given up. When I ttc'd #2 I didn't tell anyone until I'd suffered a couple of losses and, well, again, my blog was spammed (what IS it with folks??) and I fell apart from the stress of it all. I also needed some support for some surgery I had to undergo and confided in a couple of close friends for the surgery but was somewhat vague about whether or not I planned to continue to ttc (and I wasn't 100% sure myself). I had met a couple of other women IRL at that point from online infertilty boards and they would say things like, "I'm jealous of your pregnancy losses because I can't even get pregnant" ... or "I wish I was your age so I'd have more time" ... so even then it felt lonely. Maybe even lonelier. It took 6 cycles and a few losses to conceive my second child and by then I just didn't talk about it much at all because it was more difficult to talk about it than to not talk about it and I felt guility talking about it with others struggling with infertility. I was just a wreck! Now some of them have made me feel guility because I'm still in my 40s and have frozen embies left so I imagine that if I cycle again it will be a private thing.
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