Things not to say to your infertile (or struggling to conceive) friends - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 98 Old 08-13-2008, 04:25 PM
 
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The "just relax" comment tend to be annoying but it was the worst coming from my MIL who experienced IF herself and had several miscarriages. We'd been TTC for nearly two years at that point. Later on, I got to hear about people she knew who adopted and later got pg.

Around the two year mark, we began persuing fertility treatments after being delayed due to moving and insurance issues. I started on Clomid with my RE and set up an ultrasound appt at my GYN's office to save me a 40 minute trip - each way - to the RE's office. The ultrasound tech asked how long we'd been trying and told me that "two years isn't that long". I replied with something about how it's felt like an eternity to me. Then as I was leaving she said that maybe I'd be like her sister and end up having quads - I couldn't think of a comeback for that. Needless to say that after that appointment I sucked it up and drove the extra 40 minutes! :

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#62 of 98 Old 08-13-2008, 05:41 PM
 
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Not to hijack frog's thread but I've noticed there are a few of us who've made the decision to stop TTC. After talking to frog and getting some fabulous input from her, I created a tribe for us Mama's without kids

-Rachel

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#63 of 98 Old 08-13-2008, 09:52 PM
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For some reason reading all of this makes me feel better. Maybe like, okay I'm not the only one who really feels damaged by comments like these.

So, mine is probably not a unique one but the one that really hurt, was, after finding out the bad news from DH's SA, (and as an ADDED BONUS I had just started my period - since TTC a very rough day for me emotionally), I called my sis, the one really close female friend in my life and nomally a truly, compassionate and beautiful soul. I was sobbing, on my lunch at work, and just had to talk to someone. She said "well, Dia, you can always adopt, maybe this is what god wants."

Whoa. at so many levels, just whoa. I can tell you that at 25 I am in no way mentally ready to give up hope for my own fertility, I just am not. Bringing a child into my family via adoption would be a truly beautiful thing, but there is just no way someone dealing with IF is right away gonna go "oh, gee, yeah, why didn't I think of that - forget pregnancy!!! Who needs the stretched out body anyways! I'll just adopt!"

Thanks frog for posting this is totally cathartic.

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#64 of 98 Old 08-14-2008, 07:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks frog for posting this is totally cathartic.
You're welcome--it is for me, too.
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#65 of 98 Old 08-14-2008, 11:13 AM
 
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Originally Posted by girlie1125 View Post
The next is, since we're gay, "Oh, why don't you just adopt instead?". As if its like getting a stray puppy. Like you can go down to the baby/child shelter, pick one out, sign a few forms, and be on your way!
Amen to that one.... as a lesbian woman, I feel this comment is especially insensitive, because it completely disregards the fact that I, like most heterosexual women, actually want to be pregnant and have that experience, as well as a biologically related child. As if because I don't have a husband that means that being biologically related to my children doesn't matter at all to me. And because I'm not a "real" wife, I shouldn't care about the incredible and beautiful experience of pregnancy. Adoption and foster care are actually avenues that my partner and I are planning on going down as well because we feel strongly that we want to help children in need, but that doesn't mean that I don't care about having a child of myself too!

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My HUGEST peeve, and I'm not sure how much straight people dealing with IF deal with this, but I imagine they do, is everyone's feeling like they can judge your decision.
Again, amen!! My partner just recently had a pretty bad falling out with one of her lesbian parent friends over this one. We've had some recent financial blows, as well as some drama with my family and while venting to her friend whom she assumed would be supportive, the friend actually asked her if she thought it was a good idea to be bringing a child into our family right now. I mean, I know that being a lesbian affords you the luxury of choice when and whether you will try to conceive (no "oops" moments here!) but why should things have to be absolutely perfect for us to deserve to have a child?
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#66 of 98 Old 08-14-2008, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, Astraphell! Somehow, it's that much worse when the stupid things are said by people we think love and support us. The first two on my list fall into that category--the "just pick up a guy in a bar" was said MONTHS ago and I just can't let go of it.
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#67 of 98 Old 08-14-2008, 11:24 AM
 
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This thread is sure an eye-opener. I know I have been guilty of saying some of these things. I feel just awful now.

<--Will keep mouth shut in the future.
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#68 of 98 Old 08-14-2008, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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AO, I suspect we've all said these things, you know? Or things like them in other areas of our lives. I once got into a huge argument with a friend about pitbulls, of all things, and I said some stupid crap about not allowing my kids in her house and blahblahblah. I was an idiot, I know better know, and she forgave me.
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#69 of 98 Old 08-14-2008, 11:29 AM
 
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#70 of 98 Old 08-14-2008, 03:31 PM
 
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My personal most-hated:

1. "If that happens, you'll just go on bed rest and it will be fine!" Dude, have you noticed I have a toddler, and you know, A LIFE? (Said by my best friend -- a doctor -- in response to my concerns about high risk pregnancy and hypertension.) Not strictly about infertility, but related.

2. "Relax and everything will be fine." Did I hear you right? You just said "Relax and sperm will magically appear in your vagina at the exact right moment, and then you will magically ovulate and magically lengthen your luteal phase and your blood pressure will magically go back to normal and your scarred cervix will be bathed in healing light and everything will be fine." Srsly?

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#71 of 98 Old 08-14-2008, 03:34 PM
 
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My earlier post was all about anger...but Frog's comment about hurting more when it comes from someone that's supposed to love you and support you reminded me of another.


Upon explaining the donor sperm process:

"Won't that be like having a stranger in the house?!?"

said by my MOM.





I didn't speak to her for a week. She asked my Dad (who she's not on good terms with) to stop by my house with a homemade banana nut bread for me (she knows its my fave) as the start of an apology.

She has changed her thoughts on this, but after the 5 failed IUIs last year, I haven't told her about our FET this month. I don't plan to unless/until I have good news for her.


And one last thought to the rage-inspiring comments...I've decided from now on, if we are mentioning ttc to ANYONE, (like the atty to whom we were posing second parent adoption hypotheticals) or *knock wood* should we ever be successful and they start on the "But why another? Take mine for a day (that the atty said!!!)" or questioning my parental readiness criteria, I plan to address it. Head on.

For now, I'll be starting with a simple: *wide eyed blink* Wow. *slight chuckle* that was totally inappropriate! *subject change*

I will of course accept other, better, perhaps more snarky ideas from any and everyone.
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#72 of 98 Old 08-14-2008, 03:42 PM
 
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I'm jumping in from new posts. To those of you have experienced infertility, can I ask what is the best kind of thing to say? I have several friends who are in that situation and I feel so much for them. Sometimes I think maybe they hate me because I have twins, and wasn't trying to conceive. So I'm wondering if I should bring it up, like "how's it going with the ttc thing?" or not bring it up....or what.
Some of these comments are SHOCKINGLY insensitive. I'm quite sure I've never been that bad, but I do wonder how to show that I care without hurting their feelings! Sorry to get OT
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#73 of 98 Old 08-14-2008, 03:50 PM
 
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Melaine - I can't speak for everyone dealing with IF, only for me personally. If they know you well enough to have told you about it, I would think inquiring about it every once in a while would be welcomed. Obviously, if there was good news to report, you likely would have heard it already. But I think it takes some of the ... isolation...depression...shame? out of it to be able to speak to people about it and not have to hide.

Something like "How's the RE going?" or "How is ttc going?" is fine. If all you get is "its going..." then they probably don't want to discuss it.

But I would also say that "I know I don't understand exactly what you're going through, but I'm your friend and I do care about you and am here if you need to vent, or just want someone to listen." can go a LONG way.

People get so caught up in feeling like they need to provide a solution when someone has bad news. Not so (I think in many cases, not just IF). Empathy, I think works best. "Oh, that sucks.", "That must be hard to deal with", or "that treatment sounds promising". Something that pretty much just says that you were listening to me, and you can value my feelings of despair, sadness, anger, frustration, or whatever they are at the moment.

Whenever someone tries to say "It'll happen! Give it time" or "Just ___, and it'll happen" it feels like they're invalidating your feelings. Like you don't have the right to be upset about all you're going through.

That's how *I* feel, anyhow. Not sure how widely it applies to others dealing with IF.
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#74 of 98 Old 08-14-2008, 03:56 PM
 
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I think that sounds like good advice. I think if it were me, I would want to talk about it, to a certain extent anyway....I really dreaded telling several friends that I was pregnant with twins I knew if I were them I would hate hearing it even though they were happy for me...it was incredibly awkward. But I have never really offered any solutions, just sympathy...and my prayers.
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#75 of 98 Old 08-14-2008, 04:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by girlie1125 View Post
Melaine - I can't speak for everyone dealing with IF, only for me personally. If they know you well enough to have told you about it, I would think inquiring about it every once in a while would be welcomed. Obviously, if there was good news to report, you likely would have heard it already. But I think it takes some of the ... isolation...depression...shame? out of it to be able to speak to people about it and not have to hide.

Something like "How's the RE going?" or "How is ttc going?" is fine. If all you get is "its going..." then they probably don't want to discuss it.

But I would also say that "I know I don't understand exactly what you're going through, but I'm your friend and I do care about you and am here if you need to vent, or just want someone to listen." can go a LONG way.

People get so caught up in feeling like they need to provide a solution when someone has bad news. Not so (I think in many cases, not just IF). Empathy, I think works best. "Oh, that sucks.", "That must be hard to deal with", or "that treatment sounds promising". Something that pretty much just says that you were listening to me, and you can value my feelings of despair, sadness, anger, frustration, or whatever they are at the moment.

Whenever someone tries to say "It'll happen! Give it time" or "Just ___, and it'll happen" it feels like they're invalidating your feelings. Like you don't have the right to be upset about all you're going through.

That's how *I* feel, anyhow. Not sure how widely it applies to others dealing with IF.

EXACTLY how I feel. I hate to bring it up because I know that if I do it will turn into a huge rant and be totally overwhelming to whoever I am talking to...but at the same time I really want to talk about it to whoever can be bothered to listen to me. And it's not like I want advice...I just want to get it all out.
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#76 of 98 Old 08-14-2008, 04:16 PM
 
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I second what both girlie1125 and no5no5 have said
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#77 of 98 Old 08-14-2008, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Non-solving affirmations (heh) and love are perfect, IMO.

When we were ttc, I was usually happy to field questions and talk about things, but I didn't bring it up because, well, most people don't want to hear about my cervical mucus while we're having lunch, you know? It's hard to know how to bring it up when it's such a focus for me--having someone who loves me inquire was VERY welcome.
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#78 of 98 Old 08-14-2008, 04:29 PM
 
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...well, most people don't want to hear about my cervical mucus while we're having lunch, you know? ...
Hilarious!!! and yet SOOOO true!

My DH doesn't even want to hear about that kind of thing. I tend to be pretty vague with him as far as the details go. It just grosses him out to hear about everything going on in "his playland"
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#79 of 98 Old 08-14-2008, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hilarious!!! and yet SOOOO true!

My DH doesn't even want to hear about that kind of thing.


Yeah, turtle hit the wall with all of that, too. Good thing I had my MDC buddies to talk about stretchiness and floating ability and whatnot.
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#80 of 98 Old 08-14-2008, 04:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Melaine View Post
I'm jumping in from new posts. To those of you have experienced infertility, can I ask what is the best kind of thing to say? I have several friends who are in that situation and I feel so much for them. Sometimes I think maybe they hate me because I have twins, and wasn't trying to conceive. So I'm wondering if I should bring it up, like "how's it going with the ttc thing?" or not bring it up....or what.
Some of these comments are SHOCKINGLY insensitive. I'm quite sure I've never been that bad, but I do wonder how to show that I care without hurting their feelings! Sorry to get OT

I was wondering the same thing. I just don't know what to say beyond"that sucks" and "it isn't fair".
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#81 of 98 Old 08-14-2008, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was wondering the same thing. I just don't know what to say beyond"that sucks" and "it isn't fair".
Sometimes, that's all you can say. Affirming the suckitude can be really helpful, IME/O.
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#82 of 98 Old 08-14-2008, 05:18 PM
 
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Validate their feelings ("That must be really hard") ... one of the things that is so crazy-making is that I never know if my feelings are totally out of proportion to the problem at hand. It helps so much to have people tell me that they understand how crappy it is.

Mom to a little boy (June 2009)
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#83 of 98 Old 08-14-2008, 06:01 PM
 
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So many of the remarks I've heard are understandable when I know someone just doesn't know what to say and wants to say something. Usually I just focus on their intent rather than their words, so comments about adoption or "Gds plan" don't bother me.

But this one did bother me. A friend of mine (who has 5 kids that she always says she didn't even want or she'll say in her next life she's only going to have one ), recently asked me "How are you doing that?" (like she was disgusted by it).

I wanted to say "Some of us actually want kids." Instead I said something about the ends justifying the means. I'm sure it would've felt great to tell her off but I guess it's best I didn't.
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#84 of 98 Old 08-15-2008, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Gah, Organic Sister! Totally irritating!
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#85 of 98 Old 08-15-2008, 07:49 PM
 
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Great thread, frog, thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by girlie1125 View Post

"Any chance you're pregnant?" None, dude. None at all, unless you think there's a "chance" that an agnostic midwestern lesbo was chosen for immaculate conception.


Too funny.

Ditto to a lot of the comments already posted. We haven't been actively trying very long, but DP and I went to the doctor with the intent of trying about two years ago only to find several health roadblocks. My RE kept telling me we could try in 2-3 months, only to have it extended another 2-3 months each time we went back hoping to get the "all clear". On one of the appointments that she once again told us we'd need to wait 2-3 months before beginning TTC, she said, "I'm sure that's a relief - who wants to be 8 months pregnant in July!!" I started crying right there in the exam room and said I'd be pregnant in the freaking Sahara.

I also regret telling several close friends about out TTC struggles. With the best of intentions they manage to make me feel awful - or press the subject when it's just too tough to talk about. Ah well.

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#86 of 98 Old 08-15-2008, 10:37 PM
 
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It's good to not be alone.

I'm in a slightly different situation. I'm single, not dating, no prospects for dating, don't really care about dating, relationships, getting married. I'm a committed bachelorette. But I want a child.

So I went to my Gyn, she recommended that I go see HER fertility doc, who has no issues working with single women (He just grills you to be sure this is what you want, but in a good way). I started working with the RE and you know how the rest goes. BTW - the donor catalog thing is surreal. Picking a daddy the way you would underwear from Sears.

More blood work then I get done at my annual physical, pokes, prods, and what the hell is up with that vaginal sonogram? My ovary is NOT up by my lung, for crying out loud. But in the end, everything is where it is supposed to be and is still there. My cervix healed well from the LEEP, though I will need to be watched closely.

If I ever get pregnant. I've only done 1 IUI, but it failed. And I hate that word: Failed. I spent several days trying to figure out what I did wrong. But I did nothing wrong.

Sorry, got off topic there.

I've told a few friends, who have been nothing but supportive. I have a friend who was going through IF, and her and her husband are finally expecting. : She understands what I'm going through. I have another friend who thinks she can will me pregnant. She means well. And when I started this whole journey, she found out she was pregnant (only 3 weeks behind my other friend).

I seem to get other people pregnant. :

Everybody has been incredibly supportive. It's great. I've been lucky. There has been the random "Guy in the bar" comment, but considering the people that said it, I let it slide.

Then there is my mother. Her response:

Don't do it. You'll get bored. I know I did. : Apparently my brother and I bored her.

She said this because I do tend to get bored easily. But WTF? : We don't talk about it, though I would love to be able to.

My Dad? He's ready to build a crib. I just need to give him the go ahead.

So here is to us all. May we be able to put up with those that don't understand, don't care, and suffer from major cases of foot-in-mouth disease.
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#87 of 98 Old 08-16-2008, 01:44 PM
 
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I seem to get other people pregnant. :

Ack! I thought it was only me

I seem to have the same affect on friends around me, too

And how sweet of your dad to be waiting to make a crib
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#88 of 98 Old 08-16-2008, 02:22 PM
 
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I am so glad to hear that I am not alone.

I think I just did one myself though - sorry, Pleasantly Furious, I just told you about my SIL who had FSH through the roof and then took 100mg of clomid and it happened. I apologize. I was not meaning to be one of THOSE people!!!!

I honestly thought there was really something wrong with me when people would tell me to go on vacation - possible I suppose with a tank of sperm - and I was a fool for not giving up my stressful job and being barefoot broke but pregnant immediately!

When I was trying to get my green card and have an employer sponsor me to stay in the US to be with my partner, people would say - "isn't marriage legal in Hawaii" -it was the 90s - or "why don't you just get married" (ie to a man)
Yeah, why don't I just get married to some weirdo that I don' t know and risk being blackmailed or pay him a lot of money and then if I get found out by the government I will be deported and won't be able to come back here ever !Sounds like a fabulous idea - I don' t know why I did not think of that before!!!!

We have been planning this for years but could not afford it, now we can, I have a stressful job, I was not ovulating, my dad died, our condo flooded, I had an evil boss from hell, so one year later from when we started preparing for this and only a few months into trying ( we are on try #3) I am taking clomid and progesterone and hoping like hell it is working. So I know I have not been around for anywhere near as long as you all, but I appreciate what you are all saying.
Oh yeah - the adoption one - my old boss would say that to me about once a week - I think she must have had amnesia -and I would have to explain yes. we have thought about it but it is so much money, time, effort, heartache, etc etc.
And our house is so small that I doubt we could convince the home study social worker we were fit for a child!!!!
Thanks for listening!
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#89 of 98 Old 08-16-2008, 05:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by girlie1125 View Post

For now, I'll be starting with a simple: *wide eyed blink* Wow. *slight chuckle* that was totally inappropriate! *subject change*

I will of course accept other, better, perhaps more snarky ideas from any and everyone.
What I always later wish I had said is "What are you trying to achieve by saying that to me?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by girlie1125 View Post
People get so caught up in feeling like they need to provide a solution when someone has bad news. Not so (I think in many cases, not just IF). Empathy, I think works best. "Oh, that sucks.", "That must be hard to deal with", or "that treatment sounds promising". Something that pretty much just says that you were listening to me, and you can value my feelings of despair, sadness, anger, frustration, or whatever they are at the moment.

Whenever someone tries to say "It'll happen! Give it time" or "Just ___, and it'll happen" it feels like they're invalidating your feelings. Like you don't have the right to be upset about all you're going through.

That's how *I* feel, anyhow. Not sure how widely it applies to others dealing with IF.
Exactly! And that is also the kind of training I got when I volunteered at a crisis line: validate, you can't fix it, you can listen and show that you care.

Quote:
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When I was trying to get my green card and have an employer sponsor me to stay in the US to be with my partner, people would say - "isn't marriage legal in Hawaii" -it was the 90s - or "why don't you just get married" (ie to a man)
Yeah, why don't I just get married to some weirdo that I don' t know and risk being blackmailed or pay him a lot of money and then if I get found out by the government I will be deported and won't be able to come back here ever !Sounds like a fabulous idea - I don' t know why I did not think of that before!!
Sounds like a great idea! Why bother joining the current century and making marriage between same sex partners legal when you can just break the law, marry a stranger and complicate your life. Sorry, Canadian side rant - I just cannot get over what the big deal is in the US. I wish you had been able to marry your partner to help you get a green card!!

This whole thead is why I don't tell. Even when people don't know there's still some ouches. A friend from my dd's playgroup noticed something was up and kind of kept asking, so I said that I had thought I might be pg, but I'm not and I'm disappointed (the truth is that I just went through IVF, got a BFP and am now miscarrying). She said it's a good thing I'm not going through ART like her SIL, wouldn't that be way worse. Ya. Whew. Good thing...

mama to two DD's, 7 and 3 (3 rounds of IVF and more FET's than I can remember)
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#90 of 98 Old 08-16-2008, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Angi View Post
BTW - the donor catalog thing is surreal. Picking a daddy the way you would underwear from Sears.
Isn't it!? I used to tell people that we were limiting our search to left-handed jazz enthusiasts.
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