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Hey All,

So I've been trying for 15 months. I am kind of a private person, and started out thinking, let's not tell everyone what we are doing (hey it is our sex life anyway), especially if it takes a bit, I don't want everyone asking. Plus, it just seems private. Well, fast forward 12ish months, I start feeling like now I have a problem and feel awkward that it has now been a year and I haven't been talking about TTC at all, how to we jump to infertility?

A few days ago, DH and I have a talk, he really doesn't feel good about the white elephant. Feels like we are lying when people when they say, "What's new?"
We say, "Same same." I have to agree with him there. But then I keep reading about all the endless insensitive comments people keep making to people on this board. I am glad I haven't had t o deal with it much. I fear as we let go of the white elephant, a certain insensitive fate will no doubt be in our future.

Just wondering if anyone has any reflections or thoughts in this area.
 

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It's not lying or wrong to keep your personal business private. When people ask what's new, they don't generally expect really big personal things to come up - no "well, we had a knock down drag out fight and he hollered he wanted a divorce. What's new with you?"

I haven't dealt with infertility (saw this on new posts) but a friend did. She got a lot of support from an online board for infertility. Turns out one woman she'd known for ages online turned out to be someone we both knew IRL.

But you deserve support IRL too. I'd confide in a sister or best friend - and swear them to secrecy so you don't end up discussing it in Starbucks with a friend of a friend.
 

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Yes, the insensitive comments are somewhat unavoidable, but at the same time having the support of those around you can be a real relief. For us we ttc for 6 years before I got pregnant & in that time I had to watch a LOT of friends have a baby (or 2). Them knowing (at least the gist of it) what was going on for me meant that I could more easily bow out of uncomfortable situations & that sometimes people would try to talk about something other than pregnancy & babies.
 

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Unfortunately, I think the insensitive comments are somewhat unavoidable. Even if no one knows you are ttc, there is bound to be someone who starts joking/teasing about you not having children yet. We didn't tell anyone when we started ttc#2, but eventually (around 1.5yrs after starting ttc), the comments from family/friends/aquaintances were so relentless that we had to tell them there was more going on. At first we just said that we had been trying for awhile now, and that things weren't going well. We never announced that we were ttc either, but eventually people started asking us (or worse, asking ds when he was going to be a big brother
. Now that ds is almost 6, I have gotten a little too open about it, but it's only because I cannot stand to listen to any more suggestions/comments/criticisms without at least letting them know that we are dealing with IF. I don't always tell someone everything going on, just that there are dx medical issues (no, it's not just stress and we don't need to just relax!).

That said, if you aren't hearing any comments yet, and aren't ready to share that you're dealing with IF, then don't. It does feel like you're lying (or at least it did to me), but it's still not something I was ready to talk about. When I did finally say something, it was said out of anger because of a horrible comment MIL had said. Not the way I wanted to let her know, but hey, it worked.
 

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I don't tell. And I don't regret it at all. My family is great and they love me, but my mom is famous for saying the Wrong Thing in any situation and I knew it would make me crazy to know they were all discussing it far and wide (no avoiding it - swearing them to secrecy doesn't work). And it would be harder for me to have to explain it and answer all of their questions, educating people who have NO IDEA about IF is a lot of work and I just don't have the energy for it. We were "lucky" somewhat because I went for testing early in the process (TTC for 9 or 10 months) due to irregular periods and they ordered an SA just in case. It showed that we have severe MF and our only chance is with IVF with ICSI. So for me, having to go from "yes, we're trying" to explaining IVF/ICSI just was too much. It was enough for me to take care of myself going through it, and that's where I needed to focus - taking care of myself. I don't feel bad at all for lying. I did choose 2 close friends who I trust (and who are not linked with any of my other friends or my work!). Those two and online have been enough. Oh, and a counsellor who specialized in IF and an energy worker.
 

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I too haven't told anyone IRL that we are trying again. I made the mistake of mentioning it to both sets of parents when we went thru it the first time. My mom then thought it was best to call me every other day to see how things were going. It appears that she forgot that it takes 30 days for one try and I didn't like to be reminded of that part of my life all the time. On the other hand, my in-laws never mentioned anything. It was a bit awkward there as well. I think my mil knew it was private and my fil is kinda clueless with this stuff and probably didn't even catch on that we were having trouble.

This time around, I've only shared with those who have also gone thru if. It's so much easier that way and it turns out that I do have a few friends that have had similar struggles and will help as needed. If you don't know of any, probably they haven't told either. Just take note of conversations and see. When I mentioned to one friend that it was a "long and hard road" to having my dd, that opened the gates for her to come to me with her problems. I had suspected, but wasn't sure. Now we support each other.

Regardless, don't feel pressured or like you are lying. Do what is best for you and your mental stability during this difficult time.
 

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I've been there! I'm a very open person (probably too much so) and my DH is very private. Initially I kept it private that we were TTC but when I finally DID get pregnant (after a surgery) I was so excited that I told everyone. At first it wasn't a big deal but as the IF issues built up & time passed the people who were at first VERY supportive were not so much interested in being supportive anymore. They turned more critical. I started feeling like I couldn't/shouldn't talk about it with even my closest friends b/c I felt like I would be #1 burdening them with my problems and #2 opening the door for insensitive, yet well meaning, comments.
The average person, having no experience with IF, generally doesn't know how to talk about it. Plus, since pretty much everyone knows at least the jist of what has been going on with us, my friends who DO get pregnant on their own seem to be afraid to share it with me as they feel bad for all that we have gone through. Which in turn riddles me with guilt for having shared too much with them. I AM genuinely happy for those women who have no issues, just sad that I have my own issues. Conversely, for those that think we are "just having a hard time getting pregnant" I seem to be the first person they call to tell when they are pregnant. Like this is somehow going to give me hope & make me stop thinking about my own IF.
I think you need to protect yourself, emotionally. And if telling a few white lies here and there will help protect you...I say lie away! In the end, when you DO start your family (however that may be), if someone says "why didn't you say anything?" They will completely understand when you tell them all that you went through.

Good luck!
:
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Julia'sMom View Post

Regardless, don't feel pressured or like you are lying. Do what is best for you and your mental stability during this difficult time.
That's exactly what I meant!
 

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I have only told my parents, my sister, my therapist, and 2 friends about my IVF journey so far. I have avoided it at work because I don't want to hear anyone's opinion of what I am doing. If you don't like it, that's fine, but I don't want to hear about it. I work with some very religious people and I don't know what they think about it all. Also I don't want them to be down about it over fears if I have a baby I might leave.

But my biggest reason for not telling most people is in case it doesn't work, I do not want to relive and tell the story over and over how I failed. But if it does work people are always happy for you and it's happy to tell people.

I think it is good to have someone(s) you can trust to talk to about what you are going through, IRL. You just have to pick your person carefully. There's nothing wrong with keeping infertility private. It really isn't anyone's damn business!

I get sad when I have patients ask me if I have kids and if I want any. I always get vague and don't know how to answer. I don't say yes because if it doesn't happen I don't want to have to tell them why and go into my whole infertility saga. I always say "maybe." But I want them more than anything!!!
 

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this is a great thread. I had avoided telling ANYONE because I thought it was private, didn't want to deal with all the insensitive comments, and the constant asking from my mom about how it's going. She is sweet and cares, but just asks and asks and asks about something even if it's pretty clear you don't want to talk about it.

I finally told my best friend, who just went through a miscarriage. We were discussing reproductive things anyway, and I felt I could let it out. It felt really good to talk to her about it. She is supportive but not in a sappy kind of way, more a sharing stories and commiserating together kind of way. She did reassure me that we have a lot of time, because we are "only" 28, but that didn't bother me. I do feel this urgency sometimes, like we have to get pregnant NOW, but really we do have more time than some others, and I do feel lucky for that.

The comments so far have been really helpful and interesting to read. Thanks and hugs to all of you.
 

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I'm in that same spot. One of my sister knows because she's a nurse and is helpful when it comes to asking questions. Everyone else in our life is clueless. I really don't want to have to justify to anyone our decisions with regard to TTC. My sister is great and agrees with me completely but I haven't yet found anyone else that I feel would even remotely understand our position on TTC/IF/treatment.

Heck, yesterday even our waitress at the pizza place (It's a family owned place and we know pretty much the entire family from DH's work) asked when we're having kids. I told her that we didn't really need kids since DH works with them and that's enough hard work.

Sometimes I fantasize about shocking people by saying something like...You have no idea how difficult it can be to get pregnant for some people and then bursting out crying! I think it would be such a release for me but would be horribly embarrassing for DH.

So, we continue to pretend that DH doesn't want kids now since he works with them all day. On the inside, I just start to break down a little bit each time someone asks.
 

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I've told a lot of people, and had mixed results. I think for me finding those few people IRL who are a great support was worth all the ridiculous remarks that I get. For some people I had to spell it out. "Do not bring it up unless I do - I don't always want to talk about it. Don't give me any advice or offer suggestions. I know way more about this than you do, and I want sympathy, not advice. Don't ever imply that I'm doing something wrong." But people have mostly been great about not saying the wrong thing. The people who have said the most hurtful things have been my mom (saying I should pray harder, thereby implying that my lack of faith is the cause of this) and someone who didn't even know I was having difficulty (my eye doctor - who is basically some random person).

My bigger problem is that I sometimes feel like people tiptoe around me - there are these conversations about babies and parenting, or who has gotten pregnant recently, and I know everyone is thinking, "oh, poor songbird, maybe we shouldn't discuss this while she's here" and while I hate those conversations, I don't want to be THAT person and it's not their responsibility to avoid these topics. It's like avoiding talking about dating or SO's in front of your single friends.. they don't want to hear it, but they don't want you to tiptoe around them either.
 

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We started out not telling anyone. I really thought we'd get pregnant pretty quickly. After 7 months I told my mom and then my younger sister. The only reason I hadn't told her was I wanted to tell people in a surprise kind of way since we live states away and people don't see us often - keeping it secret was quite easy. Mentally and emotionally, keeping our trying a secret and not getting pregnant month after month started taking a toll on me (and my DH), and I don't have any close girlfriends where I live. I don't regret telling my mom, because she is really good about knowing when to ask and when not to ask how things are going, usually I bring what's happening lately up. I do regret telling my sister off and on - the only reason being that she is really close to one of my cousins who has a baby and a toddler and last time I was home and when she was out here, all she does is talk about those kids. I'm sad to say I get tired of hearing about them, especially when my sister knows how much I want a baby and that we've been trying for a year. It would be easier for me to excuse her or feel better about her conversations if she didn't know we were trying. She has said a few other comments - I don't know if I can say they are insensitive since she has never TTC yet nor will she be doing so in the near future - I'd say her comments are more ignorant and based on what she thinks happened when my cousin was TTC.

There are a couple of people since then I've told and they don't really ask much, they can see that I'm not visibly pregnant and I know they care but know I'll tell them when it happens. One of my additional reasons for telling my mom (especially since I don't have close friends), was that if I were to get pregnant and then have a miscarriage, I would want at least one woman to turn to so I don't feel as alone. My DH was a little different. He wanted me to talk with my mom so he didn't have to feel so weighed down with my emotions every month, coupled with not having anyone to talk with. He just told his mom a month ago, since we were visiting and pretty sure that the baby conversation would come up since one of his cousins has a 6 month old baby. MIL hasn't said anything to me about it and probably won't, even though I know she cares and wants a first grandchild like there's no tomorrow. She'll respect a level of distance.

In part I believe that people really don't understand unless they've tried and not been successful in this. It reminds me a bit of death comments when people aren't always sure what to say. They try to be comforting or provide what they deem to believe as helpful advice, try to downplay the issue a bit to make it not seem so bad, and try to make you feel as though it'll happen at some point. In the end, I believe that they are showing they care and although it's not how I would always prefer to be cared for, at least they are making an attempt. A part of me also feels that having at least a few people know how long it took for us to conceive a baby, the more special it is going to feel when we tell them because they will know how hard and long it took us.

Best wishes in your decision - do what you feel is best!
 

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I don't tell many, just a couple of really close friends whom I trust. Otherwise, if you tell folks you are just kind of close with, they will tend to say dumb things. Even close friends can sometimes, but at least you can feel free to set them straight!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks everyone for all your comments.

JenBuckyFan I think we are in pretty similar situations. My husband has also mentioned he thought it would be helpful if I could talk about it with someone that had a little distance on the situation, which I can understand.

He also thinks we are isolating ourselves which is making it harder for us. Like by making this problem a secret we are somehow making it worse by cloaking it in shame or something. I kind of agree, but am not sure if the pros of telling outweigh the cons. At any rate, he feels pretty strongly about it, and feels like I am making most of the decisions about this, so I am going to concede a little. I'm not sure who all he wants to tell, but if it is important to him not to feel like he has this big secret, then I want him to feel he can tell people.

Thanks everyone. Bring on the rude remarks!
 

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blueRhino,

I'm still not sure if the pros outweigh the cons in the end. For me, it's still a struggle feeling like I am failing at what should be easy since my body is supposed to be able to conceive, and I sometimes feel ashamed and don't want to tell people because I am embarrassed. At other times I know I should not be ashamed and it really shouldn't matter who knows - so many people do go through this and so many people don't say anything out of shame and I want to stand up and say 'yes' I am having trouble conceiving despite being healthy, exercising, eating right, etc. Once when talking about pregnancy with a small group of friends, I was told 'oh you're the kind of person who when she wants to get pregnant will get pregnant with not problem'. I sometimes wish I would've told her we'd been trying, but I wasn't ready at that time.

I see infertility and ttc as a couple issue. Sometimes it feels like my issue moreso, but I know it's my DH and I in it together. I don't think it's wrong for you to concede if you are comfortable with whom he's telling. I would definitely be open with him if there is someone you'd prefer him not to share this with, and he needs to respect that there are some people you may not want to know, at least at this time.

It's hard to go through this, and what I keep reminding myself, is that when I eventually get pregnant, I do believe that it will happen someday, I don't want to look back at this time and feel I isolated myself so much or put off having fun or meeting goals because I was yearning so much to be pregnant. I thought I'd have a baby in my hands by now - I don't, so for the time being, I'm training for a marathon, something that I figured I'd put off until after having kids. In order to help not isolate yourselves, maybe you two can look at some goals or fun things to do in the meantime that will help you also look back on this time as a time where you were able to spend some time on you and do some things you hadn't planned on doing.

My thoughts are with you as you continue on this path, and as you work through this hard time together. And of course, best wishes that we will all end up with a baby down the road!
 

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I knew I was going to have trouble conceiving so I was open from the start with friends and family. Yes, some of the random comments were hurtful but the support I got from everyone was much much more important.
If we had been silent about this my daughter's birthfamily might have assumed we didn't want kids at all and not thought of us when they found themselves pregnant. I've also become a few person some female friends who are trying to concieve have come to for encouragement and advice.
There is always some risk in opening up to people. I'm saying one has to but I think it's good to have a realistic idea of why you aren't.
 
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