Sunday, July 27, 2008

Talking About IF

How much do other people know about your infertility?

We never told anyone when we decided to start ttc. Why would we? "Hey, we're going to make a baby!" It just isn't something most people do, right? But we had been married for almost 7 years when we started ttc. I'm guessing most people don't wait that long. For us, we waited because of different reasons. I guess at first, we just wanted to be married and enjoy it just being the two of us. Then it was we'll wait until after we finish our degrees. Then it was let's wait until we have a house. (Well, I was ready much earlier than Steve, but since it takes two to make the decision...we waited.)

We tried for about 8 months and talked with our family doctor and my obgyn about some things we thought might be issues. We started the process of having an SA done. Then my family doctor and the obgyn suggested we see an RE, a reproductive endocrinologist. That's when we decided to talk to our immediate families about us having some issues. I guess we mainly did it for the support. It's hard enough going through all of this. It's even harder when people make comments or ask when you are going to start to have babies. I guess I figure if people know, they will be more sensitive.

Most people have been supportive. I have had a couple of instances where someone has said things to me that have hurt my feelings, and it has caused me to shy away from them with any IF news. I guess it's just a self-protective kind of thing. I don't want to feel hurt by anyone else's opinions or comments.

I guess I was wondering if it would have been easier had we not said a thing about what we've been going through. I don't think it really would be easier. In fact, I would probably feel so much more isolated and upset. I guess right now I feel like I have to censor myself with certain people and that's tough enough.

Do you talk about your IF issues with anyone? Are you glad that you do?


Joannah said...

Good post! IF isn't easy no matter how you approach it, but I've found that being open about it is what works for me. Some people still say insensitive things, but I believe they don't mean to be hurtful. I just don't like being too private and secretive. It's just not in my nature.

Suzanne said...

I tend to talk about it more and more lately. I am a teacher and have found that many of my coworkers have gone through IF, so it is a great support system.
My family has been through this with my sister, so they understand how difficult it is. My In-Laws, however, just don't understand the process or how to talk about it, so I tend to not talk to them.
I started the blog so that my friends and family wouldn't have to ask every time I see them and could read if they were interested. It has helped in that I don't have to explain the same thing 20 times!
Also, I feel that people need to know, that it just isn't easy for everyone and to be sensitive when asking about children.

Good luck to you!

Hope2morrow said...

Well, Babe and I haven't shared much with anyone. I have about four close friends who know and that's it. Both of our families know we have been trying and things aren't working, but they don't know the depths we have ventured. My family asks too many questions and the stress of them asking after every procedure, and the statistics, and what this will do to my body, etc is more than I want to bear right now. I don't doubt my decision to not share for one second, although it would be nice to have a bit more support. Guess that's why I have my IF bloggers.

Suzanne said...

Prior to the IVF cycle, I didn't share much of anything. I got a few questions after the ectopic but I think that was because I was off for 6 weeks.

I was so excited with my first IVF cycle that I told almost everyone if I had the chance. Every little aspect of the cycle was so exciting to me. When it failed and I had to deal with all of the questions and disappointment of other people, I learned my lesson.

Only a handful of people know about our upcoming FET cycle. I just didn't want to deal with everyone if it fails. I came to the conclusion, as you did, that people don't normally announce when they start trying to conceive - why should IVF be any different?

Lost in Space said...

As far as family, my DH's brother is the only one who knows we are even trying let alone that we have been through a lap, hysteroscopy, HSG, D&C, IUI, and 2 IVFs. It can be very isolating and I find myself pulling further away from them. For me, it is still better than telling them because I know they are not capable of supporting us in a useful or constructive way.

Four of my girlfriends know about our struggles, but I didn't tell any of them about IVF#2. Like Suzanne said, the questions and aftermath of a failed cycle were just too much.

I sometimes wish I were more open with everyone about our struggles, but limited exposure to this has told me that you have to be ready to educate people on a pretty regular basis about medical issues, procedures, terminology, what comments are hurtful, and why certain situations are difficult. Most days I just don't have it in me to do this so I know keeping our IF journey private IRL is still the right choice for us. I can't say I like it, but it is what it is.


Wendy said...

I'm really lucky to have so many friends online who understand. Thanks for everything all of you wrote. We told a lot of people about IVF #1. Not so many about IVF #2. And very very few about the upcoming IVF #3. For now, it seems easier that way.

Miah said...

I am very open about my IF. It depends on the situation but usually I tell anyone who asks. It is for support and also to let people know it isn't always that easy. Don't take fertility for granted.

So far I really haven't had anyone make any of the typical suggestions to me. Maybe it is the tone in which I tell it.

Jen said...

Well, since the entire world reads about my vagina, it's safe to say that everyone knows about our reproductive debacles. Once I started on Redbook, it was completely public knowledge.

I think it's hard either way. People say the wrong thing if they don't know, and when they do know. I think it's been good because we don't have people asking us why we don't have kids yet, etc.

Such a personal decision.

Me said...

We've told my immediate family and DH's immediate family + grandparents + aunt/uncle + aunt. Some people, like MIL and my sister are wonderfully supportive. Some people like SIL and uncle make me want to punch them in the face every time they open their mouth's on the topic.