how to tell

Thanks for all your comments regarding HSG vs. lap. I’m still thinking about it, and I’ll be away most of next month anyway so nothing will happen before September. BTW, I peed on a stick yesterday (14dpo), and guess what, it was negative. So much for that.

With the upcoming holidays and family visits, I find myself thinking about what to tell, and whom. The in-laws know already, not so much on purpose but because we went to see a specialist in their city and had to tell them why we couldn’t be home in time for lunch (well, looking at it now I guess we could have made up an excuse…) Also, everyone knows that I want kids, in fact have been wanting them for a long time, so it would be odd, and not true to myself, to pretend we were waiting on purpose.
On my side of the family, only one of my brothers knows. He’s most open to discussing such things, it just sort of came up and I was fine telling him. Not that I don’t want the others to know, but I don’t know how to start that conversation. It’s not a great thing to tell for sure, it’s not urgent in the sense that there’s a need to tell them now rather than next time I come to visit. Yet I want them to know, and at least my dad and my older brother are unlikely to ask anytime soon. It’s just not in their nature. My business — if I want to share, I’m welcome, but if not, they leave me alone and talk about other stuff.

From the outside, my life must look great at the moment. I live in a cool city, recently got married and now finished my degree — what more could a girl want? She wants a baby. More than anything, really. And while it hurts that I don’t know when and how we will get there, there’s an extra sting to having everyone think I’m doing great.

Any suggestions? How did you tell your families, if you did?

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12 thoughts on “how to tell

  1. i couldn’t keep it from my family bc i’ve been talking about having babies forever. i told my sisters and parents that i wanted to get pregnant asap and stay at home afterwards. so, when baby wasn’t showing up, it was hard to avoid the elephant in the room. so, finally, one day i just blurted out “stop asking me!!! there’s something wrong!” this is what i get for having a big mouth, apparently :o(

    to all my friends, i’ve been using the “waiting for my promotion” bit for a while. that happened in april, and now i’m on a “hubby wants to wait a little longer” excuse. it’s a neverending cascade of lies.

    share if it feels right in the moment. otw, don’t feel compelled to tell anyone, unless they ask and are genuinely concerned about you. this whole situation sucks :o(

  2. We waited to tell our families until we had an absolute plan in place. During all the diagnostics and tests and decision making, we kept everything to ourselves. But once we decided to move forward with IVF, we knew we had to tell them what was up. To tell my parents, we invited them up to our house for the weekend, and we brought it up while just sort of sitting around the livingroom chatting. It ended up being a very long conversation filled with lots of questions and speculation (which is why we knew it was best to wait to tell them until after decisions had been made). You can read about that experience here. To tell Bobby’s parents, we drove down to see them and, same sort of thing, just brought it up while chatting. They had almost no questions at all and it was very quick. I think all of the conversations started somewhere along the lines of, “Well, there’s something pretty important we’d like to talk to you about. We’ve been trying to have a baby for about a year now and haven’t been successful, so here’s what we’ve decided to do.” Good luck to you as you decide how to handle this with your family! I think this can be one of the hardest parts for many people.

  3. I’ve told more and more people, the longer I am in this journey. With each treatment, and each loss, I tell more and more people. I think I’m almost completely out of the closet at this point! But that’s just me – I just hate to hide stuff, I frankly got tired of it.

    I just ran into a friend that I hadn’t seen in about a year, and she said, “tell me what’s going on – with your job, are you trying to have kids, what’s up?” I responded with a slightly longer version of “yes, trying to have kids, not going well, fertility treatments, lost two babies.” She stared at me for awhile… I almost think it’s funny – I know, I’m sick.

  4. This is how I told my mom…”Mom, I need to tell you something and you’re not allowed to ask questions or be a freak about it.” This is the kind of relationship my mom and I have. Mom’s response, “You’re pregnant?” Me: “Um, quite the opposite…” and that’s how the ball got rolling with that.

    Good luck on whoever you tell! I know the feeling of everything seems great and woe is everyone else and you’ve got this HUGE obstacle yet no one can relate or even know…totally sucky. Enjoy your month of travels and hope to hear from you soon.

  5. I shared our journey with very few people…my mom is the only one in my immediate family that knows. Other people I’ve told were out of pure necessity (having to miss a wedding shower for an IUI) and a few friends who have been through similar situations. Honestly, I wish I was braver, but I’m not.

  6. Tough. I don’t think I would ever tell– but that’s just me. I hope you find the strength. It’s hard to bring up monumental stuff like this. As you know, i am having trouble even announcing what should be GOOD news. I am just a don’t-rock-the-boat kind of a person…

    I am so sorry about your bfn :(, and I hope you manage to get things off your chest with your family, with good results.

  7. My Mom is the ONLY family member who knows every last detail. Hubs told his Mom before we went to a wedding in April. It’d been a year and there were cousins with big bellies and it just seemed like it was time to share this enormous part of our lives. I don’t really have a desire to tell a single other soul about it. That said, I totally hear you. It’s, like, this all-encompassing, deeply challenging/turbulent thing we deal with every day/minute/moment….and yet we walk around and pretend (even to loved ones!) like everything is okay. (And yeah, I def feel like my life looks so cool and wonderful from a distance….it is cool & wonderful, but it’s also sad and heartbreaking and horrible and scary, too.)

    All I can say is that this is really, really hard. Hang in there.

  8. I know what you mean about things looking so good to an outsider, and the sting that carries. It doesn’t mean we don’t value the good stuff. But the good stuff doesn’t erase the fact that we don’t have a baby. I’ve told family members slowly, one-by-one. I do think it’s a relief when the people you think should know KNOW. But it’s awkward and difficult to get there, as much as anything (in my case) because I was worried not just about my feelings but about how they would feel about things (would I upset them? would they feel horribly for me? pity me?). At a certain point, though, you just have to go for it. Even though I wasn’t consciously shutting people out, I realized that this is how people were interpreting it. They sensed it. I chose very carefully whom I would tell, but it made things easier once they knew. Not having to put on a happy face is awfully nice.

  9. Like some of the others, my mom is the only one who knows the whole story. And there’ve been times when I almost regretted her knowing. Not because she’s not supportive – she’s my best friend in the world and incredible in every way – but because I wish that I could have spared her the disappointment. Besides my mom, my sister also knows that I have PCOS, don’t ovulate and will/do need medical intervention to right things. She doesn’t know that I just finished my first IUI, but I am going to visit her in a couple weeks and I’ll likely tell her.

    Beyond those two I don’t really have any inclination to tell anyone. And my best (non-family) friend is a doctor, so you’d think she’d be a natural to tell. In all honesty I think that I am reluctant to tell people because I am still struggling with the whole thing myself. I still have feelings of inferiority and failure associated with this. I wish that I didn’t and that I were strong enough to announce it to the world. But, for the time being I am not.

    Good luck to you, though. I wish you the very best and hope for perfect, loving reactions from all those in whome you do confide.

  10. I’m an avoider by nature so my initial plan was to just avoid everyone and not have to talk about it. But seriuosly, thats ridiculous and not at all healthy. My advice would be to slowly tell a select few. I have told some people and completely regretted them knowing as they’ve turned into nosey and annoying sticky beaks instead of supportive and understanding friends. Being ‘out’ has its obvious advantages in that people are more understanding of your position but you have to take the bad as well (you’ll get inundated with ridiculous suggestions of things to try) and sometimes I find it nicer to be around people who don’t have a clue about our problems as it means I dont get those pity looks and prying questions. But in saying that I’m glad that my family and close friends know. It’s nice to share and the thing that suprised me the most was that the people who I least expected to understand have turned out to be the most amazing support. Once you start talking about it you’ll find that there are probably a number of people close to you who are/have gone through this exact same thing themselves. xx Good luck

  11. oh honey, this struggle is so hard and such a huge weight to carry alone. Only you can know what is best for you and your lover, but I can tell you what we’ve done. For the 18 months that ML and I were trying, before we knew anything was wrong, we agreed to tell no one. I lied to my friends and family, saying that we were waiting – for better health insurance, for a better job, until after my sisters wedding, whatever. I felt strongly that conceiving a baby was very personal business, and really didn’t want anyone to know what we were doing in the privacy of our home. Then we got the Azoos diagnosis. I called my mom, my sister, and my bestie that night. My mom was shocked, not only by the diagnosis, but that we had been trying. Same thing with Bestie – she was actually happy to find out that we were trying. I was a hot mess for the next few months, really a blithering idiot. I told my boss (just that we found out that we can’t have kids, not the details), because I needed her to know why I was missing so much work for dr appts, and randomly crying, and totally a zombie. I actually avoided social situation for a long time in order to avoid the question. I was fine lying to people when we first started trying, but it didn’t seem right to lie any longer. I came up with a few pre-planned responses to the are you going to have kids questions – “we’ll see.” “we’d like to.” or even “I don’t want to talk about it.” Those were things I could say without bursting into tears. It has gotten easier, and I have gotten more confident. I don’t like the burden of carrying this huge weight on my own, and the only way that others can know is if I tell them. The details are still none of their business, and I know I can end the conversation at any time. Mostly now I just say, “It has been a really hard year for us. We found out last summer that we can’t have kids. We have lots of doctors helping us now. It has been really difficult.”

    “The Silence” is a really important topic, and something that we are struggling with. Best of luck to you as you navigate this journey. (hugs) foxy

    PS – not sure where you live, but I’d totally recommend Dr.T – if even for a free 10 minute phone consult.

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