My CCRM IVF Journey

Our successful journey through IVF #2 at one of the world's top fertility clinics

To Tell or Not to Tell? That is the Question

Posted by auntiem10 on June 26, 2010

How much information do you tell friends and family regarding your infertility experiences?

I am really interested to know how much you tell your family and friends about your infertility procedures. Do you completely shut them out? Do you give them a glimpse into your life? Do you explain the procedures in detail? Do you let them read your blog? Or do you fall somewhere in between?

My DH and I were open books¬†about our first IVF cycle. Why? Because we thought it would work, and we wanted to share our excitement with our friends and family. When it ended badly, we regretted telling them. Having to answer questions or give details while holding back tears was just terrible. Some family members felt the need to give us their uneducated opinions–in fact, my asshole stepdad was mad at us for proceeding with IVF because we “could have used all that money to adopt.” Obviously he has never felt that ache to conceive children of his own!

Going into IVF #2, no one IRL knows about our plans. All of our friends and family think that we’re waiting until next year to move forward. My DH and I both feel that this is the best decision for us, but it will be difficult to keep such a huge secret from family members/friends we are close to. However, it will enable us to move forward without having to hear others’ opinions, see pitying looks, or answer intrusive questions.

Now we’re trying to figure out what to tell coworkers, family, and friends who will surely notice our absence. We hate being less than honest, but we know that vague answers aren’t going to suffice. We told them all last year about CCRM, so we don’t want to mention that we’re going to Colorado because they will surely suspect. We’ll have to figure something out soon!

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8 Responses to “To Tell or Not to Tell? That is the Question”

  1. LisainSK said

    Hey Auntie Em,

    Great topic. Thanks for sharing your disclosure experience after your first failed IVF. So far our immediate family and a handful of our closest friends know we’re seeking treatment in Denver. Also, both our supervisor’s know. So that’s enough of the world to know!! So I kinda think we’ll probably disclose to them when we’re in Denver and likely the results. If any one of them ever said we should have spent the $$ on adoption I would seriously freak on them that second. i kinda suspect that’s how my FIL feels…but I just shrug it off. I don’t like how he does alot of things either. So not sure…kinda playing things as we go? Sorry not much help.

  2. LC1 said

    We are very open about it, with our first cycle, we thought for sure it would work first try and we were so excited and told everyone- just like you did. We finally had success on our 3rd cycle. I think I would have regretted telling people if it never worked or if it had taken much longer- like you said- the intrusive questions, the pitying looks, opinions from those who are clueless. We have been able to help quite a few friends who are going thru similar situations by sharing our story, and I am thankful for that and it least it gives our struggle a purpose. We’ve become really close with one couple who was doing IVF and we’ve both been a great support this past year to each other since we both went thru two miscarriages. I was able to give a lot of advice to my close college friend as she embarked on her first IVF (I am a pro now)… her first failed and I supported her in a way no one else could… she had success with twins on her second cycle. Sometimes I regret telling people about it all especially now that we’re struggling even more than we did for our first…it scares me that it may never work again and I’ll have to deal with the questions, pitying looks for the rest of my life… No one knows about my blog (not even my DH) but we have another family blog where I keep family and friends updated on IVF and life in general… but do not share deep thoughts or vent there. (I am sure I’d offend someone!!)

  3. We were completely 100% open about IVFs 1-4. Number 4 was at CCRM. Honestly it was really hard sometimes having everyone know because they knew almost instantly when things didn’t work. But, they were also a great support during the IVFs. I had amazing friends who sent care packages and the like…
    IVF #5 we kept a secret at first because we knew everyone would think we were CRAZY. In the end we told everyone but my Mom, but that was because my Dad had just had a massive stroke and she didn’t need any more stress. She still has no idea we actually saw a second line on that cycle…but in the end it would have killed her to know we came that much closer and still wound up with nothing.

    I know it’s a tough call, you just have to do what you think is best.

  4. Cassie said

    We are pretty much open about it by now, though at first we didn’t tell anyone. We actually had to tell my parents our first year of doing IVF (2008) because my mom was going to take care of her sick mother during Thanksgiving and suggested that we invite my dad to come to our house for the holiday. I really couldn’t come up with any good excuse for why my dear dad couldn’t come to Thanksgiving, so I had to tell them that we were having a transfer around that day and wouldn’t be having a very fun Thanksgiving. In fact, the transfer did end up being exactly on T-day. So since then we have been open and told them most of what we were doing. But we have grown more subdued about it as the failures have continued, and though we will answer any questions they ask, haven’t been volunteering too many details. Although I did just ask my dad some medical advice when choosing our donor, and we had a pretty deep conversation about that. We have been lucky that our families have been so supportive, not too nosey, and so far no one has made any insensitive comments.

  5. A.E. said

    Here’s what happened with us…During IVF #1 it was a huge secret. No one knew about my blog, much less IVF. My parents were the only ones who knew, but DH’s parents did not even know. When we got a BFN, I was heartbroken and told everyone. Strange, huh. The reason, though, was that I felt my children DESERVED to be known. To be grieved. To be missed. And they truly were. I found so much comfort in my friends and family knowing that I once was a mom, if only for 8 days. So here we are at IVF#2 and everyone knows. Why? Because I have 6 embabies sitting 15 minutes from my front door and I want everyone to know that they are on this earth. If they are only the size of a grain of sand, well, that’s big enough for me. I guess the point is that secrecy felt right during IVF#2 and complete honesty to everyone feels right during IVF#2. I don’t think there’s a right or a wrong. It sounds like you truly might feel more comfortable keeping this on the d.l. Whatever is best for your state of mind is what’s right. And if that changes, well, that’s okay too. You take care of yourself.

  6. A.E. said

    One more thing…still no one knows about the blog. It is the one piece of privacy I keep for myself. I’ll never tell about the blog. I really feel like what goes on between all of us is kind of like a sacred trust.

  7. Susie said

    I have struggled so much with this! For me, it has been trial and error. I actually cut some people out of the loop (to the point of saying, “Oh we’re not really telling people about what’s going on” and even saying, “I have nothing to share” to one particularly nosy person). I got to the point where I didn’t care who I offended for not sharing what’s going on, because after all, this is SO PERSONAL. I eventually learned to do whatever felt right to me. I liked telling the people who never brought it up (they waited for me to bring it up) –and I kind of “rewarded” their respect for my privacy with up-to-date information. It’s difficult not telling many people, because it’s helpful to have a circle of friends to offer support, but that can make things more difficult when things don’t go well. The blog really helped me stop talking about it as much IRL because I developed a really good support system here. Very few people know about the blog. DH knows but hasn’t read it. Two of my best friends do read it and my acupuncturist actually has read it some, too. It was a good way to keep them in the loop when I was out in Denver. Good luck sorting all of this out!

  8. niobe said

    We told no one about our first IVF cycle until I was 12 weeks pregnant. Unfortunately, the twins were born at 26 weeks and did not survive. At that point, I wished that I had never told anyone anything about the pregnancy or the babies.

    For the next two IVF cycles with frozen embryos, while I posted on my anonymous blog, we didn’t tell family or IRL friends until just before the baby was born (and in some cases, just after).

    However, the only reason I was able to get away with this is that the subsequent two cycles were with surrogates, so I wasn’t the one who was pregnant.

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