Thursday, June 11, 2009

To tell or not to tell? That is the question!

Ok, so here's the deal of why I need this blog so much. I am a very private person and can't stand having others in the "real world" know my business. But even more so, I hate showing signs of weakness or anything less than perfection. Yes, I know, I put a lot of pressure on myself. Always have. And no, I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination!

That being said, we have told NO ONE about our struggles to conceive - no friends, no family. And as we gear up for our first IVF cycle, we don't plan on telling our immediate families until the end (though my mom is coming up to visit during our cycle so we may not be able to avoid her seeing the millions of needles and vials of medicine around the house).

Part of the reason for keeping mum is that I think the disappointment from them if the cycle doesn't work out would be too much to bear on top of our own disappointment.

But I do want a community of some sort - a group of "virtual" people that have been there, done that, or are still doing it...that's where all of you come in!

So what are your thoughts? How much have you confided in friends and family during this process? Helpful? Not helpful? Would love to know your experience.

And P.S. I don't want any of you to think that I'm embarrassed of having to do IVF and that is the reason I've been quiet about it - it is more that I don't think I could stand the sympathy and disappointment from family and friends if, God forbid, it doesn't work out. Just want to clarify!


  1. I actually told more friends than family because they understood better. After my first two losses, I didn't tell my family until I was actually 15 weeks pregnant.

  2. Most of my family/friends knew about our struggles...miscarriage on first pregnancy from clomid...that was hard...then we got the diagnoses about my husbands poor that somehow came out in the open...then we did ivf...miscarried around 9.5 wks :( So being that I was pretty sure this was never going to happen for us, I didnt want anyone to know about our last and final IVF. I actually kept it all secret til I was 16 wks and VERY much showing...out of paranoia...but I am proud to tell people my twins were conceived via IVF. It is just the road we traveled and I am amazed at how many times I hear "oh yeah my cousin did that" or "i have a friend who is having trouble, who was your doctor, ill tell her about him" feels good to help!
    BUt I can totally understand keeping it under wraps...sometimes I wish I had.

  3. We didn't tell our immediate family (parents/sibling) until we'd been trying for a while and were moving into injection IUI. They've mostly been very good about respecting our boundries and been able to support us without adding pressure. It helps that my Mom had trouble as well, so she can empathize more than my MIL who was a fertile myrtle.

    Most of my support outside of family has been from the virtual community. On the downside, my husband hasn't shared with anyone outside family and doesn't have the online community to help process so he feels more alone than I do.

    I think it's good to have both types of support - from people who've been there, and from people who've known you before the cape of infertility landed on your shoulders.

  4. I haven't told most of my family either, except for one sister (who I told very little to) and my Dad and Stepmom (who we needed to borrow money from). I understand. Only the internets know all my secrets.

    Welcome to blogging btw.

  5. I was like you when I first started, for many of the same reasons. The only people that knew were a few friends that had already gone thru IVF, and were great resources for me. But as I went through IUI and then IVF, I got into more situations (like having to do IUI #2 on Xmas eve, and having to delay my trip home) where I had to come clean with various people. That said, my husband and I have chosen to not tell specific people, for specific reasons. Mainly because of our anticipation of thier overreaction/invasivness/know-it-all-ness/lack of support. So we pick and choose. But as we move farther along on this journey we will likely tell more people.

  6. This is a great question, and something I struggled with as well. We made the mistake of telling people we were TTC, so unfortunately, the infertility conversation had to happen after that because everyone was wondering why I hadn't announced a pregnancy yet.

    Obviously, you have to do whatever is best for you. My advice is if you are going to tell people, tell as few people as possible. I feel like too many people know my business. I'm a bit of a perfectionist myself, so others knowing that I am failing at conceiving kills me. And once you tell people, there is no going back. Oh, how I wish I could go back!

    Good luck with whatever decision you make. :-D

  7. We're both very close with our families, so they have been in on our secret the entire time. We're fortunate because they're pretty good at knowing how to ask the right questions at the right time. Although, it was hard the first couple of years we were trying because they just kept asking if we were pregnant yet. I finally had to tell them how hurtful those comments were and they stopped. Now, they're nothing but supportive, understanding, and empathetic. Usually. ;)

    By the way, I have found incredible support from a group of ladies at conception-obsession dot com.

  8. Thi first peopl I told were friends who I knew had or were currently experiencing infertility themselves- I wanted advice. Then I told my close girlfriends who, luckily, reaally "got it," and have been a tremendous source of support. But nobody gets it like a fellow IFer, and the great thing about this blog world is you can find people (beause it is so huge) who have very similar experiences and/or you just "click" with (ha ha - pun acknowledged!). Anyway, I did tell my mom and dad, because they live overseas and so I could control the flow of information over e-mail, but NOT my in-laws, because I feel like they can be really judgemental sometimes. You really do take a risk in making yourself vulnerable by sharing such a personal, painful, and OFTEN misunderstood thing. Sometimes it pays of with support you never dreamed of finding, sometimes you regret it, You can't really know ahead of time. I'd say for me that (like you, I am a very private person) it all hinged on how much I trusted the person, and how much they love me (the real me, not the "prfect" facade I show my in-laws). Good luck finding your balance!

  9. I started being open about my IF a couple of years ago. I did not intentionally bring it up, but I would mention it in passing. Most of my co-workers knew when I was moving from IUI to IVF. The downside of being open is that everyone you tell knows what happens, or wants to know what happens with each cycle. Most of the people I told about IVF have been pretty understanding.

    In the end, it is a personal decision about how open you are. It depends on how comfortable you are with your IF, and how comfortable you are with the people you tell.

  10. I have been very open, and if I had it to do again, I wouldn't have told many people. Once you open that door, you can never close it again...justmy 2 cents!!!