Friday, May 30, 2008

Reunion of the Pregnants...and Me

Tomorrow my childbirth class is having a reunion. A reunion at which we'll exclaim how much bigger everyone's pregnant bellies are. A reunion at which we'll ooh and aah over the babies who were born between then and now. A reunion at which good news of new pregnancies will be shared.

Yep, I'm in for some fun times tomorrow.

I tried hard to think of a way not to go. Except the problem is, it's being hosted by a friend who lives in my building. So it's kind of hard to come up with an excuse for not being able to take the elevator downstairs.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm trying too hard not to appear infertile or affected by infertility. We don't talk about it in concrete terms with anyone, except my friend T, so no one but her knows that we are definitely struggling and have been trying actively for more than a year. But it's fairly obvious. We've been married for almost three years, and all our friends who are at the same place that we are have had kids, so of course they know that we are probably trying too. But somehow, it seems as though if I don't talk about it, it won't be real...

Then another part of me just wants to stop hiding. No, I can't make it to the party on Friday because I have my hysterosonogram that day! No, I'm sorry, I can't go into class on Monday because we're having a follow-up with the fertility clinic then! Yeah, I'm sure you're really tired because you're pregnant, and I'm really tired from peeing on sticks every few hours! (Okay, so maybe not that one.)

I want it to be normal to talk about what we're going through. I want to not have to feel like I have to hide it from people. I want to share it with people because that's what friends do, they talk about what's going on in their lives. And IF is what is going on in our lives right now.

Yet at the same time, I just can't. I feel like I'm not supposed to be so open about IF. That people don't really actually want to hear all about what we're going through. But also that if I don't acknowledge it openly, maybe it won't be as real as I'm afraid it's becoming.

30 comments:

Mrs. Spit said...

Ah, I can emphathize. Except we didn't take a prenatal class before pregnant. We have friends that have 2 and 3 and 4 children, we are used to being left out.

I'd say that you tell people what you are comfortable with. You go where your are comfortable. Don't want to go to a baby shower, send a card and a gifts and your regrets. From an etiquette point of view, your are NEVER required to attend. And really, any friend who is close enough to know about the details of IF should also be close enough to know that such invitations should be handled with care.

Just my 0.02

Emily (Apron Strings) said...

Yeah ... I can relate to the "wanna talk about it, but don't wanna talk about it."

I'm with Mrs. Spit. Tell people that you feel comfortable with; don't go to places that make you feel uneasy.

I've gotten to the point that I can no longer attend baby showers. I'll send a card and a gift along with my best wishes ... but I just can't go.

In my experience, IF is something that people are not comfortable "hearing" about. They might express genuine concern for the situation, but they just don't like to hear the details.

It's sad, I know ... but seriously? This is why blogging is so therapeutic!

Wishing you the best tomorrow ... and big HUGS to you.

Steph said...

I always get nervous talking about it because every person's response is different. Sometimes I have to explain so much of the science part when all I want to hear is I am happy for you!

Either way, I have been pretty open with everything because infertility is our reality. We can not get pregnant (without a true miracle from God) without IF treatment. This is our life; our truth.

Good Luck!!! :)

VA Blondie said...

I would have to agree with other comments. Go with what you are comfortable with.
Personally, I also have a hard time with baby showers and baby parties. I send regrets. If it is someone I know, then I may send a gift. I recently got invited to a 1 yr old's birthday party. I may send my regrets, and Hubby may have to go it alone. I just do not want to go.

I recently started being more open about IF. I just got tired of hiding it. The response has been mixed. Some people will take in stride and try to talk to you about it. With others, IF is a real conversation stopper. You never know how people are going to respond.

Busted said...

That doesn't sound like a fun reunion.

Agree with others that you tell what makes you comfortable. At first we told no one we were trying because I wanted to surprise people when we got pregnant(ha!). Then I didn't want them asking about details. Then I ended up telling everyone. For me, it made things easier, and it made me feel comfortable demanding sensitivity, but sometimes you may just not want it all out there.

(Here via NCLM)

Pepper said...

I'm like you: I've kept my TTC completely quiet, but I'm finding that I would love to be able to give and receive the support that telling people might mean. When a friend is talking about an injectables cycle, I don't know how much I can say. If I show how much I truly know then the cat will be out of the bag, even though sometimes it feels like letting the cat out of the bag would be a relief. But I keep mum because I know that once the cat is out in the open, there's no getting it back in.

Go with your heart. There's no shame in IF and perhaps talking about it will get you more support.

BTW, I'm visiting from NCLM

Katt said...

It was so hard for me to be around pregnant women during the worst of our IF treatments.

I'm sure I made people uncomfortable because I wasn't able to keep it to myself. If we were going through something the poeple around me knew about it. I'm sure they wished I wasn't so open.

I gave myself permission to not go to events like that if I knew it was going to be too hard. I think people understood.

Maybe you could have a "migraine?"

scarredbellybutton said...

Ugh, definitely time for a migraine or sudden bout of vomiting.

I found it wasn't worth it to try to be open about IF. People don't get it, they don't care, and they say really stupid hurtful stuff.

Sassy said...

I'm so sorry. Sometimes I can talk about it and ask any questions anyone has, but sometimes I just need to be left alone. You should do whatever makes you feel comfortable and nothing more. You owe that to yourself. Don't be afraid to call in sick, it happens.

tryingtoconceive said...

Aren't you SO glad you have a blog? I was just thinking this week how open I can be and how I don't have to worry about making anyone uncomfortable if I'm not positive or pleasant about being infertile. Here you can complain and moan and cry and almost everyone who writes back validates you, says I've been there, too and its okay. You're normal.

I feel like I can only talk about the medical procedure side of IF with my friends. They ask, "What's next?" and I tell them we're waiting for this, or I take this for that long. They are comfortable with the clinical stuff. They are not comfortable with the feelings and emotions of it.

Good luck, whether or not you decide to go.

Take care of you.

DC said...

Maybe it's a sign of weakness, but I can't and won't do baby parties at this point. It's just too hard to be around little ones. It makes my body physically ache.

I think your classmates would certainly understand if you couldn't make it to the reunion, since you and your hubby are obviously struggling. If you choose to openly share this fact with friends and family, I believe you'd be surprised at the level of support you will receive. I know I was. We've been embraced by our loved ones and have experienced so much warmth and encouragement throughout our infertility saga.

Good luck! I'm sending virtual hugs your way! :)

JuliaS said...

They have reunions??

I wish you luck and are able to decide the best course for you as to staying or going.

Best wishes.

NCLM

Juicy said...

My sister told me at the beginning of the year that I can say no if I don't wanna do something and I don't even have to give an excuse. It's been like a weight lifted off me b/c I am often saying yes even though I don't want to do whatever it is I just said yes to. I give you permission to say no and give no excuse or justification. :)

We've been TTC for nearly 6 years now and I get sick of the comments people make and the questions they ask. I just laugh now and give them a snide remark.

Good luck to you guys.

Momma Mary said...

Mrs. Spit said it. You should NOT have to go if you don't really want to.

I wouldn't. I wouldn't. I would have other obligations. Things that would take me out of the house. My husband would be taking me on a date, or I'd have something else going on.

Nit said...

Hola from NCLM :)

I totally get your apprehension about talking about IF...I only recently came out of the closet to my friends & family. You are right though, many people dont want to talk about it. Either because they are unsure of what to say to "make it better" or they just don't know enough about it. I think you should do whatever feels most comfortable for YOU.

And I admire you for being able to attend a class full of pregnant women! :)

momofonefornow said...

thanks for the comment, and you are right iron commenting is nuts. I cannot keep this up a whole month!

Chris said...

I hope you made it through the reunion OK. It sure sounded stressful.

It's always so hard deciding who to tell, and how much to tell. All you can do is go with your heart.

Visiting from NCLM . . .

☆ Loren ☆ said...

Thanks! I'v never been much of a dog person myself, but this past december i was really down and depressed (thanks to IF!) and i decided a puppy would help... and it did! :) She is my baby! I'm not sure she knows she is a dog though..she sleeps in the bed under the covers between Me and the Hubby. Haha! ....
I only have the wii right now. I really want the Wii Fit though. The Fit is made to work you out... the Wii is just working me out because i don't know the meaning of excercise haha! But if your considering getting one and dont mind spending the pretty penny for it, i give it 2 thumbs up!!

Hope your having a great weekend too! P.S. I give you tons of credit for being brave enough to atend a birthing class with all thr pregos...i couldn't do it!! Your one brave woman!!

InfertileMadWoman said...

((((HUGS)))

I so totally feel your pain, I remember it all to well!!!

ms.bri said...

Here from NCLM.

Totally do not go to things you don't want to go to. I skipped all showers when I was in the bad place. And there were many. Many. 43 friends had babies in the time it took us to conceive.

I am just the type of person who shouts everything from the rooftops. Everyone knew what we were going through and sometimes someone said something annoying (well, often someone said that fricking crap about relaxing but I learned to let it roll right out of my head fast) but often they asked questions. I just can't see hiding it. I just can't see being a part of the climate that creates stigma by hiding how common it actually is. People should talk about it because it is true. And people should realize that they are fortunate when they make babies easily. It shouldn't be taken for granted.

Katie said...

Via NoComLeavMo...
If you don't feel comfortable don't go. Develop a sudden migraine, have a crisis at work, or just say sorry can't come and leave it at that. That's your right as a person.

DC said...

How did it go? Did you decide to attend??

margalit said...

I think it's a lot easier to be open and honest than to try and hide what's going on in your life. People are usually very empathetic and understanding and want to be there for you. Of course it's your choice, but for me, being out there about my 8 year struggle helped keep me sane.

Found you thru NCLM!

baby Torud said...

It is so hard to know who to tell and who not to tell. The hardest thing for me was talking about it-that is why I started blogging. Everytime I would talk about it I would start crying-mainly I just couldn't understand how this could be happening. Some very close friends know about it and my family knows. I don't really talk about it with people-everyone that knows reads my sight to get the info-other than that we have our normal day-to-day conversations. One thing I have learned is that you need to do what is best for you, and if that means not going to a reunion or shower, so be it. Only people that are going through IF will completely understand. If you ever need to talk, I am a click away!

sara said...

Over from NCLM. I agree, being open about it is very difficult. I still have problems talking about it with people, or how many feelings have been at various pts in our journey. I wish you the best of luck and hope you get some answers soon.

Jendeis said...

I hear what you are saying. The thing is, even though there are many people dealing with IF out there, so many of us struggle with it silently that no one knows about it. Maybe if we all felt that we could talk about it, we wouldn't have Charlotte York Goldenblatt talking about how she was able to conceive because she relaxed.

alicia said...

oh wow! not a fun party at all. When people ask me if I have kids, I tell them honestly, we are infertile, we have been trying for 2 years, we still are and now we are adopting. If they feel its ok to ask a personal question then I lay on them the truth. usually they stop asking, especially if they are just nosy strangers!

Kim said...

I remember all of our friends and family having kids while we were trying. The worst was when we got lapped - more than once! I found it so helpful to share. I never would have known so many people struggled with IF and loss if I hadn't initiated some conversations. But everyone is different so I say do what is right for you! NCLM

surpriseofunfolding said...

Here via NCLM - through "we're barren, how 'bout you" comment.

I agree with the general sentiment here - at some point you just have to take care of yourself, even if that means bowing out of some events. remember, "having plans" can mean having plans to take a hot bath and watch a good movie.

I also agree that keeping IF so private doesn't help dispel the "shame, shame, don't talk about it" culture around it. But I also found it very hard to be open about IF even though I believed I should talk about it more. I was very careful about who I confided in, and had great support from them. My lifeline was the Yahoo support group for those ttc #1 (this was before I knew about blogging).

Your comment on the other blog caught my eye 'cause I'm a Canadian too! I did my IF tx in Toronto. The insurance here seems much better for the general public than in the USA, but not everything is covered. Still, it is more affordable here, we are lucky.

While it is important to be a good friend to others, etc. it is also very important to be a good friend to yourself - even when that might mean "letting others down" - please look after YOU also.

tragicoptimist said...

I can really empathize with what you've written about trying too hard not to appear infertile. I didn't want to tell friends that we were trying, but then after a year or so, I realized that I wanted to talk about and that I wanted people to know that we were having a tough time. So I decided that I would answer honestly anyone who asked me the dreaded questions about if / when we would want kids. Of course, only one friend asked me anything. Poor guy probably got a much bigger earful than he expected, but he was very kind and supportive. It's why I ended up writing a blog, even though I didn't start until after we got pregnant. I wanted my friends (in real life and in the Internets) to know what we'd been through, and that I was open and happy to talk with anyone who had the misfortune of going through the same thing.