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How do you tell friends what NOT to say?


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#1 Clover83

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 11:26 PM

Hello, this is my first time posting on a fertility forum. I'm generally feeling terribly heartbroken, sad and alone these days and I think it's time I sought out support, even if online. All my of best friends and closest family happen to be pregnant right now, and they never really know what to say to me. I don't have anyone if my life that has struggled with infertility. How can I improve how I'm coping? How can I acquire support from the real people in my life, even if they are all at a different stage than me?

#2 nervus optimist

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 11:32 PM

Welcome.... I'm sorry that you have reason to be here but I'm glad that you've found us. Please know that you are not alone. I think that is one of the most difficult things about IF, is that people don't often talk about it, so in the 'real world' we can feel very alone. For me, I found that with people who didn't get it I didn't try to explain it to them. I created distance when I needed it and didn't when I didn't. When I needed genuine support from people who truly got it - I came here.

 

Not sure if that helps, but that's what worked for me.

:flowers:


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I am 37, DH - 38
Genetic - IVF&PGD to prevent Genetic Disorder
IVF #1 - Nov/08 - MC @ 6 weeks, no embryos frozen
IVF #2 - Aug/09 - bfn
IUI #1 - Feb/10 - ectopic
PRIDE - Apr/10
Homestudy - July/10
Given the gift of donor embryos - Jan/12
Donor FET Jun/12 - 9 weeks - no heartbeat... MC
Donor FET Oct/12 - we're PG biggrin.png

===> Beautiful baby boy born 2013 babyboy.gif

Donor FET Oct/16 - chemical


#3 CdnHockeyGal

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 09:10 AM

So sorry you find yourself here Clover - IF is such an emotional drain. I have had a mixed bag of reactions from friends IRL. It can be hard for those with no experience to support us as they don't have the tools or education to know where we are and often in their attempts to provide comfort...they wind up fumbling the ball badly. Hope you find this community to be as supportive as I have. Wishing you all the best on your journey.
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We've tried lots of things for a long time. None of them have resulted in a viable pregnancy.


#4 Kayte

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 11:39 AM

I know just how you feel, and I feel so sad for all those overwhelming emotions you're dealing with. You described it so perfectly. It is a tough, lonely, isolating journey. I can't even imagine my life without this board. It's a great support and awesome knowledge base.

 

I'm in a different place than you in my journey. It took years but I'm now blessed with a child. I did feel partially wrecked as a person by the time we achieved our dream. Things like certain friendships, feelings about family and my career were drastically turned upside down and became very upsetting. It's strange and sad in the other aspects of life, this journey. The effects of infertility stretch far beyond that elusive child we want in our arms so badly.

 

Some things that have helped were to seek out the infertility counsellor at my clinic. I needed support and especially as time passed also needed support to deal with the lack of support or empathy I was experiencing in my personal life!!  If that makes sense. I felt like before facing infertility became the main priority in my life, I had so many friends to hang out with and talk to. The new loneliness or feelings of disappointment were such a shift. So talking to someone has been helpful. Emotional and mental health is so important! It's one thing we can be in control of - is seeking that self-care out. (My benefits cover 10 sessions a year. If I didn't have this, I'd pick a trusted person to regularly talk to and make sure I am communicating.)

 

Also, this one is really hard for me, but eventually DH and I realized we had to tell our families how their actions were impacting us. This took us years. I regret that time where we felt so terrible and I laid awake so many nights. In that time I started to believe there was something wrong with me, and I began to feel guilty about my infertility - like if it was actually a big deal, for the people who know, wouldn't they be better, kinder, gentler, more helpful to me? I really allowed it to change me and I wish I hadn't.

 

We were super chicken about really, truly speaking up. I hate to cause conflict and have always been the type that is scared to hurt someone even if they have hurt me. It was actually our counsellor at a certain point that said to move forward we needed to tell our parents and siblings the types of things they do or say that are hard for us. Or that when we were open about a loss or struggling with our circumstances with our families, they didn't really react, offer to help, or to listen - they'd even change the subject. And would never check back in again. We'd tried to in the past in the moment to speak up but it never went really well and we weren't prepared. It made me feel sick to my stomach to have to confront family when we were feeling low, and almost ask for them to be caring, empathetic and flexible. It just felt wrong.  But I was spending too much time looking at other people's families and relationships and how nurturing and involved they were, and assuming this is how everyone was or that because it would be nice if they were this way on their own initiative, it might happen someday. If it wasn't happening naturally for our families, we had to step in, inform, guide and then at least know we had tried our best to turn things around.

 

Some statements our counsellor gave us were, "When I ____________ and you say or do ______________, it makes me feel _____________."  (abandoned, shameful, lonely, alone)  She also suggested that we communicate some resources that can help to understand (online links, Resolve website) or give examples of scenarios that would be hard or triggering for us, and how they could approach them. I wouldn't have put this on pregnant friends, but for our families who are self-declared to be very caring and family-focused (!) I was like, you should be able to handle this. I'm going to try.

 

I watched all of my close friends have children and complete their families while we struggled. It was very hard. What I found was that my closest friends were considerate. If they were considerate or expressed they felt badly about my situation, it wasn't as hard for me to be around them or feel happy for their growing families. When I feel like someone cares or realizes how hard infertility is, that means all the difference for me. For those that dropped me or just avoided me, I just let those friendships fizzle out because I couldn't manage their own awkwardness in addition to my infertility. That is a sad part of infertility. But I did find some of those people were right at my side when it was finally my turn.

 

Depending where you are in your journey or what you're preparing for, some of this advice might be too intense, some of it might be better. And if nothing applies, have faith and hang out here, we will be more than happy to pull you along on the tough days!  xo


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#5 quandry

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 02:57 PM

After the advice of a counsellor, I once wrote a letter to my mil and sil (sil was pg and mil made me bawl on the phone after telling me sil got pg by praying. Which I had already been doing. It's a long story but I was gutted).

The letter was not welcomed by either woman. In fact it made things ten times worse at least. Never again will I say anything to anyone. It's pointless and not worth the breath wasted to inform someone of how I'm feeling and how their words hurt. They don't give a damn and they just want to say what they want to say plain and simple.

The only people I discuss our situation with are those from this forum. Outsiders do not and cannot get it for the most part. I'm sure there are exceptions but I've yet to find one.
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See about me page.

 

 


#6 gibasgirl

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 06:21 PM

Are your MIL and SIL my siblings? Are we related by marriage, Quandry? :)

#7 quandry

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 06:49 PM

Hahaha gg. Maybe. You are my sister right? Wink.
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#8 gibasgirl

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 10:45 PM

Yes we are sisters, Q.

After what my siblings did I needed a new family and many of the lovely ladies here adopted me. :flowers:
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#9 quandry

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 07:28 AM

Yay! I have no family in the province so this is perfect!
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See about me page.

 

 


#10 Clover83

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Posted 28 June 2016 - 08:22 AM

Hello and thank you all so much, this is been overall a very helpful and satisfying first experience with an online forum and I already took some of the advice given. In particular I had a great chat with my best friend the other day, who just found out she's pregnant. I was wondering if anyone knows where I can find out about in-person support groups, in particular in Montreal?

#11 Kadima

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Posted 03 July 2016 - 07:01 PM

I've always been an open book and being an open book has made this experience a lot less terrible. People don't inadvertently say insensitive things to me because they have an idea of what's going on. When people who don't know say things like "just relax and it will happen" i correct them by saying: "we are way past that... it might happen but it will cost a lot of money and it will take a lot of technology". 

When people's response to my lamenting about the cost of infertility is something along the lines of "well, get used to it, kids cost a lot of money", i respond by saying "when you wanted to get pregnant, you made 30$ per month from no longer being on BC, how is it fair that i need to pay 10G of my own money just to get pregnant?!"

 

Usually, that shuts people up. They either are more sensitive or don't bring it up. Don't suffer in silence. 

 

 


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TTC since January 2014, first appointment at OFC September 2014-->PCOS, leuteal phase defect, morphology 2.5%

6 cycles of Clomid, successful on the 6th try May 2015

Fetal anomalies lead to a termination at 22 weeks October 2015

January 2016 IUI #1 unsuccessful

March 2016 IUI #2 Chemical

May 2016 IUI #3 Chemical

(All IUIs were with Gonal F 50 IU and Ovidrel)

 

Started estrogen priming protocol for IVF number #1 (funded cycle!)

ER on October 12th, 29 follicles, 26 mature, 24 fertilized with ICSI

Freeze all cycle due to high risk of OHSS. 4 5-day embryos frozen.

Was planning for a medicated FET in January 2017 but somehow miraculously conceived naturally!

First u/s Dec 6th, measuring right on track 6w2d