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An Audience?

Posted by BeanSprout , 26 August 2010 · 1479 views

It occured to me last night as I was replying to a text message from yet another friend asking about our "procedure", do we have an audience? It didn't start out with many people knowing. Two close friends knew who had either gone through a couple of miscarriages but ultimately conceived or knew someone close to them that had gone through fertility treatments, as I'd asked each of them for advice or insight. My best friend knew as she's my rock for everything. My DH's mother and his sister, who is a nurse and had offered to help us if we ran into any difficulty with the injections, knew. That's all it started out as...5 people. I'm just in shock as to how it got so out of hand and so many people were now privy to our struggle.

I think it starts out innocently enough. We decided to fly to my home town to see my parents, my brother, his wife and their two children--we had originally planned on a trip at Christmas but if IVF worked I'd probably not feel like travelling 6 months preggo and of course the cost involved to fly anywhere at Christmas is far more than any other time of the year. We take special precautions going making sure we have a dr.'s note for my syringes and meds and that our times with flying and renting a car for the two hour drive to my parent's home will coincide with my injection times. What we don't take into account is how we are going to explain the giant bruising and swelling on my stomach from all the injections when I'm in a bikini in the sun. Now my parents and my brother know. We are now up to 7.

Our first IVF treatment was smack dab in the middle of summer. Bless my father-in-law's heart for wanting to have a fun family vacation on his boat but when he gets an idea into his head, there is no changing his mind. Of course this little trip happened to coincide with my potential ER and ET dates. We tried explaining that we couldn't say for sure we'd go but as soon as we knew we would give an answer either way. That satisfied him for that evening but come 8am the next morning, we had a phone call from him wanting a yes or no answer. And now, DH's father and stepmother are part of the "in the know" group. Poof! 9 people are in the know.

Half way through our cycle I start receiving emails and messages on facebook about our struggle. Now I'm pretty sure I can still count on two hands the number of people that know. How wrong I was! I found out that my father had gone back to see my aunts and cousins, whom I haven't seen in 16 plus years, and had so nicely shared our very personal and difficult struggle with them. I also found out that friends of ours have heard through the grapevine about our struggle from one of the original people that knew. Are you kidding me?! Does privacy mean nothing to people any more? I have text messages, emails and fb messages bombarding me daily asking how it was going. People curious about the procedure, making sure I was ok, wanting to know the outcome of different things. My DH and I had a few arguments and heated discussions about all the people knowing...not that it was truly our fault but we did know that the more people we told the likely hood of it staying relatively private was decreasing by the minute. We decided to hit the problem head on and just be honest about the procedure with people. What could it hurt?! None of our friends or family had ever had to deal with infertility so I could understand the curiosity.

As our cycle progressed, I was more and more excited about the outcome and was sure our first round would end in success. How lucky were we that through our pain and stuggle, we had all these people supporting us?! Support is definitely one thing but finding out you are now the main attraction at the circus is another. Questions and comments were flying around about us. Here are a few of my favorites:

Wouldn't it be so fabulous for you to have twins...we know it will be twins! -- mmmm, really?! I'm just hoping for one healthy baby I can love for the rest of my life.

It must be nice to not have to have sex to have a baby! -- Yes, someone actually said this to me! I actually enjoy having sex with my husband and it saddens me that the love we share with each other won't produce a baby naturally...not sure I would call that nice!

$6000 isn't that much to pay to buy a baby. Just be thankful you don't have to pay for the drugs too. -- yes another winner! Every day I'm thankful that we don't have to incur the huge drug expense; however, $6000 is more than you had to pay for the chance to have the beautiful baby you are now holding. This is also the same person I asked if they would buy a $10000 lottery ticket with only one chance to win and it's slim.

I really don't know what you are going through but I think you should relax and it will just happen.-- You obviously have more insight than my dr. I should probably be paying you for your sage advice and I will definitley have a baby. It makes perfect sense that if I relax this will inevitably help my DH's sperm.

We had officially become the novelty, the freak show at the circus, the "it had to be someone" people. The cherry on top is we're forced to tell our audience that our first attempt didn't work. I have learned from many of you that it wasn't a failed was a learning experience. In fact, we learned a very valuable lesson...never tell anyone about your IF struggles. The audience we have is slowly departing...all thinking that we've given up trying for a child. Little do they know we have a little secret--we've bought a ticket for the next lottery!

uggg I'm so sorry you got those totally crazy insensitive comments. I also tried to only share our IVF plans with close friends that I thought would be understanding.
Someone's got to win the lottery, so why not you & DH? Keep buying tickets, it can be your dirty little secret!
Aug 26 2010 04:38 PM
oh dear! People try to be supportive but they do say the most insensitive things. But never mind, they mean well I'm sure. Fingers crossed for you on this 2nd lottery.
People really do say such dumb things! Sorry that you've had to endure such insensitive comments! Good luck with things!
Aug 26 2010 07:22 PM
Maybe you need to put some boundaries on who you tell what information to for this next round. Be clear about them not asking you unless you bring it up. People have to be told how to behave and respond to this stuff, it's not intuitive. Resolve has a great fact sheet for friends and family you might like to pass along:

    • gibasgirl and kookacola like this
Thanks SD! We actually made sure we said to the people we told to keep it private and to themselves. I think they missed that part of the conversation! Hope all is well with you :2cents:
Aug 26 2010 11:43 PM
Wow! That sucks! I would say you definitely have an audience! You poor thing. That would drive me absolutely insane. I mean, I know a lot of people have gossiped about my fertility struggles but at least they have the decency to do it behind my back! lol I can't believe these people just come out and talk to you about it like its the most natural thing in the world. Ugh. I feel for you.
Ugh, poor you, people are so insensitive. I avoided telling even the closest of my friends and family that we were "trying" for many years and shrugged off the baby questions, it saved a lot of heartache. We didn't share our IUI's with anyone, but when we finally agreed to go for IVF I told my closest friend and my sister, both who promised not to ask me the result. 6 weeks later I know they are bursting to know, but polite enough to wait for me to raise it. I can't wait to tell them in a few weeks that I am PG. But on the flip side am pleased that I didn't have to face a "group" disappointment if we hadn't been successful this round.

Good luck on your journey, your sense of humor seems intact and will be important!
That must be difficult to deal with. My DH family doesn't even know we are TTC. They live on another continent so it's been easy to hide from them.
Some people are so insensitive, it's unfortunate but those that haven't had to experience it - just don't get it.

I remember when we were able to finally tell my MIL we were pregnant - she said "well I told you it would happen - see?".

Also I really love - "oh, you may end up like octo mom or Kate + 8"...(I actually had that comment a lot including from my GP).

Sorry you've had to experience all this stuff.
I love love this post.

Sneaky buying another ticket and not telling anyone!

I can so relate to everything you have gone through.

Good luck the next time. We'll be your virtual cheering section.. much easier to deal with than meddling Aunt Bess, who just thinks you need to relax and raise your bum after sex.

Some people are so insensitive, it's unfortunate but those that haven't had to experience it - just don't get it.I remember when we were able to finally tell my MIL we were pregnant - she said "well I told you it would happen - see?". Also I really love - "oh, you may end up like octo mom or Kate + 8"...(I actually had that comment a lot including from my GP).Sorry you've had to experience all this stuff.

Zuu, that could be a direct quote from my sister.
Aug 27 2010 09:25 PM
This totally happened to my DH and I...Although I was open with a lot of people, but the questions, the "are you pregnant after having the ET 1 month ago...(um "normal" people don't tell till 3 months). So the FET round...telling NOBODY and lying our butts off....Now I'm getting the " did you get the call yet?" - My reponse "Did you have sex last night?" YUP NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS! Our parents think the day of our ET was a consuling session and a visit with the RE to go over "what happened" the last! I want to give them a surprise. Like my brother and sister got to...

Anyhooo, totally know how you feel.
Holy crap!! Been there heard ALL of them. In fact when my I wsa going through my ivf cycle in '07 with my eggs my mum had the NERVE to suggest chidlelessness and don't even think about adoption because SHE knows everything and SHE'S only heard BAD stories of adoption and she thinks kids that are adopted are horrible and will start your house on fire. So when we did our d/e cycle, we did't tell as many people because it would get back to my mum and well...... she's not supportative and she angers me with her comments. I am so sorry you're going through all of this, it's a shame that people can't keep things private:) I remember a friend of our telling me she was going through treatments and EVERYONE at her work cossoped about it and they kept asking everytime she was at the end of the 2ww! So when we did our d/e cycle we did't tell as many people except people WE KNEW would be supportative of us and keep it quiet. It's hard becasue of the medictations you're on and the stress of the cycle but try not to let others comments bother you. I know easier said than done. I remember leaving my mum's house and crying in our car because I ws so upset about what she said. We're here for you hunny!
It can be an uncomfortable situation for sure, especially when some people know when you didn't tell them personally. At least (hopefully) all these people are cheering for you and will be 100% supportive when you do get pg.

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