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Friends and infertility

friends emotions ivf loss conversations

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#1 ldp

ldp
  • Just Hatched
  • 2 posts
  • Dx:Endometriosis

Posted 22 August 2015 - 09:47 PM

Hi everyone,

 

This is my first post in this forum. It's probably going to be a bit convoluted, as i haven't quite worked it out in my head. Any input would be so appreciated, thank you!

 

Just a little bit of background: We've been TTC since Jan 12 and recently had a failed IVF (implantation failure). I have a combination of PCOS and was diagnosed with stage 3/4 endometriosis in April 14.  Sadly my endo returned after a few months following the laparoscopy but i was put on a hormonal treatment for three months before we went ahead with the IVF, in order for my uterus to be in a better shape. 

 

From a personal point of view, i think i would describe myself as a person who doesn't easily ask for help or show how things really bother me, insofar as they are related to my friends. What this means in practical terms is that i haven't quite showed how difficult it has been to see friends, especially the friends who know of our struggles, getting pregnant throughout these difficult years. To add the to mix, i work with children.

 

I have a couple of fantastic friends who are nothing but understanding, non-judgemental and try very hard to be supportive. One of them has been pregnant and delivered, and i am very close to her children. She has also always acknowledged how things are hard and has asked often and directly how she can 'be' around me when the topic of pregnancy was on the table. I can only imagine how hard it was for her to tell me her happy news and go through her pregnancy and motherhood knowing her friend was, in all likelihood, suffering at various points in time.

 

This failed IVF knocked me sideways and down. Maybe it was the fact that i may have been since the beginning of our ordeal, as many would probably describe, logical about the whole thing and only very mildly showed how i was feeling. How each loss, month after month, becomes more horrible, taxing and soul consuming. I feel completely obliterated and very, very invisible. I feel like i have to be a person i am not feeling at the moment, especially at work.

 

My three colleagues at work are also three of the people who know about the whole process. One of them is currently pregnant, having discovered she was (at 3 months by a complete surprise, as she wasn't trying) only a week before i started the IVF process. We were all on holidays so now we're back, with me being bereft and her having a beautiful baby bump.

 

My heart bleeds that i am in such a dark place that i feel i can't be in full discussion about her joyful news, although i haven't said it or shown it (i think). I am so very happy for her. I can only imagine she feels highly uncomfortable talking about her pregnancy and so, when we are all together, this is the elephant in the room. What has hurt me tremendously, and i utterly know this is not fair to her, is that she hasn't acknowledged what i have been through. I understand this is probably because of the whole not knowing what to say/ maybe will make it worse, but i feel like i haven't been acknowledged and, yet, i feel responsible for taking the first step to diffuse the situation. Make it bearable to everyone by either taking the initiative to talk about the pregnancy so they feel it's a green light or going up to her to tell her i either can or cannot talk about it, when it's so not black and white.

 

I hate putting my friends in this situation, i hate that i am the big elephant in the room. But i feel so overwhelmed with this loss, so conflicted about having to go on about my normal life, as if i'm not honouring my loss(es). And so invisible.

 

Any advice would be so welcome. 

 

Thank you all.

 

 

 

 


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#2 Krys83

Krys83
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  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Alberta
  • Interests:Dogs, skiing, soccer, reading, movies, starting yoga
  • Dx:Tubal
  • My Clinic:Edmonton

Posted 23 August 2015 - 12:12 AM

I wish I had some advice. All I can say is that I feel like you and I are in the same boat. We've been trying since Sept/13 (surgery June/15). This Jan-March, there were 5 women I work with that went off on Mat leave. 1 being my best work friend, 1 other very close so they know of our struggles. I cant even talk to the others. The group baby shower I said hi to all and then went outside.

I havent spoken to many others at work about this. It was so painful to go in everyday and hear them talk. Now I dont hear about it, but my 2 friends arent there. At least my anxiety is gone, now I'm just sad.

I'm following this in case someone else can give you some advice that I can take something from it too.
Thank you for sharing. I hope you and I can bith find a way to cope with this.

2002 met my Handsome Hubby!

2010 September; Married

 

2013 September; TTC

2014 September; "Normal" results for both at Gyne appt ( HSG Sept. 14). Clomid x 4 months.

 

2015 March; Appt in Edmonton clinic. HSG showed hydrosalpinx. still no explanation... any thoughts?...dontknow.gif 
2015 June; Surgery left salingectomy + polyp. Still have "Righty"
2015 July; On the Clomid train again with lateralization U/S to see which side the follicles are developing on.

2015 October; IUI BFN

2016 Jan; Hysterscopy 

 

Starting IVF

2016 April; Retreival 25 eggs, OHSS Freeze All cycle. 6 Frosties (Day 5, all variations of grade 4) 

2016 July; FET 4aa BFN Didn't attach cry.gif

2016 October; Endometrial Biopsy

2016 November 9; FET 6!! & 4ba. All our Frosties are graded as "4," but after they lasered it in the morning, it HATCHED! It came out of the shell, we were able to see the zona. 

2016 Novemeber 18; th_abfp.gif

2017 August; Our beautiful baby girl arrived babygirl.gif

 

 

 

I feel like this is an opportunity to throw in a quote about not counting the years, or making the years count... the joy is on the journey... I'll work on finding one that doesn't make me want to scream eusa_wall.gif

 


#3 ldp

ldp
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  • Dx:Endometriosis

Posted 23 August 2015 - 03:48 AM

Thank you for reply kmbt83. That must have been so tough, i'm so sorry sad.png

 

I'm really hoping some can share a word or two of advice to deal with this in a positive manner for both myself and the people around me i love.



#4 allthecats

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  • Location:Toronto
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Posted 23 August 2015 - 10:31 AM

Hi ldp,

 

I'm sorry you're in such a dark place right now. We have all been there, if not STILL there.

 

Only a handful of friends know about my situation.  My best friend gave birth to her son last weekend. She didn't tell me she was pregnant until close to 5 months in because she wasn't sure how to approach the topic with me. She's been very supportive and respectful. 

 

I always tell my friends that human emotions are complex: I can feel happy for them and sad for me at the same time. And that sometimes, the sadness is so sad, it's hard for the happiness to show through.

 

The quote I'm currently living by is "I will not set myself on fire to keep others warm." So if going to a baby shower or even just talking about your situation is going to hurt, opt out of it.  In my situation, everyone who knows about what's going on, 100% understood my choices. And I can't spend time and energy to make sure those who don't know what's going on understand what's going on!  Lately, I choose my battles and am more and more opting out of the battle altogether. I feel good about that.

 

That said, if you're someone who is very extroverted, and need other people around to help process your emotions,  these strategies might not work for you.  Do you have a support group or a therapist you can talk to? I find these things super helpful for coping strategies.


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Me=38, DH=39. Male Factor, low count & mobility. Advanced maternal age?

 

IVF #1

  • March 2015: 18 eggs retrieved, 12 fertilized with ICSI, 4 frozen (5-day blastocyst)
  • April 2015: Natural FET #1 (single 5BC) - BFN
  • June 2015: Natural FET #2 (single 4BC, assisted hatching) - BFN
  • July 2015: Taking time off to regroup. Did an endometrial biopsy.
  • August 2015: Natural FET #3 (single 4BC, assisted hatching) - BFN
  • September 2015: Natural FET #4 (single 4BC, assisted hatching) - BFN

Augment - October 2015

 

IVF #2

  • January 2016: OHIP funded IVF - 8 eggs retrieved, 5 fertilized with ICSI/Augment. DH now has optimal sperm, thanks to acupuncture and Chinese medicine! smile.png 8 eggs retrieved, 6 fertilized with ICSI/Augment, 4 5-day blastocysts sent for PGS testing. All blastocysts were abnormal. cry.gif


#5 Brewin04

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 08:03 PM

I understand the ongoing struggle of trying to express happiness for others but that undeniable heartbreak that occurs every time the news is shared. I also work with children and understand the struggle of having it around you professionally and personally. The "tip toe" around  you, the awkward conversations and moments. It is an awful thing to go through and it can feel so incredibly lonely. I have found that this forum has been a good way to release some of pent up feelings I experience and that the information and support that is shared is very valuable and important. I could not agree more with 'allthecats' statement "I will not set myself on fire to keep others warm"- I am definitely taking that statement with me and adding it to how I will continue on this journey. 


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#6 Notamie

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  • Location:Edmonton
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Posted 03 November 2015 - 11:53 PM

Oh I understand too! Just know you are not the only one. It's a hard place you want to be happy but in all reality it just hurts. I have been trying since 2013 as well and now a pregnancy announcement just makes me depressed and the I feel depressed for even being such a big bum about it since I know this is a happy time for the other person. In the amount of time I have been trying I know someone who had 3 kids. How is that even possible. What the f! You are not alone and I really don't have good advice since I'm trying not to be bitter. Especially when ppl get pregnant on the first try. Or complain it took so long to get pregnant and really it was only a few months or the ppl that tell me to relax and it will happen. Pretty sure with hydro and the other tube blocked it's not gonna happen even I relax. Or ppl that say maybe it's not in the cards for me and that they wouldn't do ivf and they have kids. Can I please hit them????

#7 Diemtee

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  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Toronto
  • Dx:Endometriosis

Posted 04 November 2015 - 10:36 PM

I'm so sorry about your loss. I have miscarried three times, and for me, it didn't get easier. When I did have ok days, I'd feel guilty about moving on too quickly. I'd have mornings where I'd wake up, cry in bed, and then sleep the day away. But... I did crawl out of my hole. I didn't end up getting pregnant... But eventually something in me just clicked. There's so much for me to do, try, learn and experience. I don't want to let happiness slip through my fingers. I still struggle occasionally. I do my best to steer clear of pregnancy talk... There are a million other topics to discuss! I just do what helps ME survive. Once you learn to survive, you move to the next step and re-learn to enjoy life.

XO

#8 PDub

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 06:21 PM

Idp,

 

A couple things you said have resonated with me. "I feel responsible for taking the first step to diffuse the situation", "I hate putting my friends in this situation", "...as if I'm not honouring my loss(es)".

 

Those are powerful, courageous and heartbreaking words. Similar to you, I"m very logical and try to put on a brave face for others, when really I feel like running away. 

 

I hope your work situation has improved and you are slowly feeling more yourself (if we even know who she is anymore(not sure I do)) everyday. If you will feel better saying something, send a quick email or text that it's hard for you, but you're happy for them. End of story.

 

As for honouring your loss(es), what about a daily action to acknowledge and honour your pain? Whether it's lighting a candle, or writing a note, just something that allows you to recognize your feelings and yet move on with your day with less guilt. 

 

Friendships are extremely difficult right now, Infertility makes me feel like I"m failing at my basic human function. Somedays I remind myself that this isn't my fault and I owe it to myself to be kind (to me). Friends don't understand, I try and tell myself to give them the benefit of the doubt when they say the wrong thing, but it's heartbreaking to feel invisible and unheard. We feel your pain.

 

It's not your place in the world to make others feel comfortable or cater to their needs/emotions about this. It's your job to take care of yourself. Especially right now. 

 

Have you read this? I found it helpful. I hope one day for my friends and I (and all of us here) that this is just a big nasty bump in the road and 10 years from now, we won't have these heartbreaks and difficult relationships. 

 

https://yetanotherbi...fertile-friend/







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