Difficult Conversations


Infertility can create a lot of difficult conversations; with nosy strangers, heedless friends, or well meaning family. I’ve experienced all of the above and am still not great at handling any of the above. I’ve yet to get overly defensive and bite someones head off but I’ve come close. Generally I just deflect, change the subject or remove myself from the situation, all while feeling awkward, annoyed and hurt.

So tomorrow should be a not so fun day, as I am about to initiate one of these conversations on my own. At least it will be on my own terms, and it will be with my mom, who tries to be very sensitive to my pain. But I am still not looking forward to it.

As I’ve mentioned previously I am an “oops” baby, and my mom’s only child. My mom was not married to my “dad” (I use that term loosely, more like sperm donor, but that’s a whole other thing) when she got pregnant and never did get married, or have any serious long term relationships. She was too busy being a single mother to me. The problem with this situation is she literally has no basis of TTC. I am also not super open with my mom. I have always been a very private person, and this is a very private matter. The only reason my mom knows that we started TTC is because I’m an idiot and I followed an infertility board on Pinterest, and my Pinterest account is linked to my Facebook and it showed up in my newsfeed. I quickly took it down, and doubt many (if any) other people even saw or noticed it. But the damage was done, and once again social media bit me in the ass.

She broached the subject very carefully and nervously, and so since she sort of found out that we were TTC I came clean to her, and at this point we were only 9 months in (I was mostly following the infertility board for TTC tips at that point). Ok, I told her we were only 6 months in and not to worry, that is was no cause for concern yet. That was a real treat, trying to play it off to my mom, even though I was starting to realize it probably was something to worry about. But now that she knew, and still nothing was happening I was kind of forced to update her on what was going on. She knows I don’t like to talk about it and I basically told her we were going to try treatment until Feb. and that if we didn’t have an announcement for her by then for her not to hold her breath.

So it’s now almost the end of March and we haven’t really discussed it. I hope she isn’t waiting for me to spring some exciting news on her. “Hey mom, guess what?…<insert pregnant pause here> (ha ha get it, pregnant pause? Yeah I know, I should go jump off a cliff), we have to do IVF!” Blech, worst announcement ever.

Anywho, I never really gave her the details of what we were doing, she just knew that we were going to a Fertility clinic and having medicated cycles, but I didn’t really get into IUI, or all of the details of J’s SA, ect. I’m still just going to give her the coles notes, that it didn’t work, that we’re most likely going to have to do IVF, yada yada. But I’m sure she’ll have questions. And I’m fairly certain she knows more than I’ve told her. For one, I left an IUI bill sitting on our kitchen table when she came over one time and she was literally sitting right in front of it. So I’m pretty positive she saw it. I just pretended not to notice. Also, she went for coffee with J’s mom not that long ago, and I know they would have discussed us, and J tells his mom a lot more that I tell my mom, so I’m sure my mom gleaned some more information from her.

We are going for coffee tomorrow night and that generally involves some form of discussion about our infertility, so I hate it. I know some people won’t understand why I don’t want to talk about it with my mom, the one person who I should be able to be open with, who will be fully supportive. But it breaks her heart for me, and I have enough pain to deal with on my own, without hurting my mother. On one hand I wish she never found out, and I could keep it all a secret, but then I would still get the comments and prodding about having kids. This way I know she silently hopes for me, but I hate that as well.

So it seems I can’t win. I will give her the update she never wanted to hear. Her only child, conceived by accident, now cannot easily (or naturally) provide her with a grandchild. What kind of sick and twisted fate is that?



13 thoughts on “Difficult Conversations

  1. I completely understand. Every week when I talk with my mom by phone, she asks hopefully how I’m doing. I only told her last year when I broke down after getting pestered about kids for so long.

    • Now that she (and some of J’s family) knows I would pretty much like everyone to pretend they don’t know, while being considerate of our feelings and basically wait until we have something we want to tell them. But I know that’s not how it works.

  2. I can’t talk about it with my mom either. She has 6 oops babies, granted she was married and we all have the same dad, but she never tried. I also know she’d be very supportive but it’s just too much suffering for me to put on her.

    • It’s unfortunate not to be able to talk to the one person that we should feel comfortable doing so, but yes in mine and your cases just doesn’t work. Isn’t it funny (ok, not funny exactly, but ironic I guess) that all the pain this puts us through, yet we try and protect our families from hurting for us. I suppose it doesn’t do us much good anyways.

  3. I can’t imagine how I’d share this experience with my mother–because she’s passed away. I’m sure I’d be frustrated that she didn’t understand (having conceived the first month ttc with both her kids). But, I would feel so much better if she was here, regardless of the awkwardness. I’m in no way saying you’re ungrateful–but for a little perspective, try to imagine what it would be like if you couldn’t go to coffee with her. XO

    • Very true, and I’m sorry you have to go through this without your mom. I won’t say that anyone experiencing infertility has it better or worse, it mostly just sucks across the board, but you’re right, everyone has a different perspective depending on their situation.

  4. My mom is that utterly unrealistic hopeful. I’d almost rather her share in my hurt. I always find it helps me to rehearse the convo in my head beforehand (or maybe that’s just anxiety talking? haha) Good luck to you though.

    • I think my mom knows that she really has nothing to contribute/relate to my situation so she mostly just asks a few general questions but tries not to pester me too much. Plus I keep her mostly in the dark so she can’t get too involved and say something ignorant without realising it.

  5. OnedaySomeday

    Man, good to know there are others like me out there, and ‘get it’. Never meet anyone in person in any of my social/work/life environments with infertility and all of it’s what seems like life-defining problems the older I get. I like the caption at the end you have there.. Infertility is a loss.. Would love to post something like that on my fb, however I won’t, just as I have done all these years and keep my issues private because no one understands. Too much hurt and sensitivity. Glad I’ve looked out into these blogs a bit so that I know others are out there too going thru the same things as I so that I don’t feel so isolated. Also to pick up details on others’ IVF journeys as I am finally, on the start of my own. Been a long road. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

    • Thanks for your comments! I have found a great online community that has lots of understanding people and good information from those who have experienced all sorts of different infertility treatments, procedures, ect. Peace and strength to you through this difficult time!

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