Foot in Mouth Disease

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Not a lot of people know about our situation (read: almost no one except our immediate family), so there aren’t a lot of chances that people will ask us why we don’t just adopt. In fact I’ve actually never been asked, until now; and it was especially sucky because it was my mom who asked. My mom has a way of saying things that are sort of rude, without necessarily realising it, or putting her foot in her mouth without meaning to (I inherited this unbecoming trait from her, unfortunately).

She called me Saturday to confirm our plans for Mother’s day, and we got chatting about other things, such as my friend’s bridal shower/stagette. The maid of honor for said friend just recently got a boob job and my mom remarked how good she looked in a picture on Facebook, of her and her little 6 month old daughter. I agreed, and told my mom that she gets dirty looks all of the time because she has a slammin’ body and a young baby.

Now, I have to give you a little back story on the maid of honor for this all to make sense. The baby is adopted and this woman went through all forms of IF treatment, and hell, over several years before turning to adoption. She went to Mexico and did IVF, had OHSS but got a shitload of eggs, one successful embryo implanted but ended up as an ectopic. She had to have emergency surgery back home when they realised it was implanted in her tube (didn’t lose her tube but at that point she didn’t care), then proceeded to go back to Mexico for a hail mary where she put in all the rest of her frozen embabies (I don’t remember how many there were but looking back it was way more than is safe). None of them took. They then applied for adoption, and from the time they applied to the time they got their baby (brand new, as in they were at the hospital when she was born) was 14 months. A blink of an eye in adoption time frames.

I don’t think my mom knows the full detail of this back story, but the gist of it at least. She does know the baby is adopted (and the reason they chose adoption) and how seemingly quickly and easily it happened for them. When I told my mom about the jealous looks maid of honor gets, my mom replied with “Oh yeah, I always forget their baby is adopted”. The next thing she said was where things got dicey;

Mom: They got a nice white baby. Would you guys do that [adoption]?

Me (rather sharply): No! (In my head WTF! My mom is not racist, per se but I think in her mind if we were to adopt we would want a baby that looks like us. Also I’m not against adoption, but want to exhaust other options first).

Mom: Well, are you guys still trying?

Me: Yes. Well, not at the moment.

Mom: Oh, ok but no giving up?

Me: Um, no.

She then proceeded to tell me that people ask her all the time when we are having kids and she just tells them oh, I don’t know. My grandma apparently also asks a lot, which breaks my heart because I want her to meet our future baby(ies). She has early onset dementia and she is already very forgetful and repetitive, it is hard to watch happen. The way my mom was talking, it was almost like she felt bad for herself that she had to answer to my lack of children and it pissed me off. She is always very sneaky too, in the way that she tries to ask about our TTC situation, just casually slipping it into conversation because she knows I don’t want to talk about it. Cue awkward segue into next topic…

After this encounter I was upset, but at the same time it made me want to explain to her what is going on, and what she should and shouldn’t be saying to me. It’s partially my fault because I keep her in the dark. My mom and I are practically polar opposites so it is hard for me to talk to her. Then I started thinking maybe I should send her an email, putting it all out there, that way I can gather my thoughts, say exactly what I want to say without getting emotional or interrupted. In my head that seems really callous, to do it by email but I am seriously thinking it might be the best way.

But then today I’ve been thinking, I still don’t really want to tell her anything. I don’t want to tell her (or anyone else for that matter) when we are having IVF just because then there is that expectation afterwards of…so did it work? I fear J may have already told his parents when we are planning for IVF, and then we are sort of forced to tell them because they would be waiting with bated breath. I’d rather just speak to everyone in vague terms, so no one can get up in my business about the actual goings on of our process. Again, it’s all very complicated.

This got me thinking, if I drafted a “letter” to my mom, that I might be brave enough to send a private message to my Facebook friends (those whom I care to tell). Again, it seems impersonal using social media, but that way I can tell a lot of people at once, say exactly what I want to say, provide them with information, and resources of how to help (and what not to do). Then I’d just be done with it. I would still probably keep it pretty vague on the treatment side of things, but just to have it out there would feel like a burden lifted (I would hope, more than it would create more issues).

I know I can’t count on everyone to be understanding, empathetic or even to get it, but I’m getting closer to the point where I am thinking about sharing. Anyone out there have any insight for me; how did you “come out” to your friends and family? At what point in your struggle did you tell them (if not right from the beginning when you first started TTC)? Do you regret it, or feel relieved by it? I know overall it is a personal choice, different for everyone but I need outside input!

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Anonymity & Infertility

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Hello out there! I was surprised at how quickly I already gained a few followers, and had some comments on my very first blog post. I had a cooking blog at one point as well, and lemme tell ya, it did not get a lot of traffic. So thanks for those stopping by!

I feel like for the next little while I might be posting (or trying to) everyday, as I’ve had a lot bottled up lately and it’s bursting forward! One of the things I’ve been giving a lot of thought to lately is coming out of the infertility closet. I have a very select few people that even know we are TTC, and I have intentionally kept it that way.

I am a very private person, and this is a very private matter. I did not even want to tell anyone when we started TTC (just in case it took longer, plus I don’t like people thinking about my sex life). I must have some sort of psychic powers, that I saw that one coming. I told my best friend, well, because I tell her everything. We got married the same year, she had her first baby in August 2012 and I lived vicariously through her TTC journey. So she knew the day I threw out the birth control. At that point it was just her (outside of myself and J) that knew, and I liked it that way.

J told his younger brother at some point. His bro and his bro’s wife had their first in Aug. 2011 and were trying for another around the same time, or a little earlier than we had started TTC. J’s brother is a Dr. (in a totally unrelated field, I might add) and had previously succeeded in making children so I think J was maybe looking for some guidance. I was slightly annoyed, but I figured J needed someone to talk to besides me, so fine.

He also told his mother, which I was not as cool with. She was very into her first and only grandchild (my niece) at the time and voiced her wish to have more. Frequently. So when we started looking into why we weren’t pregnant after a year, MIL was privvy to this as well, but it did stop her asking questions, as I think she felt bad for prying before, now that we were having problems. Fine by me. I had actually said as much to a friend, that what if when we started trying we had problems, then wouldn’t she feel bad. Well, yes I’m sure she does. But not as bad as me.

I know J keeps his mom somewhat updated on our process which does bug me, because the only reason my mom even knows that we’re trying/having issues is that I pinned something infertility related on Pinterest and it shared it to my Facebook account (I didn’t really know how to use Pinterest properly at the time, and promptly unlinked the two accounts when my mom mentioned it.). She asked me about it, and I gave her the synopsis. I told her it is upsetting to me, and I don’t like to talk about it, and for the most part she leaves it alone. I know it kills her as I am her only child and she would love grandchildren, but I am thankful that she knows how I am and she does not ask questions unless I am volunteering information (which is rare).

I am not ashamed of the fact that we need help. But I do not offer any information up to people because I don’t need anyone else besides J and I waiting with bated breath to see if this month, is THE month. It is a personal, physically and emotionally difficult, and private process. But, at the same time, I wish people knew so they would stop asking.

Asking when we’re going to have kids, asking how many kids, asking why we don’t have kids yet. It’s getting tiresome. Apparently if you’ve been married for more than 5 minutes you are supposed to be procreating. We purposely didn’t get pregnant for the first 2-ish years of our marriage. We had time (we thought), we didn’t want to rush, we just wanted to enjoy life with eachother. We have done a lot of travelling, we’ve lived in Australia (albeit for a short amount of time) and enjoyed the child-free lifestyle.

I have a friend who like to ask, and pester as to when we’re going to have kids. She is a very sweet person, so I don’t want to be super harsh and say something snarky the next time she asks. I’ve debated sending her a private FB message, so not to embarrass her out in public, or in front of other people but that just seems like a cop out. She just recently (this weekend) was giving me a hard time, in front of a bunch of J’s family members. Luckily I had my mouth full, so I just gave her a tight smile and kept my mouth shut.

I also have to mention that she is a Fertile Myrtle. She has a 2 1/2 yr old, an 11 month old and is currently 5 months pregnant. That last one was an oopsie. When she told me, I instinctivley shrieked, “What?!”. Way to play it cool. But it was a surprise to her, and me, so it wasn’t totally uncalled for. With all three of her pregnancies she has conceived very quickly and easily, so she is the last person who I would expect to understand infertility.

Eventually I would like to be open to people about our struggles (preferably once we are safely pregnant, and not still in the throes of treatment), I just don’t know how to go about it. Facebook seems like a good medium, but sort of impersonal and a bit of an overshare. I don’t like to post a lot of personal type stuff on Facebook, so I’m torn. That is the main reason this blog is fairly anonymous, I’m not quite ready to sing it from the mountaintops. I think if someone knew me, and stumbled on it, they would figure it out pretty fast, but so be it. If they got here, and read all of this, somehow I would have less of a problem with them knowing.

How have any of you come out about your infertility struggles? Or are you still hiding? What’s life like out in the open? Once we are pregnant (if that happens) and announcing it to others I really would like to let them know what it took, so that they don’t just assume I’m a normal fertile. At the same time, I know J might be uncomfortable with this.

But, if us infertiles don’t try and educate the masses, or at least set them straight when they’re being douche-y, then who will?

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