I guess I'm in the minority


On most of the message boards that I’ve frequented over the last little while, I notice that most people keep their IF struggles private or tell only their closest family/friends. Wondering if there are other people out there who are pretty open about what you’re going through? What has your experience been? So far, mine has actually been pretty positive. I don’t get those comments anymore about being the next and I don’t have people questioning me about it. I feel like I have an amazing support team behind me and everyone is hoping I get some good news soon. Anyone else out there had a positive experience?


I was open about it but it just made it really hard for me, personally. People have good intentions but say the dumbest things. It was also hard for me because I was constantly overwhelmed with questions as to what was going on w/ everything and I got really sick of talking about it and the longer the IF goes on, the harder it gets to talk about. That was my experience and I’m sure it’s different for everyone.


I had the same experience as Merney. Close family and friends are very supportive, but I made the mistake of telling people at work. I pretty much had to because I was supposed to leave for maternity leave for an adoption. When it fell through, I had to tell my whole school. It was awful. Ever since, people keep asking me where we are with the adoption journey. I’m not about to tell them that we are proceeding with DS. (close friends and family know, of course). So it’s really awkward.


I was pretty open about my fertility struggles and I bring it up if the subject is talked about or pregnancy in general, however when going through treatment I did not want to explain what I was doing and then have people ask if I got pregnant. It is a let down after treatment and I would personally rather not share that with everyone when I would just want to try again. I have no problem talking about it after the fact, but not when I am going through it.

Also when I got pregnant since I have a history of miscarriage I usually kept this a secret until I felt more comfortable that the pregnancy would progress. Again I have no difficulty talking about the losses once I personally had the chance to grieve.

I think more people should be open when they are ready to help spread the word that it is not always so easy…maybe there could be more sensitivity…


I was pretty open about my infertility and about having to do IVF. It made me have a huge support system and I think it helped me get through it. My friends and family were amazing. When I do IVF in the future for another kid, I will be just as open about it. I think it’s on our minds so much, it helps to be able to talk about it.


I was VERY open with our first two IVF cycles and even told several folks about the fact that we were likely going to use donor eggs. I, too, found it to be a great source of support and encouragement.

Now, though, my feelings have changed. I’m not ashamed to talk about donor eggs, but I want my child to “tell” on their own terms…not people whispering behind their backs. Now that a third party is involved, I feel this need to “protect” my future child/children. Maybe it’s wrong…but once it’s “out,” there’s no turning back!

With this cycle starting soon, I am just telling people that we are doing a very different IVF protocol. I’m not being specific about dates or anticipated outcomes this time either. I know I’ll have a really hard time emotionally if this fails…and I want to grieve on my own before feeling forced to talk about it. (Last time everyone knew the beta dates and all…)

I was right there with you…until the past few weeks! Best wishes!


Nobody in my circle will ask whether I got a BFP because they know that if I did, I wouldn’t say anything about until at least 13 wks. Someone I know went through fertility treatment and no one asked her about how it went. Of course, we all knew it was probably good news because she didn’t mention a thing about it for a few months afterwards (it was). I would keep a BFP a secret from all but our parents & a couple of my closest friends. But if it ended in an early loss, I probably would tell a couple more people because I’m just like that.


Lucy…I can totally understand keeping the donor eggs confidential because that is something that should be explained and discussed with your child on your own terms. Thanks for all your stories…it’s happy to hear that there are other compassionate people out there. I feel lucky to have such an amazing network of support.


I’ve been somewhat open about our struggles lately. I was writing notes on Facebook only for my friends to read. I also have a blog that I write about our infertility issues (well mine anyway - haven’t been too descriptive about my DH’s issue on either FB or blog). I haven’t told many people at work - just because I didn’t want to be constantly asked about how things are going. Some of my coworkers are my FB friends but they’ve not bugged me. But since I’ve been more open about my struggles it’s been much easier to cope. I haven’t felt so alone as I’ve learned that others around me have also had issues.


I will talk about our infertility journey with anyone who asks. Total strangers even. In fact it really irritates me when celebrities have children who were [I]obviously [/I]conceived via fertility treatments but refuse to discuss them. Mariah Carey’s interview with Barbara Walters comes to mind. Why be ashamed? When you feel ashamed it makes me feel like I should feel ashamed too. I feel this perpetuates the “stigma” associated with pursuing fertility treatments, where there should be no stigma at all. That said, I generally won’t bring up the subject of my infertility without being prompted. Most people don’t think about 24/7 like I do and I don’t want to bore them with it.


I think with most “sensitive” subjects, people tend to think it’s almost taboo…

Infertility & Assisted Conception techniques happen more often than not. It’s amazing how many people have experienced some sort of struggle with the disease, yet find a place to pass judgement. You would be surprised at how many people have conceived their children through Reproductive assistance…even those WITHOUT fertility struggles. I learned a lot of women that want multiples will often go just for the extra chance…really???

I used to be very “quiet-kept” about my issues, mainly due to not liking a lot of people in my business anyway. If someone asked though, I’d just answer…openly and honestly. I can’t recall ever having been met with disgust or disgrace, but then again…it’s not anyone else’s life but mine and DH. I guess I tend to have a [I]“try-me-if-you-want-to”[/I] type attitude about things, so I don’t acknowledge any bias.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still very sensitive to my familial struggles and tend to be quite emotional about it at times, but I don’t find the need to be embarrassed/shy about it anymore. Most of my tears have been shed behind closed doors. I have a great support system in place as well, but even without them, I think for me it’s an [I]“If you don’t mind, it don’t matter”[/I] concept! (It gets me through more than you’d imagine!)

So I guess you could consider me a part of that “minority” too!!


Good luck on your journey!


You are very lucky to have such a great support system. I have been open about my issues to a point. I don’t broadcast on FB or anything but if people ask “are you having kids?” questions then I usually just say we have been trying if they act or ask more than I don’t mind at all talking about it. Unfortunetly, sometimes that leaves me frustrated with certain people. Espically, close family and friends b/c I literally tell them how I feel or what I am going thru and those are the people I feel become very insensitive. For example, my MIL. She is a very sweet person but her daughters are all very fertile and have kids all the time which is hard enough for me but then when I am around everyone she tends to go on and on about the newest baby of the family. Not that she shouldn’t be excited about her grandchild but I feel being that she has had intense converstation about it with me that she would tone it down a little when I am around. Just shows me people truely don’t get it at all. My own mother, I can’t talk to at all. Its sad. I start feeling alone. My “best friend” knows how hards its been for me and she just had a new baby that she literally “tried” for one month for and named him my favorite boys name. I envy all of you that have great support systems. You are very lucky!


open… then closed

I was very open about it at first, and now I somewhat regret it completely. I thought it would be over quickly and I was sure wrong about that. I am sorry mostly because if someone does ask, I tend to get weepy. Of course, I have no idea how I would have not told people in my life. I am a very open person generally. I do not put anything on facebook, as a matter of fact, I am seriously considering not going on facebook, or limiting my viewing in 1 time a week. It is just so hard to look at picture after picture of baby, baby, baby… ug. So hard. At the same time, I do not want to completely isolate myself from my friends. As May approaches, the clock keeps ticking and I realize I will be starting my 4th year of “trying.” Here is something I noticed about that though, people do seem to stop asking after a certain amount of failures… they just assume it is a no. If and probably when this IUI fails, I will keep my IVF somewhat more private. It is just too much to involve everyone.


For the most part we have supportive people around us - with the exception of a few people. We endure some hurtful comments every now & then… for example, some people can’t understand why we would go through so much to have bio children when we could “just adopt” (first, it’s not as easy as “just adopt” - second, they have bio kids, but yet are telling me to adopt?!? like I am being greedy because I want to get pregnant!!!). That is a statment that is sooo hard to answer! Soooo, not everyone is supportive! I can see why some are open & some are not. I know people who have kept quiet about IF treatments, due to the grief they would get from family. Some religions do not believe in the use of IF treatments. Therefore, the infertilie couple worries they would be ostracized & don’t want to add that pressure on top of IF treatments. Crazy, but true! Perhaps not all people who are being hush about IF isn’t ashamed, but yet scared of judgmental people. Sooo sad, IMO! However, I believe there are those who do feel shame… sometimes it’s hard mentally on the couple who can’t conceive… they somehow feel “odd” “abnormal” “failure” - depending on who is the cause of IF it could cause the wife or husband to feel like they are failing their spouse… IF comes with a lot of emotions! I used to be somewhat quiet about IF - people knew we wanted kids, but not that we were seeing an RE… I am more open about it today, but usually find people don’t know how to respond. Then again, how can they respond… they don’t know what it’s like. I have been through A LOT of emotions over the years. After a long time people will stop asking about “any baby news”… that question becomes history. Also, I have found the longer you TTC people don’t seem to care about your emotions. They have no problems talking to you about nursery colors, baby names, developments, how their kids are doing in school, asking help for kids bday parties…etc. I am not always bothered by this, but I sometimes wonder if people think you become “healed” from IF after trying for so long. I had a relative say “life goes on”… perhaps it’s true, but this journey is a hard one, none-the-less. Whatever anyone decides on how much they are open with IF is OK… we all are on different paths with the same goal… :preg: I personally wish more people would open up about their struggle with IF… it would help others to know they are not alone… that is one reason why I talk about it more now.

Amy10 - I have sooo many stories like yours that it would make your head spin… crazy how some can be so insensitive.


I am very open about our infertility and our losses. Infertility and losses are a very taboo subject, and i try my best to not make it be with people i come in contact with. I have gotten some great reactions, and some no so great. But oh well they are all informed.


[quote=Babybuggy]We endure some hurtful comments every now & then… for example, some people can’t understand why we would go through so much to have bio children when we could “just adopt” (first, it’s not as easy as “just adopt” - second, they have bio kids, but yet are telling me to adopt?!? like I am being greedy because I want to get pregnant!!!). [/quote] I hate it so much when I feel people are trying to put a guilt trip on me for choosing to pursue fertility treatments instead of adopting. I want to say, “Why don’t [I]you[/I] adopt?” And sometimes I do. You don’t have to be infertile to adopt.


I agree! I am not against adoption… I think it can be a rewarding process for both the awaiting family & the adopted child(ren)… however, infertile couples shouldn’t feel guilty for seeking treatments over adopting…especially from people who have not adopted. My DH was asked “why don’t we adopt instead of IF treatments”… My DH said “why don’t you adopt”… the guys response… “I don’t need to… I have a child” Mind = BLOWN! What do you say to that?! I know some people make the statement to bring comfort to the couple, but there are some who think it’s immoral &/or selfish. They can’t grasp why we aren’t adopting, but yet they themselves haven’t adopted. It’s easy for people who have bio children to say “adopt” or call us “immoral” “selfish” for choosing treatments over adoption. I might adopt one day, but it sure won’t be because people are guilt tripping me into it! My DH & I started the adoption process in 2005… it is very stressful with a lot of pros & cons. It’s not near as easy as “just adopt”. It became overwhelming, so I stopped the process. I sometimes think that was a mistake, but I don’t think I was ready for it. Both, IF treatments & adoption can be very stressful.

I read this statement on another board, so I copied it… this is very insightful…

[I]"what hurts women like me more than anything is the “Why do you just adopt” bandwagon. Why is it that there are so many unthinking folk that suggest to women dealing with infertility that she can always adopt? How can you think fertile woman wanting to get pregnant is perfectly acceptable yet infertile woman wanting to get pregnant and have a biological child is selfish? Have you adopted? It’s funny how most of the people who ask “why don’t you just adopt” are people who have not adopted children themselves. Take infertility for what it is, a disease for which families have to seek treatment. And why shouldn’t someone choose MEDICAL treatment, to treat a medical problem? And, it’s not the job of infertile families to adopt the world’s orphans. Why aren’t experienced parents encouraged to adopt? I don’t have children and you want me to take in a child not knowing if I have any experience with children? Not every family is cut out for adoption. Have you ever researched adoption? Do you know the cost and the huge cons and risks involved and that there is no guarantee that you will succeed? Did you know a woman can do several IVF cycles at the same costs of one adoption and have a child in a lot less time? Do you know that in many cases you are matched, spend thousands of dollars to do so only for the birthmother to change her mind and that this can happen over and over or you can foster to adopt and have that child ripped from your arms? Do you know that the simplest infractions in your past or your family members can cause you to be denied? You can be refused because you are too old, too fat, don’t have an “accepted religion,” aren’t rich enough, or because you have an alcoholic in your family. The application process is enormously lengthy, invasive, and delves into your most personal life and your friends and family’s lives as well. You have to pay social workers to visit you and pick you apart just to get started. And, after all that you go through and money and time spent, in the end there is no guarantee that you will have a child to hold in your arms. I just see and hear this suggestion way too much. Look into the adoption sections here. Read about how some of those adoptees feel about being adopted. Adoption is not a cure for infertility and it is truly hurtful advice to hear.[/I]

[I]Easy on the indictments until you’ve taken a walk in my shoes"[/I]


[I]Adoption is not a cure for infertility.[/I] I love that!


I have been open about my infertility issues with my friends and coworkers and i have gotten great support though it all. My big mistake was getting to excited over my first successful IVF because the pregnancy ended at 14 weeks and i had to then announce my loss which wasnt so great. I decided to keep my second IVF almost a complete secret and this last one which i am currently pregnant a semi secrete. Close friends know and some co-workers maily due to some work limitations.
Each cycle felt different for me emotionally. The more confidence i had in the cycle the more apt i was at being open about it.
I have nothing to be ashamed of actually i am quite proud of my strength courage and perserverance. Most people might think i am nuts (especially since i have a son already) but i am just naturally longing for another child and a sibling for my son, and for me this is the only way it will happen.


I can’t read comments on news stories that have anything to do with infertility - the comments are basically “why not adopt” or that people who want a bio-child are selfish and narcissistic. I bet most of these comments come from people who had no trouble having their babies (who probably look just like them). I’m blessed to have a positive support system - I would have to cut out people who made these comments.

Thanks to everyone for all the interesting input.