Am I Making You Uncomortable?

I typed out a LOOONG email tonight to my mom, dad and brothers. Gave them the whole long and dirty about where we stand. They already knew about our struggle, but I hadn’t updated them much lately. And when they ask questions on the phone, I usually give a pretty quick answer and move on.

It feels so good to update the people who care about you. That’s what I’ve discovered. I talked to the wife tonight about that; her dad, stepmom and sister all know (not her mom, with whom she has an “interesting” relationship…I’ll leave it at that). She agreed that it felt good to let loved ones know what’s going on. We’ve also let a select group of friends we consider “close” in on our struggle as well, and again we agreed that it felt good to have that group of confidantes.

Why is that? In my head, the feelings come from answering questions that I presume that they’ll have. I don’t want them thinking we don’t want kids. I don’t want them thinking we’re selfish. I don’t want them thinking that our marriage isn’t rock solid. I feel comfort in answering the questions that they might never ask us to our face but might wonder behind our backs.

When people know and ask for updates, we know they care. When they tell us they prayed for us at church, we know who truly care for us. It’s a struggle not to assume those that know but DON’T ask just plain don’t care. I remind myself that some people are uncomfortable about certain topics…but if we’re truly close friends or family members, isn’t any medical problem on the table for discussion if I’ve shared that part of our life with you?

I’d be interested to hear how others approach this topic. Have you let your family/friends know? Does it make you feel better, and if so, why? And how do you handle family/friends who pretend they were never told at all?

Thanks for all of the wonderful comments so far, and super big thanks to all of the kindness expressed on Twitter. This is a great community we’ve stumbled upon, and it makes it so much easier to handle. As they say, strength in numbers…

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4 responses to “Am I Making You Uncomortable?

  1. My husband and I have let family and friends know about our infertility, although there have been recent moments when we’ve withheld information from family and particular friends until we have more information to share with them, because they get so emotionally invested in new developments.

    I’ve rarely shied away from talking about our circumstances simply because I feel like a lot of the painful comments and questions stem from a lack of understanding or awareness, so I try to talk about it as much as possible.

    As for the friends (and family members) that act like we never told them, we just talk about our lives normally around them, and if something regarding infertility gets mentioned by us, it does, but we don’t go out of our way to bring it up with them. I’ve found that the majority of those people will say something like, “Yeah, I’ve been meaning to ask you about that…” or “I’ve been wondering how things are going in that area, but didn’t want to bring it up.” Of course, there are those who just smile and nod and say the obligatory, “That’s great,” or “I’m so sorry to hear that,” or “Wow…” We don’t go out of our way to keep from talking about it, because often it’s what God’s using to teach us something in our lives, so it’s pertinent to sincere/genuine conversation, but we take into account the fact that some of our friends (and family) are uncomfortable talking about it. We just choose not to be offended by their discomfort 🙂

    Now that we have found an IVF clinic and physician, and now that we are sure we’ll get a treatment in before my husband’s deployment, we feel the freedom to share the latest news with friends and family. We are encouraged by their support, and blessed to see that they desperately long for us to have children. Keeping it quiet for the two months of getting the details in place was very difficult. So difficult, in fact, that even then we had a select few we shared it with that we knew would be able to handle the news if we were unable to attempt IVF after all this year.

  2. Lots of people in our lives know. Our families know, my bestfriends and some people at both of our works as due to our jobs booking time off is very difficult. I am a teacher and I am not allowed time off during term time- IVF doesn’t fit with this!

    Anyway…everyone is really supportive. I hate keep secrets and it feels good to be open. One memeber of my family isn’t very positive about the whole thing but we just accept that. Hubby’s brother has found he doesn’t know what to say as they are expecting but he is getting better.

    I would say it depends on the people but mostly good comes from it.

    Babywishes25 (twitter)

  3. We are extremely open that we’re doing IVF with friends, family and coworkers, but after three cycles of telling our family when we were doing a cycle, we decided to stop doing that. The added pressure of knowing they were waiting to hear how it was going was stressing us out. None of our family, apart from my husband’s sister, are particularly good at being supportive, and our miscarriages have been momentary events for them, with absolutely zero followup from anyone. That was probably the biggest factor in deciding to keep our cycles to ourselves.

    I’ve become much more open on Facebook about infertility, too, often linking articles or good blog posts. I’ve had good reactions to those, which makes me feel good.

  4. My husband and I just had this conversation today. We’ve struggled with friends and certain family members not reacting well to what we are going through so I’ve started feeling less and less inclined to include certain people in the “circle of trust”. Unfortunately, my husband and I haven’t come to a consensus yet on exactly who we can keep involved and how much involved we keep them. It’s a difficult decision when people who you assume would be very supportive, aren’t.

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