Wednesday, February 04, 2009

In or out of the IVF closet

Today I am exactly 10 weeks pregnant and I'm still in the IVF closet.

There are very few people who know that (a) we were trying, (b) we went for IVF and (c) that we're pregnant.

Of course my whole infertility group knows and I had to say to one of them, "please don't write anything on my facebook wall" because of all the real-life friends.

We're waiting for the 12-week scan to be normal and then we'll tell everyone else.

That's on 18 Feb so we've already planned to phone our parents and D's sister. My sister knows the bare bones of the story because she "struggled" for 18 months but then they did fall pregnant naturally. D's sister asked after my last op, "are you guys trying to have a baby?" so he had to say yes.

Other than that, our entire family knows nothing.

At work only two people know that I'm pregnant. My boss and a colleague who sits behind me - his wife has had two miscarriages so we talk about babies. And he knows everything.

The clinic faxed the referral report to me (without phoning me first - I was FURIOUS!) today and someone forwarded the fax to me from our central inbox. My heart stood still when I saw what the fax was about.

She probably has read it - the only good thing is that it was 8 pages long and the pregnancy was only the last 2 pages, so if she got bored, she may not have looked that far.... I can hope, can't I?

This is the ungrateful pregnant person I moaned about two years ago. Of course since those days I've not said a single thing to her about anything.

There's one other lady at work I spoke to after my first IVF failure and she was one of those trying to be compassionate "maybe it wasn't meant to be" people which drives me BATTY!

The reason we're in the IVF closet is two-fold actually:

1) we generally are very private people - D more so than me
2) I hate stupid questions and want to SLAP people when they say idiotic things. I also do my bit to educate the well-intentioned but ignorant fertile people but it gets a bit much some times. You know all the "the reason you two can travel so much is because you don't have children" remarks. GRRR
3) somehow this IVF thing seems to be "frowned on" in our type of church because it's like you're "not standing in faith" or some such thing.

After some comments like that by friends of ours, I got tough (well, I am tough, but I got really hard and cold) and I've told friends of mine straight up, "I don't want to talk about anything like this with you because we clearly disagree". D says he's surprised she still talks to me :)

A pastor we're really, really close to knows everything too - in fact we're having supper together tomorrow and we'll tell him then.

Funny thing is a lot of our non-Christian friends know about the IVF and are so accepting of everything and, as a result, we've told them quite a bit more. We were on the phone with friends in London and D told him our news. He was so excited and has nicknamed the twins, Andrew and Jennifer (very English but SOOOO not my type of name). Still it's better than calling them my kidney beans!

I seem to find it easier to tell people I don't know that well, e.g. I chatted to two coaches recently and told them both very easily. I signed up for a teleseminar series and wanted to check something before paying (that I'd be able to send in questions even if not on the calls live) and I said it in the email NO problem. A lot of my online friends know about everything IVF, even the pregnancy.

Why is it that I share so easily with the entire online world but I don't with real life people? Clearly I have intimacy problems.

So, all the rambling aside, I would DEARLY love to know about you.

Are you in or out of the IVF closet? If you're out, when did you tell people and what were their reactions?

P.S. And if you're pregnant, when did you start telling people?


  1. We started as out of the IVF closet and are going progressively more in as time goes by. Similarly, we told people early about our first pregnancy, which unfortunately we lost, and since then told almost no one about number 2 and number 3. It's a difficult decision to make with pros and cons for either way. I'm in a new workplace this year where no one knows that I'm doing IVF or have had miscarriages (not even my boss - somehow i've managed to sneak away when i've needed to), and it's been a real relief. At the same time, it means i've given up the potential for support...


  2. How funny that we are exactly the same!! My 12 week scan is on the 18th as well. Cool, huh? By the way, where do you live? Are you in England?

    My life has always been a pretty open book and infertility was no exception. I have had my share of idiots trying to tell me to relax and all that stuff. I just tell them exactly what I think and tell them that they are being insensitive/stupid and move on. I really don't mind offending anyone who is just completely stupid!! Anyay, we told our families and closest friends about our pregnancy right away. Some people (my husbands snooty uncle)are rude and decide for me that they don't want to talk about it. They think it will jinx it. I tell them that it's not up to them...I will talk about it if I want to. ppbbbbttt!! :P It is what it is and no amount of talking about it will change anything.
    I think the things that irritates me now is since we are miraculously pregnant people tell me that I must have finally relaxed and just stopped thinking about it. I was gearing up for another medicated cycle...stupid people. I'm not shy about it!! Can you tell? I'm crossing our fingers and praying for both of us. Good luck!

  3. I did not tell anyone (even parents and in-laws) about the pregnancy till the 12th week. I did not tell them about IVF. My hubby did tell his brother that we are having problem conceiving and his brother told the other family members. Only four of our friends know that we had infertility treatments. When I tried telling some people we are having problem problem conceiving they told us "just relax" and I did not feel speaking to them after that. So cyclesista was my only outlet.

  4. Mo, you're so right - that's the only good thing about being out of the closet. The support.

    Although I saw the downside after our first chemical pregnancy because we had to tell (what seems like) hundreds of people that the cycle failed.

    After that, my hubby said, the next time, we're telling nobody (of course, the infertility group knew everything)

    Leah, I'm in South Africa!

    I was thinking that people are also going to think we finally "relaxed" when they find out about our pregnancy but the twins have taken care of that. Because we'll get the "are there twins in your family?" and we've decided to say, "no, these are IVF babies" and leave it at that!

    Debbie, I totally get the silly answers and that's why we stopped telling people too!

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  6. We told a handful of people about the IVF. More than I think, but still a lot of people don't know. It's not something we're advertising and if someone doesn't know us well, they're not going to find out.

    The people that did know about the IVF (with the exception of 2), know that we got pregnant right away. I sent 2 of my friends a picture of the pregnancy test because I didn't believe it.

    My cousin is the only one in my family who knows we've been having trouble and are doing stuff medically. She's basically my sister. My parents know I've got some unexplained medical issues (due to spotting), but not that we went to an RE for help. We told my parents at 6 weeks, his parents at 8 weeks. My cousin at 9 or 10 weeks. I think we're going to tell siblings and some other family at 11 weeks and then tell friends and stuff at 12.

  7. Anonymous10:19 pm

    i did tell a few close friends & my mom when we started a first cycle but then when the cycle was cancelled it was so painful to have to go back and tell them all that we decided to keep totally private for the 2nd cycle, and i think it has relieved some of the stress - no pressure to be updating everyone. or worrying about how worried my mom is! i have to tell you that what you said when you compared infertility to any other condition that you would see a doctor about (i.e. if you had diabetes you wouldn't wait for God to cure it & I can't wait for him to cure infertility either)really made me feel good - it was like suddenly it all made since and i felt totally comfortable with what we were doing. i think it helped my husband even more than me! thank you!

  8. Nity
    I agree that it's easier to tell people who knew about the IF or IVF when you know you're pregnant.

    Good for you on being able to keep it so quiet.

    I'm so glad that you're comfortable with what you're doing. My pastor actually said to us, "do whatever it takes and don't concern yourself with what people think because a baby's the desire of your heart".

    This was after we were okay with the IVF thing but it still helped tremendously.

  9. i want to tell EVERYONE what we had to go through to get pregnant- the husband doesn't. however i think i've convinced him. i don't want our parents to think this is going to be easy the next time around either, they need to know that we STRUGGLED to have this baby. i'm not ashamed of it & i think it shows people how strong we are (is that selfish of me to think? ha!)
    a couple close friends know & 1 work person- but everyone else will assume we planned it & it just happened- so i'm going to figure out a "classy" way to announce the pregnancy & give all the details. i've also got to prepare myself for alot of questions because NO ONE i know really would "get" it. argh!
    so yeah- i'm not sure what i'm more excited about, telling people we're ku or telling them how we got ku :)

  10. Im sort of inbetween, some ppl at work know but they dont know everything but if someone asks then I will tell them. Our whole family knows but that doesnt bother me, they offer alot of support. Basically if you ask, I'll tell you but I dont go around advertising the fact.

  11. Anonymous12:55 am

    I'm definitely in the IVF closet and not sure that I'll ever come out. My mom and dad are the only ones that know we did IVF (they paid for it!) and they're the only ones that know that it worked so far. I'm almost 8 weeks and scared to death that I won't hear a heartbeat at my next appointment (in two days). I keep telling my husband that I'll calm down once we're through the first trimester but I'm not even sure that's true.

    I have two sisters who I'm very close to and it's been really hard not to tell them. One has four kids and one has three so it's pretty safe to say they have no idea what I've felt or gone through. I did tell one of my sisters that we were struggling with fertility issues and had tried IUI and drugs. She told me that she was sure that if I just had an orgasim then I would get pregnant (along with, "have you prayed," "maybe it's just not the right time," "do you want one of my kids -- I could use a break," -- etc.) After that, I just figured it wasn't worth getting upset or feeling angry towards her. I just wouldn't talk about it.

    Now I think I'm just so scared that something will happen that I don't want to jinx it by telling anyone. I's crazy but it's just the way I feel. We decided that if everything goes OK then we'd tell people at 4 months and then tell them it's twins around 6-7 months. If they make it. We thought we had a blighted ovum for two weeks and then bam...there was a 2nd heartbeat last week. It shocked us but it also reemphasized that things can change so quickly (in this case for the better) but it could also go the other way. Do I sound really negative?? I think infertility and all the things we've been through have really messed with my head. It's just so hard to have such little control over something.

    So, no one knows. They think I'm sick or have guessed I'm pregant but I'd deny it toothe and nail right now. Twins don't run in our family so I'm not quite sure how I'll respond to the questions when/if they come up. I have a few very blunt family members that I think will just ask -- Did you do IVF? I think I'll just say that we were blessed/lucky and change the subject. Right? If you are in the closet & having twins then how do you answer those questions? I don't want to lie but it's also no one's business. I don't want VERY PERSONAL aspects of my life to be the topic of other's conversations.


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