Monday, December 21, 2009

Home for the Holidays

This Christmas I've decided not to remove the IVF cycle calendar from my refrigerator door.

This Christmas I've decided not to hide my IVF meds behind the deli meat.

This Christmas I will leave my sharps container on the kitchen counter.

Why?

In the past I have been hyper secretive about our infertility where my family is involved. I just "came out" after IVF number four.

Why?

I always thought I would tell my family about our journey while holding a baby in my arms. I would explain how MY little miracle was TRULY a miracle. I didn't want my family to know about my struggle while I was still a failure. I'm not great with sharing my failures....even with my family...maybe especially with my family.

But now, things are different. I have accepted that this journey might not end with a baby. I want my family to understand why pregnancy announcements are hard for me, why they shouldn't ask when I'm having a baby, why I may not be able to participate in my sister's baby shower, why I won't hold my cousin's new baby due in a couple months.

I want witnesses for my pain.

I want my family to understand and appreciate what I have been through.

I want support.

So this weekend I will be explaining the inner workings of IVF to the uninitiated. I'll be saying that the shots aren't too bad. I'll be explaining how not everyone turns into Octomom. I'll be bracing myself for an inevitable insensitive comment. I will be looked at with pity.

But I will be with my family. And they will understand and appreciate and support the best they can.

31 comments:

sprogblogger said...

I have been pleasantly surprised with the level of caring and respect I've been treated with since "coming out" to family and friends. I hope they surprise you with their kindness and tact and generosity of spirit. I hope there are no unkind or unthinking comments, and I hope you get every bit of the support you deserve.

birdsandsquirrels said...

Good for you. I hope that your family gives you the understanding and support that you need and deserve. I hope that, by some miracle, there are no insensitive comments. By the way, your puppy is about the cutest thing I have ever seen.

areyoukiddingme said...

I'm sure you will get lots of insensitive questions and advice. I'm also sure it will be worth listening to all that in order to get the love and support that you need and that will surely be forthcoming. Merry Christmas - maybe you can get a Christmas miracle like birdsandsquirrels suggested!

Amber said...

You deserve the understanding and support of your family. I feel like those around me need to know what I've been going through in order to understand why I seem insensitive or distant at times. I hope it goes well! Merry Christmas!!

musicmakermomma said...

Your post really spoke to me, as this is the exact place I am now. Before IVF 4 should I just tell? I am so tired of hiding all the stuff, sneaking off to do the shots and trying to hide my crushing disappointment after a BFN or m/c. I always figured I'd just get pg and then I'd tell (if anyone cared). Not about the donor egg part - I do think that is news I will keep between myself and Mr momma, and a very few select people.

You may have tipped the scales for me - but I'm scared everyone will be saying I'm too old (44). I judge myself about this. Everyone just assumes we are done. But I'm tired of living 1/2 my life in secret.

jenicini said...

Here, here to support from family. I've been out for awhile and love love love the warmth and support I have gotten. Changing misperceptions one snarky comment at a time. :)

Nic said...

Good for you, am proud of you. I am not sure whether I will include my family in the IVF journey, mainly for the pity, gossip and insenstitive comments. We shall see. I realy hope they give you all the support you need and more

Bean stalk ballads said...

whats fantastic about this for me, in reading your blog, is that you are doing something that is right for you, thought through, with care and compassion. I hope this turns out the way you would hope for with the support you require.

callmemama said...

Good luck to you! I hope it goes well and you get the loving support you deserve.

Nicole said...

I am so glad that you are going to open up to those closest to you. It can be so hard--so I totally get how you didn't go there last holiday. But ultimately, I found that the more my family and close friends knew, the more they really understood how there were times I just couldn't see/do/be where they were. It sounds like you will have so much support--I hope you feel it from the beginning.

SassyIfLady said...

I wish I could give you a big hug! I think that's awesome. And you're right - you need support AND you totally deserve it from the people that love you the most. There is NOTHING to be ashamed of on this journey! Take care and good luck with the holiday season! :-)

Shelley said...

Good for you! I've only told a small handful of people and there are some times when I just wish my family knew so that I didn't have to endure the stares, because I knew they were wondering when I was going to get pregnant. I hope this turns out to be a liberating experience for you. Good luck!

Kate said...

Here's to coming out - I hope you find you get empathy and compassion rather than pity and insensitive remarks.
My family has known of the infertility from the start and has been pretty good. The 2 pg announcements from my brother after they knew we were struggling came over the phone, with or without prewarning from my Mom. At least I didn't have to put a happy face on in person (he's had 3 while we're on the 3rd pregnancy, and dealt with 2 miscarriages). I have had to deal with my mother going on at me about how I should take a break and it would happen, how I'm putting all these drugs into my body. But then she gave us the funds for an IVF cycle.
My DH kept the IVF part secret from his family because he thought his older very religious father might have a problem with it. They did know about the two losses and our struggles up to that point though. Thankfully, his sister is well past her child-bearing years.
I've taken my injects along to visit my brother and kept them in his fridge (sort of hidden, but not hard to find, just to keep from grossing anyone out). Glad yours will be a little more out in the open. I'm surprised my mother didn't comment on the 1/3 of a fridge shelf I still have filled with my Gonal-F. I just couldn't bear to get rid of my extras until after I've had a successful IVF cycle and pregnancy. :)
Best of luck in your search for support! (And of course success in the IVF struggle too)

Kate said...

What a beautiful post. You are very brave, and I think it's wonderful that you are giving your family the opportunity to support you. Have a lovely holiday.

Tracey said...

It sounds like you are ready and prepared for all sorts of reactions which you will surely get. I think it will feel so good to get it out there! I hope you are joyfully suprised by the level of support you receive. It's just too hard to go through this without the support of everyone under the sun. Good luck!!

B. said...

Congratulations! I hope that you get all the support you can expect from family, and then some. I didn't tell mine, and I wonder sometimes if they would have lived down to my expectations or surprised me. I bet they would have been more supportive and understanding than I give them credit for. I'm glad you're giving your family the opportunity to be there for you.

Carrie said...

I'm so proud of you!!! I remember when I first finally told my family...they were so much better and supportive than I imagined. Infertility sucks...I hate that it steals away from us the opportunity to "surprise" our families with a pregnancy announcement.

Dora said...

Rock on, girl! I'm sure you'll hear some insensitive things whether you tell or not, but by telling you give them a chance to be supportive. As for the stupid comments, you've got all of us to bitch to.

waiting and wishing said...

Good for you! I'm not there yet, but with each person I tell about our struggle (very few) I feel such a sense of relief... one less person to pretend for. Merry Christmas!

butterflyanla said...

Congratulations on having the strength needed to be bold and wise and stand up for not only yourself but infertile women everywhere. I hope all goes well and your family in understanding.

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twelvegrapes said...

Good for you. They should give you the support and care that you deserve. We have been open from the beginning with our family and friends. In retrospect, I'm glad for it because they sort of understood where we were at most of the time.
Everyone isn't going to understand, but you just have to speak your truth and those who care will be there.

finch said...

I have had nothing but support and kindness from my family. Not to say that I don't get the odd comment that makes me shake my head, cause I do, but overall I've been very fortunate to have the love and understanding of my family. I hope it goes well!

KuKd Chick said...

Ya know what? GOOD. Your family just might surprise you with empathy. I think the more people know and understand about what you're going through, the better. Here's to hoping all goes well!

Eggie said...

I hope you're having a very merry Christmas with your family this morning.

womb for improvement said...

I hope they responded with sensitivity and it is a relief it is out in the open.

Renee said...

I am glad you have decided to tell your family. I think the support you will receive will be worth it. You have tried this journey for almost 950 days without informing your family.

Maybe sharing it will be just what you needed.

Let us know how it goes.

Hugs

Elizabeth Mac said...

Good for you!
We suffer from secondary infertility and I was beyond tired of hearing the comments about how we can't let our son be an only child.
There are still some who don't understand and don't think (such as the s.i.l. who made ME ask HER if she was pregnant; or the future s.i.l. who told me to stop trying now and start again in the summer when they will be trying so we can do it together). But others are great about it.
by the way...I told by posting about it in my 'family and friends' blog. Much easier than talking about it!

mekate said...

thinking of you Megan, and hoping it went well, is somehow going well, and that you have more support and understanding now. This is such a big secret to keep, you are so brave.

take care and happy new year,
Kate

Bec said...

i am still somewhat in the closet too with my IF... DH though likes to tell everyone! I asked him the other day why he tells everyone our problems, he simply said, "it's good to have people rooting for you, don't you think?"

LenaBug said...

We've been trying about as long as you, though we haven't gone beyond Clomid. Actually, we just finished cycle two on Clomid, with no luck. They shouldn't really count...we were supposed to be "getting busy" right on top of first Thanksgiving and then Christmas - not kidding :( We've called another halt, though. I'm...depressed. He's tired of me being sick all the time. Your comments about telling your family touched me. Our families know we are struggling against infertility. They don't know we've tried Clomid. Well, my sister in law does, but she's not much help - she has a two month old baby (her first). Oh...we did tell my mom. Somehow that doesn't help. She thinks we should just leave it in God's hands. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to make this a letter. I just wanted to let you know that I hope your revelation to your family goes well, and that you get your precious little one soon. *hugs*

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