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  1. #1
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    Default Should we tell our friends and family about our infertility or not

    It is always hard to decide who to tell and when. There seems to be varying opinions on this subject and no-where for people to just post their story or ask questions to help with this hard decision. Everyone has their own opinion on this and each route will be different.

    This is the place for everyone to tell their story and ask their questions like
    What do you think? What is your experiences?

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    I thought I would start this thread off with my story with the hope that others feel free to post their stories here too.

    Hubby and I have been trying for about 9 years so far. When we went to the fertility clinic after a year of TTC we decided that was time to tell our parents. We never wanted any blame passed. We explained "we" have infertility and told only our parents to start with. As time went on we told the whole family, then moved on and told all our friends, so that they can discuss it amongst themselves if they need to - they are there to help us as we are to them. It also means that anyone else going through it can find us. It is amaising how many other people had had problems with conception and it opened the doors for us and them to talk. I think for us it really helped. I am glad we did it slowly and surely. It gave us a chance to talk about things with people with different takes on it and different suggestions. We've heard everything from do the baby dance on the beach, on the penis of the statue in England to there is a pregnancy chair in my office come up and sit in it, do the baby dance as often as possible. We have been told that oh we had a problem and had to use pills, had a/some child/ren by IVF etc. My mother in particular has been an amaising source of information. She had lots of MC 3 before me then me then 2 more and sister and eventually told can have no more children to fall pregnant again. People seem to talk to her and tell her about their experiences and she tells us about it. We've heard of one person getting pregnant from clomid, and another from IVF. It always encourages us when we hear this. She always seems to reveal the stories at the particular time we going through the particular option too. If we had never spoken to her we would never have so many positive stories.

    It was amaising how supportive everyone was. I think their reactions may have been different if we explained who's fault it is so we NEVER go down that route. Thankfully we can't go down that route as there is nothing wrong with either of us.

    I do think that by everyone knowing if we slip up and say the wrong thing when someone is pregnant or have an unusual reaction to things people tend to understand more.

    The one thing I am dubious about is DH telling his new boss. He told one boss where he was working, who then passed on strange messages to me. Thankfully he has "gone" now. Now he has a new boss and is of the same opinion that to tell is a way of his boss knowing what is going on to make the logistics side of things easier on the company with least impact on his job. They just know he will need time to go to the fertility clinic. That is all they need to know.

    I had surgery last year and because his company knew about it they could plan to cover him while I was in hospital. This was a fibroid the size of an avacado that was affecting fertility and was found to neither be normal nor cancer. If they had not known about the fertility then he may not have found it so easy to have 3 weeks off at the drop of a hat, followed by a couple more weeks working from home. They aren't worried he is going for interviews or dying they can just plan for the inconvenience of it.

    I have always thought when people have "appointments" without telling the employer or providing a medical certificate that the employer thinks they are looking for work, so perhaps overlooks them for pay rises or special assignments.

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    Milly888  (30-04-2013)

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    I'm totally for telling friends and family. They can be supportive and often you get offers of eggs and surrogacy whether you need them or not . Makes you love some people more.

    I'm totally against telling work. They made my life hell. Harassed me over days off when they knew I was doing Ivf and I had a medical certificate. Would stick pins in my eyes rather than tell work again.

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    T1gger  (08-04-2013)

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    What a great idea

    Well my DP and I have only been together for 18mths, but we knew pretty much straight away we wanted a baby together, and because I have no fallopian tubes we had no other option then to turn to IVF and with my age (37) I didnt want to wait too long to get the ball started so to speak!!

    We decided that we would tell both our mothers, and his sisters, basically because we live in the country and we have to go to Melbourne we stay at his sisters house and Im the worst liar ever to could never try and make a story as to why we were there, so it was a lot easier to just tell them our plans!!
    Thankfully they were all very very supportive and excited for us

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    T1gger  (08-04-2013)

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    Its interesting that you bring this up.... dp and i had our mandatory pre-ivf counselling sessiom just this week and we clearly have different ideas about telling people. I'm curious to see other stories - so subbing for now and i'll come back tonite when i'm not on my phone.

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    T1gger  (08-04-2013)

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    Hi, well we decided not to tell anyone about our journey to have our 2 children. Our decision was based on the fact that I never want my children to be treated differently by others because of the way they were conceived. I know it may sound harsh but these days kids get teased and bullied for so many reasons and I never want them treated any different to their friends just because they were "ivf babies"....

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    T1gger  (08-04-2013)

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    Hi!

    We also spent alot of time trying to decide what to do.

    We ended up telling a few select people initially. Our parents, siblings, very close friends. We then told a few more friends along the way as I was getting sick of feeling like I had to hide not drinking/turning down invites etc. On the most people have been fantastic. My girlfriends have been there eith hugs and wine after failed cycles and I have felt ok saying no

    One recommendation however would be to really be sure that you consider who you tell will be able to keep your information confidential. I have had the unfortunate situation of having some 'friends' who told others (who we knew but not well) what was happening... They then asked me about it while they were drunk... exactly what we didnt want!
    It has changed my friendship with those people due to trust issues.

    My other recommendation is to be very clear with the people that you tell whether or not you wish to talk about your journey. For me I didnt want to be asked how we were going, test results etc. I also didnt want 'advice'. I was very clear about this but still some people will ask so I also clearly told them we wouldnt be giving out updates until or if we felt ready as there was enough people in our medical team that we had to talk to. Sounds harsh but something to consider.

    Be aware too that once you get the BFP its much much harder to hide if you want to stay quite for the 12weeks. I purposely didnt tell people that we were doing transfers just that we were cycling. I am now using the line 'everything went great, I got sick from the meds so just taking time out then back into appts and tests next month'... a slightly twisted version of the truth.

    Take your time making the decision x

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    T1gger  (08-04-2013)

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    We decided to tell our close friends and family when we started IVF. I found it a big relief after stuggling alone for 2 years. However, our first cycle of IVF DH and I both told our mums, sisters and best friends about everything and when it was a BFN we found it double as hard to break the bad news to them too. We have decided this month with the FET we will just be a bit more vague and not tell anyone the details. Maybe it will be easier to deal with.
    I am about to start a new job and decided to tell my new boss about the IVF as I want to work only 35 hours a week. Turns our he has been through it himself and is very understanding, basically just gave me free reign to work whaver hours i want as long as I do my job. DH also told his boss who has been very understanding.
    I think you have to tread very carefully when thinking about telling work as it could go both ways...

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    T1gger  (08-04-2013)

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    We dealt with infertility when trying to conceive both our children (DD, and I am now pregnant with #2). We did something different each time.

    With DD it took us a bit over a year, and Clomid to get there. We only told our parents and best friends that we were TTC. In retrospect, I wish we had told others. We fielded a lot of awkward questions and jokes about when we were going to have kids - and one person at work even said that she could never imagine me as a mother. She had no idea what we were going through, and it was heartbreaking.

    2nd time around, we told pretty much anyone and everyone, and it was a big relief. It took just on 2 years, and over a year of treatment (Clomid, FSH + IUI, and IVF), and it helped me to be able to talk about it. Everyone was fantastic, and no one hassled us for progress updates.

    When I did get pregnant, I told most of our friends straight away, as they were all coming to my birthday function and I wasn't going to be drinking (!) - big giveaway for me... I then miscarried at 8.5 weeks, and they were all so supportive. I don't know how I would have got through it if I hadn't told people, as I was a mess.

    Sure, there were some insensitive remarks at times, but they were all well-meaning and the support and love we received outweighed them a million times over. It helped me to feel like I wasn't going through it alone.

    DH didn't tell most the staff at work for some time (we own the company), until someone who did know alerted him that other staff members had noticed that he was stressed, or sometimes out of the office, and people were concerned that there may be problems with the company! He then opened up to them, and they were all wonderful.

    I wish now that we had told people what we were going through the first time around, as the support has been invaluable. This pregnancy has been a rocky one, with lots of scares, and friends and family have been so supportive and understanding. It's a stressful thing to go through alone.

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    T1gger  (08-04-2013)

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    When we were TTC our first, we kept it to ourselves for almost a year. I had to have surgery for endo and if anyone asked or when I was organizing time off work for it I just said I get a lot of pain so the surgery was for that (which was true anyway!).

    A few months later I fell pregnant and we told our parents and my best friend straight away. Unfortunately I miscarried and it was horrible. Noone knew we were TTC so we got a lot of jokes about having babies and even got lots of comments about me not drinking at an engagement party - which was the day after it was confirmed the pregnancy wasn't viable and I was waiting to miscarry naturally.

    We were lucky enough to fall pregnant with DD a few months later while going through the tests to start IVF (we have male factor issues which make natural conception very unlikely, it's amazing we fell pregnant twice on our own!).

    This time we kept TTC quiet again except for a few close friends, but even then we were pretty casual about it. We're now back at the fertility clinic for more tests and to look at our options as we've had 10 unsuccessful cycles trying on our own. I know it's not that long compared to others but I have excrutiating ovulation pain along with every thing else working against us, do we're not willing to drag it out. We've now decided to be much more open with friends and family. The support is invaluable and I prefer that people have an idea what's happening in case we have another loss.

    I have told my immediate boss at work as I need a bit of flexibility to get to appointments and potentially time off for procedures. He was very supportive and I know the rest of the management team would be too, but I asked him to keep it to himself for now.

    If we do end up doing IVF I will probably ask people not to ask for specific updates. A simple "how's it going/how are you?" is fine, but no "are you pregnant??"!

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