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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Right Choice Isn't Always Easy

Sometimes the right thing is hard to do.  I know it's the right thing to tell our parents (and possibly siblings) about our infertility.  I know that our parents would want to know so they can try to be supportive of us.  I almost feel like they have a 'right' to know since they are our parents.  They love us and when they find out eventually I'm worried they'll feel bad that we didn't tell them sooner.

But, I really, really don't want to tell them....and here's my list of reasons why:
1.  I know it's going to be really hard.  I won't see them in person for a while, so I either have to tell them over the phone or in an email.  Oddly I'm leaning towards the email because I'm worried I'll start crying on the phone.  Is sending your parents an email about this type of thing bad?
2.  I'm worried they will want to ask us a bunch of questions and talk a lot about the situation.  Again, I don't want to get too emotional.
3.  My mother in law is overly dramatic and has a big mouth.  I really think she'll tell other people or say things (unintentionally) that will upset me.
4.  I don't want them to have to feel the heartbreak that we feel every month when we're hoping for a BFP.  When we tell them I don't think we'll go into a lot of details about when we are cycling, etc. because I don't want them to feel that stress.  Plus, I would still really like to be able to surprise them when we are pregnant.
5.  My sister has mentioned before that she's always worried she wouldn't be able to get pregnant.  I don't want to make her more nervous that she might experience IF too.  (I'm sure she won't since our problem seems to be more related to J, but still, no one needs that added stress.)
6.  My sister in laws also don't know how to keep things to themselves (seems like a trend on that side of the family).  Actually my one sister in law probably already knows something is up because J told his brother (her husband).  Maybe that side of the family already knows.
7.  I'm sad that my parents will never get to experience the surprise of finding out that they are going to be grandparents.  I know they will find out once we finally conceive.  But now it won't be a surprise because they will know that we have been trying.  I would think they might suspect something by now, simply based on our ages, but who knows?
8.  How do we decide who to tell?  I was thinking we would just tell our parents, but since J already told his brother, he also thinks his sister should know (I thought this was dumb logic, but whatever).  I was only going to tell my parents, but maybe I should tell my sister too.  And I have a brother, but he's only 23, would he really care?  Ugh! 

It's just so hard...I know now is the right time, but I'm such a chicken.  I really think I should tell them before we have the IUI since that's actual medical treatment.

Ladies - When did you tell your families about your struggle?  How did you do it?


  1. Holy crap… numbers 1-4 & 6-8… are we are same person? The first four were seriously my top four concerns when we made the decision to tell our parents. So far, none of them have been a problem… at least not that I know of! I think email is TOTALLY acceptable. That is what we did just recently, and if I were doing it all over again I’d do it the same way. We waited 2.5 years, 6 unmonitored rounds of clomid and 5 IUIs to tell our parents. It is a personal, intimate and emotional topic- you have to be ready to share when you do. The best advice I can give you is to set very clear boundaries when it comes to how you want to deal with this. We felt a little harsh when we wrote our email, but we’ve also been treated exactly as we asked to be. When I was in your shoes another blogger forwarded me what she sent to her family and it was really helpful. If you’d like to see what we wrote shoot me an email (my address is on my blog) and I will forward it along to you. Good Luck!!

  2. My advice (if you want it that is) is to tell your parents and siblings. Ask them to please keep it to themselves. I know that's a hard thing to trust people with, but look at it this way...

    If you tell them, you have a support system of people who love you and care. They could be praying for you guys ( if you're religious) or just in general be of some support. In the beginning I found it harder to keep it to ourselves, made me more miserable. And now that I'm " out of the infertility closet" I feel much less stressed and feel wayyyyy more support and love.

    It is a very personal and private thing. But I think after the intial " Oh crap everyone knows" feeling....good will come of it....:)

  3. It is definitely overwhelming to come out and tell people. We actually only told any family that we were even thinking of trying/were trying after the miscarriage. 1st the parents and then slowly the rest.

    It has given me tremendous releif. The burden is now shared and I have more people I can turn to for support when things get hard(er). You just have to do what you feel is best and right for you. Good Luck!

  4. Visiting from wishing and waiting! I can very much understand and appreciate how you are feeling. My immediate family knew by default. From the age of 13, I've been in and out of specialists and have been told by every doctor I've seen since the age of 16 that if I could conceive, it would be a difficult journey. I come from a family of mostly girls and my one and only brother is a doctor, so it's been a very open topic with my family. We're also very close, and I agree, it's hard knowing that they feel the hurt, stress, and disappointment alongside of us.

    Outside of my family (which really wasn't an active sharing...), we've told less than a handful of people... of the sparing few, most are professionals that needed to know. We've not told my husband's family. They're not nearly as close and my husband has only one sister. I can't imagine having that conversation with them.

    I think email is completely appropriate. For me, it helps me to get my thoughts out fully and without being interrupted. Plus it gives you a little more of an opportunity to censor when you read/talk about it and maintain the boundaries that are important to you.

    Wishing you the best. Don't feel pressured, but I think you should also not deprive yourself of their support because you are afraid of hurting or stressing them. This is what family is all about...

  5. We had the same reservations as you did. My bigggest concern was, will there be more pressure now? And I was also scared that they would say something rude adn it would really hurt my feelings.
    We waited 13 months to tell my parents. We didn't tell his (they aren't close) and we did not tell my brothers (they are younger than me and I don't think they would care or they would be grossed out).
    We not only told them our story, but also told them some things that most non IFs don't know. We told them things they could say that would be helpful or hurtful and asked them to do some research on it themselves.
    Overall, there were some things that they said that were hurtful (unintentionally), but overall I am glad I told them.
    It was still a surprise when we told them we were pregnant. And even if it wasn't, the surprise is fun, but it is the rest of the stuff that is really exciting.
    I would do whatever makes you comforatable.
    Good luck!