How not to BU in supporting IVF couple.

(53 Posts)
Ipsos Tue 05-Jan-16 22:56:33

Hi,

I wondered if people could give advice on what to say and what not to say to couples experiencing IVF. In particular to say / not to say to the Dad, who may be embarrassed to have all his personal stuff discussed in great detail with all and sundry?

Thanks!

Bunbaker Tue 05-Jan-16 23:01:24

I would take your cue from them. I don't think raising the subject first would be a good idea.

Pigeonpost Tue 05-Jan-16 23:02:20

I'm not sure its appropriate to say anything at all is it? You wouldn't start a conversation with someone about how often they have sex to try and conceive a baby so why the need to actively say anything about the IVF? Obvs if it comes up in conversation then a simple "oh good luck, I'll keep everything crossed for you" comment. Take their lead.

Cabrinha Tue 05-Jan-16 23:07:15

Why is it the Dad you're worried about? So you mean the man not the father, as they're going through treatment?

What's the actual situation?

My advice is to treat them like normal people?

When people conceive naturally, no-one quizzes them. You don't say "oh what position did you have sex in?" or any other personal question.

If someone tells you they're going through IVF, don't ask specific questions but if they've mentioned it first be more general.

So if they say "we're doing IVF" you could say "oh, I don't know much about that process" - and if they want to tell you, they can. Or you can say "good luck with it!"

What do you think you say to them? I don't really understand your issue.

FWIW I will /did happily talk to anyone about why we had IVF (both male and female factor) and what it entailed and how I felt about it. It's not always a sensitive subject.

Fractiousfractions Tue 05-Jan-16 23:09:16

Maybe have a read of this, it's not too long.

www.infertilitynetworkuk.com/uploaded/Fact%20Sheets/Families%20Parents%20Friends%20Colleagues%20April%202014.pdf

I'm currently doing IVF and think it's spot on. It's not about IVF specifically but more generally about how friends and family can support people with fertility issues. It's very nice that you have thought about how to approach this, but would strongly agree with PPs to take your lead from the couple. Maybe he won't want to talk about it at all. My husband would rather boil his own head that chat about it to a friend smile

29redshoes Tue 05-Jan-16 23:09:43

Why would very personal things about the dad need to be discussed in great detail? I agree with the PPs, definitely wait for them to raise it first. If they do want to talk about it then be willing to listen, and a simple 'good luck, I really hope this works for you' would probably be an appropriate response.

Cleensheetsandbedding Tue 05-Jan-16 23:11:40

Don't say anything about it until they bring it up.

One of my friends brought it up the other day on a girls Night out ' so how's it going then? When do you start?

I'd just miscarriaged.

It wasn't her fault but also not somthing I wanted to discuss over an Italian.

Cleensheetsandbedding Tue 05-Jan-16 23:13:17

Are you thinking about the dads sample?

' hey how did your jizz go ?? Read any interesting books in there?? '

grin no honestly don't say that ..

Doobigetta Tue 05-Jan-16 23:14:08

I wouldn't say anything at all. As a PP said, you don't go into detail about the conception when it is done without help, so why should it be any different. I know a woman who has put many people's backs up with constant references to "that lovely couple with the IVF baby". The kid in question hasnt been a baby for years, let the faux caring prurience drop, FFS!

Cleensheetsandbedding Tue 05-Jan-16 23:14:39

fractious I'm hopefully starting my third round back end of this month. Good luck !

Ipsos Tue 05-Jan-16 23:17:44

I'm only struggling because the Mum is enjoying having girlie chats with me about it at every opportunity and it's always when we're out as two couples together and I suspect the Dad is getting a bit hot under the collar. I want to support the Mum by listening and asking questions, but I also want to support the Dad, which I suspect I can do best by knowing nothing at all about any of this. I know the Dad very very well and have only met the Mum 4 times but want to make her extra welcome as she's the new person in the group. It's a tricky balance. Thanks for the link Fractious.

Fractiousfractions Tue 05-Jan-16 23:17:50

Ah, thanks flowers Good luck to you too cleensheets!

Cleensheetsandbedding Tue 05-Jan-16 23:24:43

op honestly smile, nod and look intrested. It's a non issue.

WorraLiberty Tue 05-Jan-16 23:29:22

Does the Dad want/need your support?

And is it wise to encourage the woman to keep talking about it, if you suspect the Dad may be embarrassed to have all his personal stuff discussed in great detail with all and sundry?

Mind you, suppose it's up to him to tell her to stop doing it on a night out.

Ipsos Tue 05-Jan-16 23:30:21

Thanks smile. That was a very helpful link Fractious. It explains a lot that I had misunderstood.

I'm finding it very easy to get too excited about the "the baby", but of course I suppose there might not be one. You can hear that when I talk about them as the "Mum" and "Dad". At the same time the couple are getting a bit over-involved in my ds which kind of freaks him and me out. The lady is running him as if he were her own when we are out together, but I asked her if she'd mind stepping that back a bit, and she was totally fine with that. She seems a really lovely person.

It sounds as if I need to velcro my mouth shut and go back to smiling and nodding. I will try to do that. It's not my strong suit, I must admit.

Cabrinha Tue 05-Jan-16 23:34:27

You know the dad "very very well"?

(I'm confused by mum/dad references - is this for a second child? If he's been through her discussing their IVF in public before he's presumably used to it and has had plenty of time to speak to his wife about how open he prefers to be?)

But if you know him very very week. then why not just ask him how he feels about discussing it, in private?

"Hey X, your wife bring up the IVF loads - you don't look too comfortable - are you OK? Do you want me to head it off a bit with one word answers?"

Ipsos Tue 05-Jan-16 23:35:09

Pidgeon I totally would have that conversation. smile I'm very interested in that kind of stuff. The lady in the couple is too, but the man is not.

CockwombleJeff Tue 05-Jan-16 23:35:22

I'm guessing it's their first cycle as they sound naively optimistic and upbeat ....

I think you're being really compassionate by trying to understand .

IVF can have a huge emotional, financial and physical loss ... And I'm one of the lucky ones!

I think just lending an empathetic ear will be just fine ... Steer away from excitedness .... IVF is a very long series of hurdles.

Cabrinha Tue 05-Jan-16 23:38:24

Cross posts.

I'd have HATED someone referring to me as "the mum" during my IVF. The thing I found hardest was some people just not getting that it wasn't a magic bullet. I was lucky, other IVF friends have not been.

You sound a bit over invested in them too!

Just speak to your male friend!

My treatment and our issues weren't private at all though - it isn't automatically. I don't think sub fertility is something to be embarrassed about and think that if more people spoke out it would be better understood.

Ipsos Tue 05-Jan-16 23:40:37

I think I have my instructions now thanks. I'd better not say more as I can't give more context without giving more personal stuff about the couple. Thanks ever so much and very best of luck to those of you trying IVF. smile

Cabrinha Tue 05-Jan-16 23:42:38

Also, once you've given the reason for IVF, there really isn't much personal to say about the male side of things!

He'll generally have had a sperm test then all he has to do is wank in a cup, assuming no surgical sperm retrieval type stuff.

All the stuff to talk about is female side - like the joy of having your follicles counted by a dildo-cam poked around in your vag grin

Frankly, if she wants to talk about what's happening with her body, that's her business.

Cleensheetsandbedding Tue 05-Jan-16 23:42:55

Yes I think most people think it's just going to magically work every time. I was lucky first time, 2nd time miscarried almost as soon as I found out which really confused people and I had questions like ' so was you really pregnant then?

This time we are keeping shtum! 🤓

Cleensheetsandbedding Tue 05-Jan-16 23:44:54

cabrin oh I do hate the dildo cam with a durex on blush

Cabrinha Tue 05-Jan-16 23:48:47

Yes, I know the enthusiasm brigade are just trying to cheer lead for you, but it didn't help me - felt like it was undermining my fears.

I struggled with a friend trying to persuade me that my really high number of eggs (28!) was great. But I kept trying to tell her, it's 28 because I have PCOS. Because I have PCOS my consultant believes my quality is poor. So the 28 isn't loads of extra chances - it's the sign that it's actually unlikely to work! I'm one of the first time lucky ones - but from that 28 there were only ever 2 to transfer, nothing to freeze. It worked, no complaints, I'm lucky. But I really felt she hadn't a clue, "wow, 28, that's so good!"
My sister had 8, good quality, and two separate successful pregnancies - because she had good eggs and was in because of male factor.

I know she was just trying to be supportive though!

awfullyproper Tue 05-Jan-16 23:50:34

Yes,drop the mum and dad stuff, unless they already have kids and wait for them to talk. As someone else said, it sounds like they are new and optimistic. IVF can be exhausting and heartbreaking. Ive been both lucky and then repeatedly unlucky. It can be very difficult. Just be there if and when you're needed.
I think smiling,nodding and expressing support is enough.

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