Why won't anyone acknowledge my infertility????(33 Posts)
Been TTC for nearly 3 years. Multitude of issues (all my fault, DH has super sperm) and now early onset menopause to add to the difficulty.
Friends have all been pregnant, had babies during this time and we've always been open about it. My closest friends are now pg (we've been through Uni together and lived together for years in the past). My fertility issues are never acknowledged or enquires about. I went through another (unsuccessful) IVF cycle last month which they were aware about and didn't receive a single text. They don't even know it's not worked. I appreciate that they're in a pg bubble but surely they can spare a moment to remember? Surely they are wondering?! I can tolerate the Insta bump pics and I always comment cheerfully but honestly. I guess I'm jealous, while at the same time being happy for them. I want MY baby. When we meet we talk non stop about babies. Never is anything mentioned about my issues. I don't know if I come across as a strong person but surely they can try to put themselves in my position? I feel like all of a sudden I can't cope with their pg being rubbed in my face. The text, updates about it all while ignoring my own struggles is too much.
I'm so sorry, Flora, that must be awful. I wonder if they feel it would be insensitive to ask?
It's a very difficult and personal subject. I would suspect that they simply are trying to avoid upsetting you by starting awkward conversations. Do you see them in situations where heart to heart conversions would be easy to have?
Of course they've remembered, they just don't know what to say. It's hard to have those kind of conversations with people. How much information do you volunteer? I would be taking my cue from you, so if your not talking about it I don't think I'd be asking. I'd be assuming it was personal and too painful to discuss right now.
If they are very good friends I'd suggest a carefully worded but honest email.
They do sound very inconsiderate and self-absorbed, beyond the normal 'not knowing what to say' behaviour.
I'm sorry your IVF hasn't worked yet. I hope things turn around.
That is really sad. They sound very self absorbed. If I were you I'd bring up your situation and talk about it with them. That will show you're comfortable talking about it. If they don't bother asking and showing an interest after that, they are not your friends.
Thank you, Starling. It's the way they dismiss it that's the problem. When I do mention it, they say: "I know it will happen one day, you just need to be positive". I AM positive. I have even bought little baby bits and bobs along the way in a superstitious attempt to stay positive. Mad I know, and I don't do this anymore, but I am not making this more difficult by being negative.
That's crap 😑
My sil went through treatment, all failed, I fell pregnant just as her last one failed, we talked openly about it, but I always took her lead, do you think they're perhaps waiting for you to bring it up?
it must be tough.
Thanks so much everyone. I have disclosed information very candidly and they know everything. I just always feel like they are so happy with their own good fortune that they can't be bothered to talk about something so miserable. And it's hard to break all the happiness during lazy afternoons together when they are pulling my hand to "feel kicks" by saying, hey let's talk about my crap ovaries!
When I was in your situation I was very open about it and it was acknowledged, the difference being that at the time no one in my immediate circle was pregnant or TTC. I wonder if that aspect is making some of them feel uncomfortable?
Do you really see it as your 'fault' by the way, or is that just light hearted?
Your "friends" sound like a bunch of selfish thoughtless cunts Tbh
It's rubbish-just totally rubbish. There's nothing else to say about it. Being positive funnily enough has no effect on my Fallopian tubes, and relaxing wasn't a magic cure either.
I think people just don't know what to say and they feel like they've got to come up with some words of wisdom so what you get are trite platitudes of "It'll be you next".
There's a good thread running (I've been lurking for ages but not posted) here...
Thanks jennifer, I know that it is out of my control, but ultimately it is down to me. We'd have a baby by now if it weren't for my problems but we don't dwell on that.
Oh it definitely makes them uncomfortable but I think more in the sense that they are enjoying being pg at the same time and this just dampens the happy mood.
You mention "when I was in your situation". I hope this means that there was eventually light at the end of the tunnel for you .
People just don't know how to deal with things they can't fix. When someone is first diagnosed with an illness for example, there'll be a flock of people enquiring, bringing cards etc but it all disappears when it's an ongoing problem and becomes, well a dull subject in their eyes.
Best thing <ime> is lower expectations around those who can't empathise and get your support from those who can, others online or hospital support groups with others undergoing similar treatment.
It's crap it really is, but it is the exception not the norm that friends, even long term ones, can give real support for something they have no experience of.
They are trying to be sensitive by not mentioning it.
But if you were my very close friend I would definitely acknowledge it, even if it was a text afterwards or a quiet word at some point saying 'I hope this isn't too hard for you'.
I can see this is very upsetting for you but I suspect it's more that they don't want to make things harder than that they don't give a damn.
I know you want to feel included in their conversation but is there anything they could say to you that would be helpful? I'm sitting here thinking about it and I think I would struggle. I would never ask a friend if IVF had worked for example because if it has, then you might not want to say till 12 weeks, and if it hasn't then I would become just another person who you need to say that too. They can't ask what's next because they obviously knew about the IVF and it would be enormously insensitive to ask you what you plan for after that. They could ask what IVF involves but again they may think you don't want to describe it endlessly. Of course they can and should express support and care for you but it's harder than you might think to deal with a subject so sensitive.
They sound massively insensitive and selfish. If they weren't discussing endlessly their own pregnancies and getting you to feel the kicks, as well as not talking about your conception problems, then I'd just think they were trying to follow your lead and not wanting to upset you, BUT the fact they're going on about all things baby suggests to me that they're being very thoughtless. I would never do that to a friend.
I genuinely believe unless you have walked the infertility path you have no clue how it feels or indeed how to approach the subject so the throw away "it'll happen" comments are all they have.
When we were struggling I made friends with some women who were in similar positions to me so that I could talk through my feelings. People who get pregnant and carry though easily, in the main, can't understand.
The trouble is, flora, in these days where everything is blogged, there are a myriad of bloggers TTC who write "helpful" posts on things not to say to someone struggling with infertility, which include not asking how things are going as "when we have good news, we'll tell you, believe me" etc etc So your friends may well have read one of these, and think they are doing the right thing towards you, and are actually trying to be sensitive towards you and your feelings. I totally understand why you're upset, but I genuinely think they will have seen something/read something and think they are doing the right thing.
Why don't you send out a group email, acknowledging what you've said here - that you love hearing their news, but would feel much more supported if they asked you about your news too? You can explain that you appreciate that they've been trying to feel sensitive, whilst observing that, in fact, it's made you feel excluded and unsupported: that way, your friends will know it's OK to keep asking you and feel all right about being involved with your infertility, and you will also get the support that you need
Fertilityfriends.co.uk was a saviour of mine. One failed round 2014 . I just spoke about it openly . It's hard though as when I hadn't been through it I didn't know what to say to those who had. Currently had a successful round and due in 6 weeks but believe me I found it hard to go for a second round. I hope your friends get a little braver with you .
Hey Flora, I'm so sorry you've been struggling.
I can very much relate to how it feels when all around you are cheerfully getting pregnant and yammering on about babies, and it is just not bloody happening for you. The friends I've spoken to about my infertility are generally a bit more sensitive than yours - none of this smug 'hey feel the kicks!' stuff. I would not laugh that off these days and I think they all realise that. I think your friends are being insensitive, especially not checking in with you if they knew you were doing IVF. I'm sorry. I didn't tell everyone all the details of my IVF but the ones that knew were good about seeing how I was getting on and I appreciated it so much. I told people that it didn't upset me to be asked about it, but that sometimes I just wouldn't really want to talk about it, and we were all cool with that.
However, I have been fairly open about how shitty it all feels and I wonder if maybe you have hidden this a bit more, if so, perhaps they genuinely haven't got it. I know they SHOULD have worked it out but maybe you're doing a good job at covering things up. You shouldn't feel you have to, really you shouldn't. If telling them how things are for you makes them feel uncomfortable, well so be it. You feel pretty bloody uncomfortable yourself I am guessing. If they're still disappointing (and sadly some of them probably will be from my experience) well at least you know it's them and not you. Are they a bit on the young side? I'm pushing 40 so most of my friends of similar age have dealt with various tough stuff themselves over time and perhaps have a bit more life experience and resulting empathy...
I second the invitation over to Infertility (such a jolly board...) and the mind numbing boredom thread. Come and say the things you can't say anywhere else. Swearing encouraged. I bet you will nod in recognition at some of the other stories and emotions. You will feel less alone at least. I've recently 'graduated' so to speak (I hope) but it was a good place to find others who sometimes felt the same.
Once again I am so sorry you are in this shitty situation. Will you have another go at IVF?
I think on the basis you've told them about the issues and the IVF they ought to ask, even generally, how things are. If you don't want to talk about it I'm sure you could make that clear and they could change the subject. I don't think they should exclude you by not mentioning their pregnancies at all, but objectively it's pretty tedious, so they really ought to make an effort to talk about neutral/interesting things. Yanbu.
Positive thinking has been conclusively proven to have bog all effect on cancer survival. I'm sure it's the same for everything else. "Stay positive" comments are idiotic. Surely the only response is, "that sounds really tough for you - if you want to talk about it I'm listening." I was quite tacit during pregnancy because I knew a few friends /colleagues were having issues. I'm sure they were happy for me but I'm also sure having someone bang on about it endlessly must be very hard to hear.
I have to say I'd need to be very close to someone to actually ask how ttc was going, regardless of whether I knew they were having problems or not. Perhaps they think they're being sensitive?
infertility is shit, there's no way around it. So sorry op
Flora I'm sorry about you situation
It's impossible to know what your friends are thinking. Maybe they just don't know what to say, maybe they've given it lots of thought and genuinely think it's best not to mention anything or maybe they are thoughtless and don't care. Unless you can read minds then you simply can't know.
If you like these friends and believe that they are generally good people then I think you need to tell them what you would like them to do. If you would like them to ask how your fertility treatment is going then tell them this. Don't leave them trying to guess. Likewise if you are completely happy with them chatting about their pregnancies tell them that too.
You could do it by email/message if you think you would find it difficult to do in person. Tell them that you have been struggling a bit and that you would appreciate a it more support. Spell it out to them. I would appreciate the heads up if I was one of your friends.
I hope everything works out for you.
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