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To think those who have overcome infertility should be more mindful of those still struggling?

(68 Posts)
Pinkheels Thu 01-Dec-16 14:43:46

Appreciate the words overcoming/struggling don't quite capture the sheer shittiness of infertility but here goes!

Hi everyone, I'm pinkheels and I've been trying to conceive for the last 4 years. 3 failed IVF cycles later, and partway theough my 4th (and most likely last) I've relied on the absolutely incredible support of some of the most fantastic women on here. I guess like most things in life, if you haven't gone through something then you don't quite appreciate how difficult it may be. I've lost count of the times people have made glib comments about how I should just relax, how their neighbours best friends nephews cousin's wife's twice removed took a magical supplement and is now pregnant, how stress won't get me anywhere, and how if it all fails I can "just" adopt. I get the fact that not everyone understands the pain, the struggle to pretend everything is ok, the heartbreak of repeated failure time after time, the incredible cost, the indignity, etc etc. if anything I've made my peace with that but, a big BUT, I see people who have gone through the same difficulties, who are lucky enough to become pregnant, suddenly become like everyone else, who lose all sense of empathy and sensitivity, who over share their pregnancy details, who seem to think their way is the only way, and feel entitled to pass judgement/give advice. I know I'm probably coming across as bitter or jealous (which I can genuinely say I'm not) but I do think those who have been through it should perhaps have a little more sensitivity and perhaps appreciate their stealth boasts belong to the pregnancy threads rather than the infertility ones.

Atticmatic Thu 01-Dec-16 14:47:17

Have you expressed this opinion on the infertility threads where you've seen stealth boasts happening?

Gutted2016 Thu 01-Dec-16 14:48:06

Everyone should be mindful tbh. Not just those who eventually overcame it.

Whatwhatinthewhatnow Thu 01-Dec-16 14:49:37

I did overcome infertility but to say so isn't boasting. I know I am really lucky and that praying/relaxing/vitamins do fuck all. I needed medical science! Sharing my journey isn't boasting.

Colby43443 Thu 01-Dec-16 14:52:21

I agree, it's why I'm taking a break from the infertility boards here. It's ridiculous when you ask for your infertility experiences that someone has the gall to post 'no issues, got pregnant in the first month...'

crayfish Thu 01-Dec-16 14:52:27

I think the problem is that people who have been through it are that much more excited to finally be pregnant after all of the struggles. Therefore they might just get a bit carried away and overshare about the pregnancy because they are so happy. They also might (mistakenly) believe that they are offering hope to those who haven't been as lucky yet. I really don't think anyone who had been through the awfulness of infertlity would deliberately hurt somebody going through it. It might just be misdirected enthusiasm about their own happy news and a desire to share it with people who know what they have been through.

Also, if you have bonded with people who are in the same boat then you might want to share your happiness with them, rather than a bunch of strangers on the pregnancy board.

I understand your hurt though.

crayfish Thu 01-Dec-16 14:53:41

Colby that's different though, that's just people being dicks.

Atticmatic Thu 01-Dec-16 14:57:54

Btw I don't agree that people are stealth boasting. I was simply using the words of the OP.

I shared (very briefly) some aspects of my pregnancy on infertility threads I had previously posted on at length. I had come to 'know' people and we'd shared a lot. It's treading a very fine line when you're in that position. Don't post on infertility threads = accusations of disappearing or dumping people when you are pregnant. Do post = accusations of stealth boasting.

You can't win.

Charlottelouisa Thu 01-Dec-16 15:00:46

I've been through it and it is truly horrible , and I am so thankful that I now have my lovely 3 month old daughter with medical assistance. But not once did I feel bitter towards anyone else that was pregnant etc while I was trying. I used to get upset at a negative pregnancy test every month but not at anyone just because they were pregnant. Pregnancy is a wonderful and special thing, whether you have waited years , months , weeks or just days for It. It's precious

PurpleDaisies Thu 01-Dec-16 15:02:22

I agree, it's why I'm taking a break from the infertility boards here. It's ridiculous when you ask for your infertility experiences that someone has the gall to post 'no issues, got pregnant in the first month...'

That sounds like someone trolling the infertility boards.

PurpleDaisies Thu 01-Dec-16 15:06:10

I've been through it and it is truly horrible , and I am so thankful that I now have my lovely 3 month old daughter with medical assistance. But not once did I feel bitter towards anyone else that was pregnant etc while I was trying.

You're very lucky not to have felt bitter towards anyone that go pregnant-many if us do and feel totally shit about it. That's why it's helpful to hear about pregnancies by text so I can get the horrible reaction over with before anyone else sees it.

WannaBe Thu 01-Dec-16 15:10:05

TBH I think that these things differ from person to person. Because where one person may be upset over every failed attempt or obsessing over the need to be temping/charting/symptom spotting, there are others who are also going through the same struggles who once they fall pregnant see that as the end goal having been reached.

And the conception boards are a place where people have gained support, is it reasonable that when people manage to fall pregnant they should then move away somewhere else even though they may have formed connections with the people on their particular threads?

I used to frequent the conception boards back in the day when I was TTC. There are still people who I connected with back then who I am still in touch with, even though they managed to conceive and I didn't. Equally there are others who didn't manage to conceive who did go on to adopt, and while "you can always adopt" is a bit of a crass thing to say, the reality is that for some women, conception will never be a possibility, and if they want to become parents, then adoption is often the next step they choose to take.

It wasn't something I considered, but I would have been sad if those who had been part of the conception threads had felt they couldn't come back and talk about their pregnancies and in some cases their subsequent attempts to conceive.

And I always remember one particular poster who was on the TTC boards after having TTC for five years, falling pregnant naturally, and the baby then being stillborn at full term because the chord wrapped around his neck in labour. She then struggled and failed to conceive for another two years, and she was nothing but lovely, supportive of many other posters, and happy for them when they managed to get their BFP, even though in her case this seemed an impossibility.

If someone who has gone through all that can be the lovely person that she was then TBH I think we can all find it in ourselves to be happy for others even when it seems we might never have what they do.

And comments about just relaxing you either take on board or you don't. For some people pregnancy occurs naturally when they forgot about TTC. For some people adoption is the answer. For those who are still on the TTC journey only time will tell where the end lies.

hawaiibaby Thu 01-Dec-16 15:10:49

I sort of know what you mean op. I wasn't on mn but remember someone who had become pregnant after miscarriage and a while ttc. She was ALL OVER Facebook with it, I found it quite strange. I know she found it upsetting hearing pregnancy stuff while she was struggling so though I got she must be excited, I was a bit put out by her lack of sensitivity. It was like she'd left it all behind - her journey I mean.

When we eventually got pregnant after icsi, I tried to be sooo sensitive and didn't dream of doing the announcement on fb thing. A healthy pregnancy was all I needed and if I was sparing someome that awful feeling in their stomach at yet another scan photo, then I was glad.

Good luck to you op. Really hope this round works flowers

Letdownbackthen Thu 01-Dec-16 15:19:49

I'm torn on it because I got my miracle and before I felt broken with each announcement but then had a shit terrifying pregnancy and I am desperate for another but petrified and realise I probably won't get one - but if I do, there's a part of me that just wants to allow myself to be part of that world of scan photos and updates

hawaiibaby Thu 01-Dec-16 15:33:13

letdown flowers I do know what you mean and why shouldn't you of course. I think I just judged this person because of how much she complained about others before. There's nothing wrong per se in sharing your news of course, and I think that cab be done without constantly banging on about your pregnancy to everyone. Guess it's about knowing your audience - I updated my mum and Mil A LOT! grin but I knew they were interested and not ttc!

BiggerBoatNeeded Thu 01-Dec-16 16:08:41

Pinkheels I sort of see where you are coming from. I think there has been a run of positive outcomes on the Infertility board recently (which is amazing and I hope it is catching!) but this can sometimes result in those either currently in treatment or having had unsuccessful treatment, feeling 'left behind' and then adding casual pregnancy chat on top of that can be hard.

I have genuinely found that the vast majority of pregnant after fertility people are incredibly tactful and considerate when posting on threads relating to infertility. I would be sad to think they might feel they will be sent packing to the Pregnancy board, never to return, the moment they see a second line. But equally, as much as pregnancy must bring a new all-consuming combination of excitement and fear, I hope posters who post in Infertility try really hard to remember how it felt to be terrified that you would never get as far as they have and to be going through all the treatments with no knowledge that there is a happy ending in store. It's just a shitty situation to be in, I wish none of us ever had to go through this.

beanhunter Thu 01-Dec-16 16:10:14

I think it's really tough pink heels. I don't think anyone is suggesting that those who get their miracle pregnancies shouldn't share that news, just that thereafter sharing every detail about their pregnancies can be enormously tough for those of us still there to have to read in what was once our "safe space".
It's shitty either way but certainly some do seem to lose the filter and the memory of how crappy it is bejng on the other side with no guarantee of a positive outcome.
As for the just adopt comments - I get that that may be where some of us end up, some may chose that over treatment but it can sound bloody crass when asking for advice about treatment to get that rammed down your throat instead.

tigerdog Thu 01-Dec-16 16:23:24

I'm inclined to agree with you pinkheels. My view is that infertility boards are fine to share happy news initially and I will never stop being happy for those who get a bfp after such tough times. We all know how hard it is and the early days are especially tough when you're waiting to find out if your pregnancy is viable. I also think it's fine to post brief updates there when asked. Infertility boards are NOT however, a place to continue to discuss the details of your pregnancy many weeks in. Having had a mmc this week at 10+2 weeks after four years of infertility and finally getting what I thought was my chance at happiness, I need a safe space to grieve and try again.

PeaOp Thu 01-Dec-16 16:29:18

I think it is about being sensitive to each other. I can be happy for fellow posters who post good news etc but I agree with tiger these threads are not a place to discuss the minutiae of a pregnancy which can have the, obviously unintentional, result of moving others away from those threads and their suppport because they are not in a good place to deal with regular pregnancy updates.

Marmalady75 Thu 01-Dec-16 16:39:12

We had so many problems ttc, miscarriages and a stillbirth. It broke my heart every time someone announced they were pregnant. Of course I was happy for them, but just so heartbroken for us that it never seemed to be us with scan and bump photos to share. When we did finally get pregnant with my little boy I was so aware of others still on the journey that I vowed not to put anything on facebook etc until he was born safe and sound. It was a hard, scary and, at times painful, pregnancy. I didn't moan to anyone because I was so aware that I was lucky to be pregnant and there were some people who would give everything to be in my position. Not everyone forgets their journey and those who are still struggling. It's such a shame that you have come across so many that haven't got an ounce of compassion.

tigerdog Thu 01-Dec-16 16:40:28

The early weeks after a bfp are really hard because you don't belong anywhere and you want to be with those that have supported you this far and not bounding onto a pregnancy board only to discover it's a chemical pregnancy (been there too) or fall at the next hurdle of the viability scan.

kiwiblue Thu 01-Dec-16 16:44:04

I agree and like Hawaiibaby when I got pregnant I tried to be sensitive, knowing what it is like to struggle through this. I wouldn't use the infertility threads as the place to post constant updates, like I wouldn't make over the top announcements on Facebook, knowing how they made me feel. As peaop said it's about being sensitive.

Temporaryname137 Thu 01-Dec-16 16:47:25

First, I would like to start off with an apology if this comes across in any way as rude or hurtful - it is absolutely NOT my intention.

Some people are just dicks. But lots of people aren't - they just don't know what to say. So comments like, "just relax", "just get drunk" etc are people's way of trying to be nice, but getting it horribly wrong. I know I was guilty of a fair few of those when it took my best friend a while to conceive. I simply didn't understand, and I only got more of a clue when I read some threads on here, for example.

We have horrible issues in my family that stem partly from my SIL's difficulties with conceiving. She simply refused to talk about it, or to let DB talk about it, but then got incredibly angry when we apparently said the wrong things in trying to be supportive. Now she is a horrible human being for many reasons, but of course that was not one of them, and it was a real eyeopener afterwards to realise that yes, trying to cheer her up with positive stories about other people who'd had the same issues was in fact like stabbing red hot forks into her eyes.

I suppose what I am getting at is this: people don't know what to say because infertility and miscarriages are very often not talked about. And that is absolutely 100% right - nobody should ever have to talk about something so private and painful, unless they choose to. But at the same time, that makes it harder for people who would like to be supportive to know what to say.

Perhaps a more open culture about infertility, for example more articles on social media about what not to say and how not to be a dick, would be one way to help people learn? That could apply just as much to people such as those referred to by the OP who've been through it and come out the other side as it could to well-meaning friends and family?

Chocolateandwineplease27 Thu 01-Dec-16 17:48:58

Pinkheels I understand what you are saying. We're all pleased when people who have suffered infertility "make it to the other side" but its definitely not unreasonable to expect some sensitivity for those still going through it.

Temporary it is absolutely difficult to know what to say to someone going through infertility when you haven't experienced it yourself directly - its human instinct to want to give answers/be positive etc etc. The point is, its the people that HAVE gone through it, know how galling it is to be "baby bombed" (what a pregnancy announcement feels like to an infertile) who are being so insensitive by posting scan pics/constant pregnancy updates in an infertility forum. A lot of people will turn to the infertility forum when they're feeling low/desperate and I cant imagine reading such updates will make them feel any better/supported!

Zippybear Thu 01-Dec-16 18:10:09

I've been ttc to conceive for 3years with a number of failed ivfs. Throughout this time the infertility board on mumsnet has been a safe supportive environment where I could talk to other people in the same situation as me and not feel like such a weird infertile freak. No one else I know has trouble conceiving or if they did they have now succeeded. infertility is a very lonely place, no one understands unless they are also going through it, making the infertility boards a lifesaver for me. The recent pregnancies there are of course amazing but have changed the barren ghetto completely and I have taken a step back from it all. I see from this thread I am not alone. It's a real shame that for those of us without success we have lost our place of support. Maybe we need a early pregnancy after infertility thread for those that don't feel ready to graduate to the other thread.

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