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How would you deal with this...struggling!

(19 Posts)
ohbigdaddio Mon 12-Mar-18 09:40:53

My DH and I have been diagnosed with unexplained infertility and are starting our 2nd IVF attempt soon. We have no DC and I have never been pregnant. I am on medication for anxiety and depression – the struggle to conceive has had a huge impact on my self esteem and mental health and I have had suicidal thoughts in my darker moments.

My friend (let's call her Debbie!) lives abroad and for the last week or so has been trying to Skype with me. There is a big time difference and we couldn't find a time when both of us could talk. I thought she wanted to see how I am doing as she knows what we are going through and that my mental health is suffering. I thought that was really nice of Debbie as she hasn't really been overly supportive and on Friday I suggested we talk today. She said texted to say she couldn't wait to talk any longer and said she had something to tell me...then she attached a scan photo and "We're having a baby!!!!!"

I burst into tears but texted back that I was really happy for her. I feel the scan photo was a bit much considering what we are going through and my mental state. Of course she is excited but there was no consideration for my feelings. (A previous friend announced her pregnancy to me by saying "I know this isn't what you want to hear at the moment but I needed to let you know I'm pregnant. I'll tell you as much or as little about it as you want to know." She also did not send a scan photo.)

Debbie is a good friend but I don't think she knows what to say about IVF. I texted her a while ago saying we would be trying again soon and please keep your fingers crossed for us. She read it but said nothing which I found very hurtful. I now know she must have been pregnant when she read that message and feel that should've given her a bit more understanding of how much we want this? I asked her the due date and she started moaning saying it will be really hot in her country by then and how will she cope? That really got to me. 'I don't care! You are pregnant, don't start moaning about it', I thought.

Anyway. We are meant to be having a chat on Skype today and I am really unsure what to do. She is a very enthusiastic, positive person anyway, so this will be magnified by 10 and she will be extremely excited I'm sure. I know the conversation will be mainly about her being pregnant. I am worried I will burst into tears as I am really envious and so sad that yet again it isn't me with the pregnancy news. I am happy for her but very sad for myself. I don't know what to do for the best – I don't want to put off the chat and her think I don't care but at the same time I'm not sure I am ready for a chat about baby clothes etc.

I am due to go to counselling tomorrow and wondered whether it would be better to work through my feelings with her before calling Debbie, but I am aware that she really wants to chat to me today.

Does anyone have any advice as I am very confused. I don't whether saying something like "I am really happy for you but I need you to know that this is really hard for me and I may find it hard to hear lots of details."? If anybody has been in this situation, how did you handle it? And if anyone has been the pregnant friend, would you be offended by a comment like that/what would you want to hear?

ZenNudist Mon 12-Mar-18 09:47:47

I dont think there is anything wrong in avoiding her. Look after yourself. Stop the calls. If you want to be up front say you are withdrawing from the friendship for the time being. Its a difficult one. She shoukd be able to talk (& moan!) About pregnancy, children etc. You should also be allowed to opt out of listening to it. Sadly these two things are incompatible and could damage the friendship. If you tell her you love her and wish her well but just cant be there for her right niw. But equally you dont hold it against her that she cant be there for you right now.

Frankly in her situation id be more sensitive. Does she know about your problems.

ohbigdaddio Mon 12-Mar-18 10:01:06

Yes she does know about our problems ZenNudist but I don't think she gets it and doesn't know what to say. She has said a few unhelpful things in the past like 'you just need to be positive!'

I don't want to lose the friendship and I'm sure she doesn't, just not sure she is mature/sensitive enough to think about how I might be feeling.

More than anything, I hate what infertility does to you. In a parallel universe I would be so overjoyed for her and really, genuinely happy. Instead I have feelings of jealousy, despair, anger and deep sadness. It sucks!

physicskate Mon 12-Mar-18 14:00:16

I'd talk it through with the counsellor. I also think you need to worry about you.

I've felt exactly the same way as you. Every time something goes contrary to how I thought it would, I fall apart. Take today! I turn up for my F.C. appointment to kick start ivf (clomid hasn't worked. Ttc two years). They'd cancelled my appointment and not told me. I'm a mess.

As long as I pick myself up tomorrow, as long as you keep going one foot in front of the other, it'll be ok.

PowerUp Mon 12-Mar-18 14:13:06

To be honest I'd make up an excuse and delay the Skype. Self preservation.

TipsNotHacks Mon 12-Mar-18 14:18:47

Oh ivf Addie, I remember your posts from when you failed your first cycle. I am about to embark on my 5th cycle and I feel just as you do in situations like these.

Earlier on in our "journey" (don't you just hate that that description") I used to be like you. I too wrote lengthy questions on here asking exactly what you're asking. "What should I say, what should I do?". I don't even have to think about what I'd do anymore as I have become very blunt in these situations.

You said it yourself - she should know how much this means to you because SHE wanted a baby. She got hers.

I can feel the pain in your post but take it from someone who knows and understands - you shouldn't have to be asking this question. Part of the problem with infertility awareness is that we aren't honest. I now tell people: "sorry, I can't come to your kids birthday because it will take me two weeks to recover from the multitude of feelings which will come from being in a room with dozens of babies/kids/pregnant people". I have explained to everyone I know that I am beyond the "it'll be ok in the end", "keep positive" crap - I am frantic with panic, sadness and have no way of fixing this problem unless my treatment works". It has FINALLY fucking clicked with everyone. You need to step up the honesty. I feel quite liberated after changing my attitude.

Tell your friend you are suffering, lay it on thick. Tell her about those suffocating moments where you suddenly realise that you're living a nightmare which has no 'end date'. People NEED to act responsibly towards peoples feelings. Infertility has made me a much more compassionate person towards a whole range of issues but it has also taught me that I expect the same level of consideration as I give others.

"Be positive", "I just know it will be ok in the end" is lazy and absolves her from thinking of anything considerate or thoughtful to say.

Be honest and take care of yourself. X

TipsNotHacks Mon 12-Mar-18 14:20:06

You know you've been dealing with this shit for too long when you're iPhone autocorrects everything to ivf!!!! I meant to say: "ohbigdaddio, I remember your..." 😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑

ohbigdaddio Tue 13-Mar-18 06:53:30

Thank you tipsnothacks (and everyone) your posts. Yes that was me, devastated about my 1st failed attempt!

I agree with all your points tips and really hope your 5th cycle works. 🤞

Physicskate I'm so sorry they cancelled your appointment, I am the same. Anything that changes and suddenly the goal posts move and I can't cope. I waited an hour once for my counsellor at the hospital after our failed attempt. Turns out she had called in sick and nobody had told me. So I had all these feelings and nowhere to go with them. Hope you get a new appointment really soon.

So to update on Debbie, I texted yesterday to let her know I was happy for her but finding it hard and needed time to process things before we chat. Sent it on What's app so can see she has read it but sadly she hasn't replied. She is always on her phone and replies quickly normally so I am pretty sure she is pissed off with me. I feel very sad that she can't put herself in my shoes and am wondering whether our friendship will survive this. Feel so disappointed and not sure where to go from here.

CornforthWhite Tue 13-Mar-18 07:06:27

Debbie is being very mean. Most people can imagine what you’re going through so a true friend would be especially concerned for your feelings.
Take a step back and look after yourself. Debbie needs to wait.

ferriswheel Tue 13-Mar-18 07:12:35

Tips

An excellent post.

helterskelter99 Tue 13-Mar-18 07:20:00

It’s shit

Sometimes I found it better to do it sooner rather than later as the reality was often better than my in head version :-(

I blogged / kept a diary and it helped to write my feelings down

Good luck everyone the pain is worth it in the end xx

Ledkr Tue 13-Mar-18 07:21:45

To be fair as an adult she should know that you might not want her harping on about it and be more sensitive.
Of course it's exciting to be pregnant but she has plenty of time to be excited with other people and could actually be mature and reign it in a bit when talking to you. I think it's a bit crass and odd to not consider how you might feel knowing what you are going through.

Two close friends Became pregnant shortly after my miscarried and they both told me sensitively and thoughtfully which to the day I really appreciate. Their handling of the situation also allowed me to not feel bitter and feel happy for them.

Wishing you the best of luck.

GuntyMcGee Tue 13-Mar-18 07:25:46

Oh OP, it's bloody awful isn't it?
It still happens to me - and then if it's a family member we have someone saying 'isnt it lovely news about the baby?'

It makes me want to scream 'no it's fucking awful news for me but not one of you seems to think about that fact'.

I think you did the right thing by messaging her - she needs to consider your feelings and think about dialling back her excitement when dealing with you. People are so utterly self absorbed that they can't for a second consider that their news isn't the life changing happy news that it is for them.

I had to withdraw from a good friendship a few years ago when a friend had an unplanned pregnancy. I didn't make a fuss and saw her occasionally, went to visit the baby once when it was new but then stepped back until I felt able to cope. Luckily it hasn't caused any rifts, but I think she was aware that it wasn't easy for me and she never once complained or rubbed it in my face. She's since had another baby and I adore her kids and we spend a fair amount of time together. But I guess the difference is that she wasn't a douche about either of her pregnancies and seemed to understand that it wasn't easy for me to be there.

Give your friend some time to think about her actions. Hopefully she'll understand, and if not, you know where you stand with her and ultimately that it's not a friendship that is going to be sustainable in the future.

EarlGreyT Tue 13-Mar-18 10:14:56

Good luck everyone the pain is worth it in the end
No it isn’t. The pain isn’t worth it for the people it doesn’t work out for. Even if it does work out after multiple attempts, quite often the psychological effects of infertility are not cured by having a baby. Emotions are far more complex than that.

physicskate Tue 13-Mar-18 12:22:44

I have a very real worry that I'll resent any child that I do manage (IF, not when, that happens) to have for all this grief... I currently blame my body, which can't be good for me!

Honestly, there is no biological advantage to this, so I have a hard time justifying why this is so shit. From an evolutionary standpoint, it's pointless.

JMD7 Tue 13-Mar-18 17:00:44

Wishing you all the best for your 2nd round of IVF.

It seems like Debbie is totally lost in her own plans at the moment, maybe take a step back for the time being in being in contact with her too often if it's making you feel bad. You might be better confiding in another close friend for support on your IVF journey.

If I were you, I would try to be as happy for Debbie as possible whilst keeping a bit of distance. There is no point being bitter or jealous because we are all on different paths, and anger can become really destructive. When you do get pregnant, hopefully she will be excited for you and you can share pregnancy tips and be back to your normal friendship.

MadMags Tue 13-Mar-18 17:03:36

She might not be pissed off. She might just not have a clue what to say.

And if she is pissed off, then frankly she’s a cow and isn’t worth your friendship.

JeNeBaguetteRien Tue 13-Mar-18 18:52:32

You beat me to it Earl.
It is not all worth it in the end for many people unfortunately.

OhBigDaddio I feel for you. One of my good friends is accidentally pregnant with her 3rd, I've withdrawn somewhat for my own protection.
I send occasional texts to see how she is and will do present and card when baby is born but I have to limit the amount of pregnancy news I hear.

I hope Debbie is a friend worth keeping but you may find you drift apart for a while.

I don't get this notion that if you haven't been infertile you can't imagine how hard it is, that is just a lack of empathy pure and simple. I was a teenager when my aunt suffered MCs and I was there for her.

💐

TipsNotHacks Tue 13-Mar-18 19:01:51

Exactly JeNe - drives me insane that people can't try to imagine what it's like when these people claim their kids are the most important thing in their lives, "can't imagine life without them, "didn't know what real love was until they had them" BLA BLAH BLAH

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