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Feeling really lonely in round 5 of IVF(7 Posts)
Sorry - long post. Bit of a rant!
My husband and I have been ttc for 4 years (2 miscarriages, currently on 5th IVF). I'm starting to feel really lonely as my friends gradually drift away, too uncomfortable to be around me if they become pregnant and have babies, and I've had a few friends recently go through IVF to be successful and then again, avoid telling me their news and I just don't know where to turn for support.
I know that people think that it will hurt me to tell me their happy news so they always tip toe around me and tell me with massive guilt in their voice or let me find out in a roundabout way. It's not true. I want this more than anything so if course I'm happy for my friends. Of course it stings a bit at first but why would I not be happy for people that they're starting a family??
I've been open with my close friends about my journey because I thought I needed their support. I think it has shot me in the foot as they now actively avoid me with any news about babies, or how they're trying themselves. The only time they'll talk to me about it is if they're struggling to conceive themselves and they need support and advice. Once they fall pregnant, they disappear completely.
I'm starting to feel like the problem friend that no-one wants to be around because I put a dampener on their joy if they can't shout from the rooftops about their pregnancy when I'm around. At this stage, five rounds in I don't even really let my friends know I'm going through IVF again. If they ask me to go for a drink, I say "I'll come out but I'm not drinking at the minute" and that's how they know, or if we're out for a meal I order water. We don't talk about it.
I guess I'm just sad that I don't have that support from friends any more. They all rallied round at the beginning when it was a drama and something new to talk about, but they seem bored of the whole thing now. I know I'm sounding really sorry for myself (IVF meds don't help), but last night I found out that one of my friends is pregnant through IVF. She leaned on me a lot for questions and chats through the process and then everything went quiet. I guessed she was pregnant as I didn't hear from her. While out for dinner with another friend I asked "Is XX pregnant?" My friend hesitated as she'd been instructed not to tell me, but of course she couldn't tell a direct lie. Apparently XX wanted to tell me in her own time so told the rest of our group of five girls not to tell me (she'd be about 4 months by now, 4 months of silence). I get it makes people feel uncomfortable but it hurts so much that they can't put that uncomfortable feeling aside to include me in news that the rest of my friends already know. If there's anything that makes me feel like there's something wrong with me it's friends tip-toeing around me and actively avoiding me. I'm so annoyed and feel so alone.
Thanks for listening xxx
Oh OP I know how hard it is. I'm very much experiencing the same thing and found that's it not just friends who seem to have disappeared but also family. I'm two IVF cycles, 3 transfers in, 5 mc and 2 ruptured ectopics (so permanently infertile now). Everyone seems to have drifted away. Despite me taking IVF medications in front of family no one bothered to ask how I was doing once during the last cycle. I had such poor support during the last miscarriage that I don't tell anyone when I'm doing a transfer now. I'd rather not have to feel disappointment about their response as well as dealing with another failure. You're right in that it seems to bore them now.
One friend who had suffered recurrent miscarriage has only just told me they are finally pregnant because they didn't want to upset me but honestly I'm more upset that they think I wouldn't be happy for them.
I used to think division lines were forming between the fertile and infertile amongst my family and friends now it seems i have to deal with a division between those who have ivf success and those that don't. I worry about what will happen when the last friend/acquaintance I have within my little ivf support group gets pregnant that I'll be left on my own.
I've decided to do a couple more rounds next year but not tell anyone at all that way there should be less pressure to announce either success or another failure. Yes it will be lonely but to be honest no worse than I have dealt with over the last few years when it comes to ttc x
Hey - sorry to hear you are experiencing this. I find infertility very isolating, whether you mention it to your friends or not. I personally chose not to and shut out anybody from my life. Very unhealthy I know, but was my way to cope in case of failure, in order to avoid all questions.
I feel for your friends - theirs is a very understandable, albeit bad, behaviour and certainly they are doing so with the best of intentions. With the most intimate, I feel you could just be honest and tell them how you feel. For example, to the friend who experienced infertility and is now pregnant, you could mention that you would like to be active part of her life during these exciting times. I personally would hate have her around - but that speaks volumes about me.
Also, for future friends trying to get pregnant that are aware of your situation, you could make clear that you're happy for them to keep you up to speed and not feel awkward if they get pregnant.
Wish you every luck in the future
Thank you ladies. I know I'm not alone in feeling like this and that helps. Lovely dream I'm so sorry to hear about your miscarriages and ectopic. I also see the division between fertile and infertile in my friend group and those going through treatment with me are proving to be the most disappointing. One silver lining is that this whole thing is allowing me the opportunity to filter out those who don't care enough, or feel awkward around me, and those very few, very valued friends who check in from time to time. I too have been isolating myself over the past four years. It's crap but as you guys know, we have to protect ourselves. I'm sorry you're both going through this too. Lots of love xxxx
Spacegirl, I'm not a regular poster on here but I created an account just because I found your post so moving and wanted to respond. I could have written a similar post myself. It is so so tough, and I have been astonished at how hard it is to get the support I need from friends and even family during my IVF 'journey' (sorry, awful word). I do agree the experience shows you who your true, loyal friends are -- we do have to take that as a silver lining. Anyway, I just want to say you really are not alone, and please know I'm sending you lots of courage. xx
Thanks Alyciana, it means a lot ❤ the kindness of strangers, eh?
I see you have a lot of nice replies already but just putting in my two cents. I agree with one reply saying you should talk openly about how you feel to your closest friends. If they aren't keepers they will show their true colours. However maybe it will come as a relief to them to hear you're happy for them and want to stay close throughout. Maybe cheesy but I like the expression Good intentions pave the road to hell. A bit morbid too maybe lol but sometimes friends and family do more harm than good with their good intentions.
I noticed that my best friend ditched me when I got engaged/married. Another one did something more subtle when we had our son (doesn't ever ask to hang out). So even if you get pregnant and have a wonderful little baby there maybe some who then stray cause you're no longer able to go out late and be spontaneous for example.
We had such luck with IVF 1 so I was dumbfounded when we tried for number two several times (IVF/FETs) to no avail. Now doing IUIs (sigh) and gonna do 2 more IVF cycles next year. I feel lonely about infertility too sometimes.
I wish you success in your journey. Once you've nailed it you can say goodbye to all this infertility stress and enjoy it finally being your turn! ;-)