Do you think infertility shows you who your real friends are?
Wheresmyweetabix · 02/07/2017 15:36
That sounds a bit petulant perhaps, and I don't mean it to be. It's a genuine question.
Through the experience of infertility, it's surprised me who has 'come forward' if you like with support and who hasn't.
By support I think I'm pretty low maintenance and I just mean the odd text checking how you are. I understand that infertility for those who haven't experienced it is a heck of a hard subject for some and many people might retreat a bit, just because they don't know what to say / are worried about saying the wrong thing at wiring time etc perhaps. (I don't know - just trying to put myself in others' shoes.)
But if you knew your friend was going through it, just literally one text to say 'hope things going ok' or 'thinking of you' would be more than enough for me to know that people cared.
Some friends are brilliant at this, but others... They know you're going through this, but may send literally not one text to see how it's gone / whether you're ok. Does it mean they don't care? Does it mean we're not as good friends as I thought we were?
A genuine question as I'm just a bit surprised. Should I be facing up to the fact that perhaps some people just aren't that concerned about you?
On the more positive side, you get the opposite too - surprises by some people who say and do really thoughtful things and you didn't actually know they cared so much.
Does anyone know what I mean by this, and what are other people's experiences?
RogerLimasOldestDreadlock · 02/07/2017 15:44
Are you sure they actually know?
I've been on the other side. Had my children before others (before it crossed their minds, as far as I know) and easily.
Friends stopped talking to me. If I'd known it was fertility related, of course I'd be supportive and sensitive. But we don't know what you don't tell us.
Wheresmyweetabix · 02/07/2017 16:09
In my particular case, the friends I'm thinking of do know.
Two have children themselves, but I've never shown anything but delight in their children's company, and I have never let on quite how infertility makes me feel inside. So I can't imagine it's the usual 'guilt' that some people might think people with children have around us 'infertiles'.
In fact, one of them asks my DH and I to babysit their 2 year old from time to time, and we did just before this IVF cycle started last month!
The third friend I'm thinking of doesn't have kids herself. I honestly am just thinking - perhaps they don't care and I need to revaluatw the friendships? This makes me sad, if so.
Both of these friends with kids I actually took cooked food to, the week after their children were born to help them out when I knew they'd be busy.
Me....I had my embryo transfer last month. It didn't work. No texts or anything to see if I'm okay. I guess I'll just tell them it hasn't worked when I finally hear from them!
The third friend (the one who doesn't have kids) was going to drop by and I said I wouldn't be in that day cos I was having an embryo transfer that afternoon. So she definitely knew it was taking place, and exactly on what day too! I haven't heard from her either.
It's made me really start to doubt myself and the strength of some of these 'friendships'. I know I'm probably a bit emotional still after the IVF failure. But it is making me sad. It's making my me question my whole self and it's hit my self-esteem when I'm already low after the failure. Sorry - didn't want this only to be about me. Want to hear how others have found their friendships re infertility, and whether this might be something shared by others?
As I say, some have really stepped up to the plate and shown how kind they are.
GlitteryGlitter · 02/07/2017 16:15
Infertility definitely showed me who my friends are, I got rid and regret nothing.
zzzzz · 02/07/2017 16:17
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YouCantCallMeBetty · 02/07/2017 16:22
I'm sorry to hear how tough things are for you.
I do think it's a bit of a slippery slope though to measure how much people care by how much they're in touch with you. People are different and will show (or not show) they care in different ways. Same as romantic partners. Some of us like to be on the receiving end of more of this than others.
I think the more pertinent question is whether you only want friends who show you they care by doing what you've been hoping for. Others may not think of it/may not see the importance of if/may have their own stuff going on/may worry that a text would be wrongly received and so on and so on.
Have you made your hopes/expectations clear to your friends? I think sometimes it can help to ask explicitly for what you want and then if they still don't do it, jog them on.
MajesticWhine · 02/07/2017 16:31
I think it's a very personal journey and I would not assume that friends don't care if they fail to mention it. They might not know what to say. They might find it too painful or awkward. They cannot mind read what you are expecting or what you need.
Wheresmyweetabix · 02/07/2017 16:33
zzzz - you're very lucky.
Glitter - glad I'm not the only one!
JuicyCake · 02/07/2017 16:39
All of my friends have kids, except me. Only a couple know about my recent miscarriage. A friend asked me, last week, if I'd like to have kids. We were on the subject of new babies, kids etc... I said yes. That's all. She got it. If all was going to plan, I'd have had my kid / kids with me too. She knows that.
I don't think friends are being insensitive at all, just getting on with their own busy kid-filled lives. I don't expect all of them to get where I'm at. Sometimes I feel like a spare part. But that's down to me, not them...
Wheresmyweetabix · 02/07/2017 16:42
Majestic and YouCant - I totally see what you're saying. On the other hand, I suppose it is a marker of friendship to me that you'd think it's a fairly straightforward thing for you just to let someone (minimally) know you're thinking of them or to see how they're doing.
I don't think it's expecting mind reading, so much as a bit of empathy.
If expecting anything at all from a friendship is wrong, then I guess I'm in the wrong.
When you're in a bit of pain though (or even just going through tough times), you do hope your friends will be there. Is it a true friendship, if it isn't?
I guess that's what I'm asking.
It's a bit (extrapolating of course) like when people avoid people when someone's died. Is that okay? Saving their own self from feelings of awkwardness is more important than reaching out?
I don't know. As I said I'm quite low maintenance so there wouldn't be any awkwardness. To people who have asked, I just say it hasn't worked but joke that I'm pleased I can eat soft cheese / prawns again.
It's just made me think about friendship - that's all.
drquin · 02/07/2017 16:44
I wouldn't judge how good the friendships are on this alone. It's so difficult .... for as much as you want to talk about your experiences, there'll be ten folk who want to keep it quiet, sometimes even friends we know best we can't always get what is the "right" level of communication. If you value the friendship, you might have to be honest with them.
It's also sometimes, dare I say, relative. Whilst this is obviously a huge issue for you right now, we all have stuff going on in our lives and maybe there's something going on in the friends' lives that is taking up so much of their time and headspace, that you & your struggles come down their list of priorities. That's tough to hear I know, but it's sometimes life.
Having said that, everyone handles stuff differently, so yes there's undoubtedly some truth to the saying about finding out how your friends are in tough times.
NetflixandBill · 02/07/2017 16:48
Sometimes i think it's a hard thing to mention as you don't want to upset people. Personally when i had recurrent miscarriages, i appreciated people just treating me as normal and not with sympathy or kid gloves. I'm not sure i would have wanted 'thinking of you' texts etc as i never wanted people to feel sorry for me, and so it's not something i would naturally do for other people after the immediate aftermath of a loss.
Jamon · 02/07/2017 16:49
Reading with interest as I'm worried about the effect infertility is having on my friendships. One old friend i hardly speak to as I found her so insensitive. My best friend is pregnant and I'm scared about it coming between us.
I hope I can be understanding and forgiving of the ones who don't ask me how I am. It's really hard for people to know what to say or do. I don't want to come out of this with no friends !
AreWeThereYet000 · 02/07/2017 16:53
It's hard to know what to say when you haven't experienced things yourself, I personally wouldn't know what to say/how you're meant to act to someone with infertility issues, it's not that I wouldn't care and of course I'd stay in touch as much as I normally would with the friend, but I honestly would not know what to say or how it affects them.
Hope things work out for you x
zzzzz · 02/07/2017 17:10
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Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Pennywhistle · 02/07/2017 17:15
We didn't tell anyone, not friends, not family until after we conceived.
I specifically would not have wanted "checking" texts or messages, it would have felt like extra pressure.
Perhaps they are trying to respect your privacy?
Wheresmyweetabix · 02/07/2017 17:20
Thanks all this has actually been really useful. I couldn't imagine not wanting 'contact' from friends so it's genuinely interesting (and enlightening) to hear that some people wouldn't - or may actively hate it!
I guess it does show that everyone is so different.
34AQuid · 02/07/2017 17:24
Its one of those life issues that people deal with clumsily, isnt it?
I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that friends don't care or arent thinking about you or concerned for you.
It may be a case of feeling awkward, not wanting to keep raising it in case you don't want to discuss etc. It could be equally annoying if every friend you have asked you how it was all going every time you spoke or did the 'how are you?' head-tilting thing...
With very good friends, I think its worth talking to them about how you're feeling if you need more support from them.
gamerpigeon · 02/07/2017 17:30
I'm on the other side - I was pregnant and now have a newborn while my friend is having IVF which has so far failed. I asked when transfer day , testing day and scans were and made sure to check up on her. I also have tried not to bombard her with baby stuff. But I took my lead from her - if she hadn't been open about it I wouldn't have wanted to intrude.
As you specifically said you were having a transfer I do think your friend has been a bit uncaring not to follow up with you.
Hope you have a successful transfer in the future OP
Copperspot · 02/07/2017 17:31
Its an awkward one. I personally wouldn't want to feel like i was bringing it up tbh. What if they were having a really good day and i text them about it then they get upset / ruins their time?
But it depends on your friends. Eg i have a friend who has a lifelong illness. She is on medication and doing ok. I would never dream of randomly asking her about it as when people do the whole 'how's (illness) going at the minute? Are you ok?' She just sees it as her being defined by her illness. She will tell me if its shit, or have a moan if she wants. But that is the relationship we have.
I had a friend who really struggled getting pregnant. She was very sensitive about it, understandably, so why would i bring it up? She knew i was there anytime but i wouldnt just randomly ask about it.
Jamon · 02/07/2017 17:41
That's it OP, everyone is so different, and people want different things at different times . Sometimes you just need to go into yourself and have a good sob, or you just need your partner. Sometimes I'm having a good day and don't want to be reminded of it. Sometimes I really really need a friend to talk to.
I think all you can do is remind them - regularly that you care about them and that you're always there if they need you. Get in touch but don't always make it about infertility.
It's such an awful thing to go through. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy
Wheresmyweetabix · 02/07/2017 17:43
Copper I think as gamer has said it's a bit different in the case of my friend who knew exactly what day my transfer was. It's not quite the same as someone 'randomly' asking out of the blue.
I do take your point about the friend with an ongoing illness though and agree there; but in this case, it's not quite the same, I don't think.
I think I actually am most disappointed about the friend who knew when transfer day was.
Wheresmyweetabix · 02/07/2017 17:45
That's the thing Jamon - I have always been pretty circumspect about the fertility stuff. Been really careful about not wanting to bore anyone.
My friend only found out when transfer day was because she wanted to come round that day.
Copperspot · 02/07/2017 17:49
I think if you were my friend i would probably be having a argument in my own head of
"I should text and ask / but she would have told me if it was good news / does that mean its bad news / should i let her tell me in her own time / will she think ive forgotten about her / i dont want to stick my nose in / she'll tell me if she wants to / maybe she wants to be left alone"
But i do have a tendency to overthink
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