Posted 08 September 2006 - 08:48 AM
I found out a few weeks ago that my gorgeous SIL has PCOS and has been TTC for 12 months. It was a bittersweet phone call I had with her and my brother. I was announcing my pregnancy and they told me their heart ache. I felt so selfish for not thinking that they could have had problems. She assured me that it was fine and she also warned me that during the pregnancy she may seem that she doesn't care, indifferent, nasty etc and that it has nothing to do with me, but has all to do with her journey.
You girls have made it just a tiny bit easier for me to talk to her and I know what not to say to her.
Posted 27 November 2006 - 12:46 PM
Posted 29 November 2006 - 07:52 AM
L & R in wedded bliss since Nov 05
T born via c-section in Aug 07 ~ gentling guiding our gorgeous goldilocks
BB2 grew wings in Dec 08 ~ forever an angel in our hearts
S my HBAC waterbabe ~ Oct 09 ~ cloth bummed, co-sleeping, breastfeeding, attached koala babe
~ Growing a precious Summer Bellybabe ~
'If you don't know your options, you don't have any'[/i] - Korte and Scaer, A Good Birth, A Safe Birth
~ Support choice, support homebirth, support midwives ~
Posted 29 November 2006 - 08:54 AM
Can we also refrain from sprinkling bloody *******~~~~~~~~babydust~~~~~~~~~******** around in the LTTTC forum??? it makes me want to hurl. Get rid of it.
couldnt of said it better
Posted 29 November 2006 - 09:34 AM
What they said.
No I won't break down
Sooner than it seems life turns around
And I will be strong
Even if it all goes wrong
When I'm standing in the dark I'll still believe
Someone's watching over me
Posted 02 January 2007 - 03:44 PM
I help out a lady with her book work two days per week and she has been a LTTC'er for many years now. This lady has opened up to me within my last year of working there and confides in me with her fertility issues, this has been a great help.
Posted 08 February 2007 - 05:10 PM
Infertility: Helping Others Understand
A GUIDE FOR FAMILY AND FRIENDS
I want to share my feelings about infertility with you, because I want you to understand my struggle. I know that understanding infertility is difficult; there are times when it seems even I don't understand. This struggle has provoked intense and unfamiliar feelings in me and I fear that my reactions to these feelings might be misunderstood. I hope my ability to cope and your ability to understand will improve as I share my feelings with you. I want you to understand.
You may describe me this way: obsessed, moody, helpless, depressed, envious, too serious, obnoxious, aggressive, antagonistic, and cynical. These aren't very admirable traits; no wonder your understanding of my infertility is difficult. I prefer to describe me this way: confused, rushed and impatient, afraid, isolated and alone, guilty and ashamed, angry, sad and hopeless, and unsettled.
My infertility makes me feel confused. I always assumed I was fertile. I've spent years avoiding pregnancy and now it seems ironic that I can't conceive. I hope this will be a brief difficulty with a simple solution such as poor timing. I feel confused about whether I want to be pregnant or whether I want to be a parent. Surely if I try harder, try longer, try better and smarter, I will have a baby.
My infertility makes me feel rushed and impatient. I learned of my infertility only after I'd been trying to become pregnant for some time. My life-plan suddenly is behind schedule. I waited to become a parent and now I must wait again. I wait for medical appointments, wait for tests, wait for treatments, wait for other treatments, wait for my period not to come, wait for my partner not to be out of town and wait for pregnancy. At best, I have only twelve opportunities each year. How old will I be when I finish having my family?
My infertility makes me feel afraid. Infertility is full of unknowns, and I'm frightened because I need some definite answers. How long will this last? What if I'm never a parent? What humiliation must I endure? What pain must I suffer? Why do drugs I take to help me, make me feel worse? Why can't my body do the things that my mind wants it to do? Why do I hurt so much? I'm afraid of my feelings, afraid of my undependable body and afraid of my future.
My infertility makes me feel isolated and alone. Reminders of babies are everywhere. I must be the only one enduring this invisible curse. I stay away from others, because everything makes me hurt. No one knows how horrible is my pain. Even though I'm usually a clear thinker, I find myself being lured by superstitions and promises. I think I'm losing perspective. I feel so alone and I wonder if I'll survive this.
My infertility makes me feel guilty and ashamed. Frequently I forget that infertility is a medical problem and should be treated as one. Infertility destroys my self esteem and I feel like a failure. Why am I being punished? What did I do to deserve this? Am I not worthy of a baby? Am I not a good sexual partner? Will my partner want to remain with me? Is this the end of my family lineage? Will my family be ashamed of me? It is easy to lose self-confidence and to feel ashamed.
My infertility makes me feel angry. Everything makes me angry, and I know much of my anger is misdirected. I'm angry at my body because it has betrayed me even though I've always taken care of it. I'm angry at my partner because we can't seem to feel the same about infertility at the same time. I want and need an advocate to help me. I'm angry at my family because they've always sheltered and protected me from terrible pain. My younger sibling is pregnant; my mother wants a family reunion to show off her grandchildren and my grandparents want to pass down family heirlooms. I'm angry at my medical caregivers, because it seems that they control my future. They humiliate me, inflict pain on me, pry into my privacy, patronize me, and sometimes forget who I am. How can I impress on them how important parenting is to me? I'm angry at my expenses; infertility treatment is extremely expensive. My financial resources may determine my family size. My insurance company isn't cooperative, and I must make so many sacrifices to pay the medical bills. I can't miss any more work, or I'll lose my job. I can't go to a specialist, because it means more travel time, more missed work, and greater expenses. Finally, I'm angry at everyone else. Everyone has opinions about my inability to become a parent. Everyone has easy solutions. Everyone seems to know too little and say too much.
My infertility makes me feel sad and hopeless. Infertility feels like I've lost my future, and no one knows of my sadness. I feel hopeless; infertility robs me of my energy. I've never cried so much nor so easily. I'm sad that my infertility places my marriage under so much strain. I'm sad that my infertility requires me to be so self-centered. I'm sad that I've ignored many friendships because this struggle hurts so much and demands so much energy. Friends with children prefer the company of other families with children. I'm surrounded by babies, pregnant women, playgrounds, baby showers, birth stories, kids' movies, birthday parties and much more. I feel so sad and hopeless.
My infertility makes me feel unsettled. My life is on hold. Making decisions about my immediate and my long-term future seems impossible. I can't decide about education, career, purchasing a home, pursuing a hobby, getting a pet, vacations, business trips and houseguests. The more I struggle with my infertility, the less control I have. This struggle has no timetable; the treatments have no guarantees. The only sure things are that I need to be near my partner at fertile times and near my doctor at treatment times. Should I pursue adoption? Should I take expensive drugs? Should I pursue more specialized and costly medical intervention? It feels unsettling to have no clear, easy answers or guarantees.
Occasionally I feel my panic subside. I'm learning some helpful ways to cope; I'm now convinced I'm not crazy, and I believe I'll survive. I'm learning to listen to my body and to be assertive, not aggressive, about my needs. I'm realizing that good medical care and good emotional care are not necessarily found in the same place. I'm trying to be more than an infertile person gaining enthusiasm, joyfulness, and zest for life.
You can help me. I know you care about me and I know my infertility affects our relationship. My sadness causes you sadness; what hurts me, hurts you, too. I believe we can help each other through this sadness. Individually we both seem quite powerless, but together we can be stronger. Maybe some of these hints will help us to better understand infertility.
I need you to be a listener. Talking about my struggle helps me to make decisions. Let me know you are available for me. It's difficult for me to expose my private thoughts if you are rushed or have a deadline for the end of our conversation. Please don't tell me of all the worse things that have happened to others or how easily someone else's infertility was solved. Every case is individual. Please don't just give advice; instead, guide me with your questions. Assure me that you respect my confidences, and then be certain that you deserve my trust. While listening try to maintain an open mind.
I need you to be supportive. Understand that my decisions aren't made casually, I've agonized over them. Remind me that you respect these decisions even if you disagree with them, because you know they are made carefully. Don't ask me, "Are you sure?" Repeatedly remind me that you love me no matter what. I need to hear it so badly. Let me know you understand that this is very hard work. Help me realize that I may need additional support from professional caregivers and appropriate organizations. Perhaps you can suggest resources. You might also need support for yourself, and I fear I'm unable to provide it for you; please don't expect me to do so. Help me to keep sight of my goal.
I need you to be comfortable with me, and then I also will feel more comfortable. Talking about infertility sometimes feels awkward. Are you worried you might say the wrong thing? Share those feelings with me. Ask me if I want to talk. Sometimes I will want to, and sometimes I won't, but it will remind me that you care.
I need you to be sensitive. Although I may joke about infertility to help myself cope, it doesn't seem as funny when others joke about it. Please don't tease me with remarks like, "You don't seem to know how to do it." Don't trivialize my struggle by saying, "I'd be glad to give you one of my kids." It's no comfort to hear empty reassurances like, "You'll be a parent by this time next year." Don't minimize my feelings with, "You shouldn't be so unhappy." For now, don't push me into uncomfortable situations like baby showers or family reunions. I already feel sad and guilty; please don't also make me feel guilty for disappointing you.
I need you to be honest with me. Let me know that you may need time to adjust to some of my decisions. I also needed adjustment time. If there are things you don't understand, say so. Please be gentle when you guide me to be realistic about things I can't change such as my age, some medical conditions, financial resources, and employment obligations. Don't hide information about others' pregnancies from me. Although such news makes me feel very sad, it feels worse when you leave me out.
I need you to be informed. Your advice and suggestions are only frustrating to me if they aren't based on fact. Be well informed so you can educate others when they make remarks based on myths. Don't let anyone tell you that my infertility will be cured if I relax and adopt. Don't tell me this is God's will. Don't ask me to justify my need to parent. Don't criticize my course of action or my choice of physician even though I may do that myself. Reassure yourself that I am also searching for plenty of information which helps me make more knowledgeable decisions about my options.
I need you to be patient. Remember that working through infertility is a process. It takes time. There are no guarantees, no package deals, no complete kits, no one right answer, and no "quickie" choices. My needs change; my choices change. Yesterday I demanded privacy, but today I need you for strength. You have many feelings about infertility, and I do too. Please allow me to have anger, joy, sadness, and hope. Don't minimize or evaluate my feelings. Just allow me to have them, and give me time.
I need you to be strengthening by boosting my self esteem. My sense of worthlessness hampers my ability to take charge. My personal privacy has repeatedly been invaded. I've been subjected to postcoital exams, semen collection in waiting room bathrooms, and tests in rooms next to labor rooms. Enjoyable experiences with you such as a lunch date, a shopping trip, or a visit to a museum help me feel normal.
Encourage me to maintain my sense of humor; guide me to find joys. Celebrate with me my successes, even ones as small as making it through a medical appointment without crying. Remind me that I am more than an infertile person. Help me by sharing your strength.
Eventually I will be beyond the struggle of infertility. I know my infertility will never completely go away because it will change my life. I won't be able to return to the person I was before infertility, but I also will no longer be controlled by this struggle. I will leave the struggle behind me, and from that I will have improved my skills for empathy, patience, resilience, forgiveness, decision-making and self-assessment. I feel grateful that you are trying to ease my journey through this infertility struggle by giving me your understanding.
The author, Jody Earle, frequently felt the need for a brochure like this one during her own eleven-year infertility struggle. She experienced three pregnancy losses, one in each trimester and eventually, the premature births of her two sons. She continues to be a peer counselor for those working through infertility.
Posted 05 September 2007 - 10:26 AM
I CRINGE at the stupid, thoughtless things I said to a LTTTC'er before I started coming into this section. The 'just relax', 'it'll happen when you go on holiday', 'just stop trying and maybe it will happen'.
I just thought I was giving thoughtful, logical advice!
I really hope I am making up for it now by being a good friend. I feel I am in a waaay better position to understand the emotions and needs of a LTTTC'er thanks to you lovelies.
Posted 02 December 2010 - 05:34 PM
PLEASE do not consistently tell me that I will 'be such a great mother'. It just adds another element of pressure that I do. not. need. I'd just be happy to get pregnant first. Then I'll struggle through like every first time mother. Unfortunately, having to injest numerous different hormones in a variety of unpleasant ways doesn't somehow increase my super parenting power.
Posted 02 December 2010 - 05:54 PM
Posted 02 December 2010 - 07:35 PM
Beth that must be hard, maybe one of the other girls in here might be able to come back with some tips for you. I imagine treating her like normal but excluding Amelia, or maybe keeping information to a minimum if a conversation is walked into?!
Posted 03 December 2010 - 11:52 AM
This has been a great read. Thanks. I have a friend at work currently struggling with IVF and infertility. TBH, I don't know what to say or do. She does not want to see me or Amelia anytime soon outside of work. Which is upsetting but I totally respect her decision. I just don;t know how to approach her. Its so hard to have a convo that does not involve Amelia at the moment. Especially if she walks into one
By posting what you did shows you are conscious and aware of her circumstances, and are already being a great friend by wanting to do/say the right thing.
You know her and your friendship. As long as you aren't being blatantly insensitive or unthoughtful, then I'm sure you ARE saying the right thing . I suppose just be honest with her if you don't know what to say, or are scared you're saying the 'wrong' thing.
As for her walking into conversations etc, I think that's her responsibility to remove herself if she walks into a conversation she is uncomfortable with. You shouldn't have to censor information on the chance she may become a part of the chat. In saying that, if she was there all along, it may make her feel uncomfortable if you start recounting every moment from A's conception to present day.
Maybe this is an opportunity for you to see if you have something else in common that can be a point of interest for you as well? Maybe she can be your 'photography chat' buddy, or the one you share celebrity gossip with etc?
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