27 February 2011

Coming Clean

Yesterday was a good day.

And Lord knows, I've needed one to come along for a while!

I am very lucky to have a group of women that I meet up with on a regular basis for IF support -- yet another wonderful thing to come from the blogs! Although we are all on different paths to growing our families, we are able to share our stories and our pain (and we all know how much pain is involved with IF!).

As I was driving to my next rendez vous -- where I was going to be the only person that was childless -- I turned on my Rosary application on my trusty i.Phone and prayed my way to my destination. I knew that I would need strength since Mr. JB (he's away on a boys weekend) was not going to be with me at the dinner party and because I knew that there would be PLENTY of baby talk.

I was glad that I had quite a long time in the car, thanks to traffic and snow, to get my head together. I always seem to have my best talks with God while I'm driving. I have been praying for discernment and for clarity at our particular fork in the road and I have been so frustrated at the lack of answers.

Then it came to me.

I need to start telling people about my IF. I need to come clean.

Now that we're getting closer to starting the adoption process, I have to start telling people.

We have told a few friends, but I have been so private in my real life, which is funny since I have a blog that anyone can look at. I know that I'm getting tired of living a double life.

So how do I do it? Do I send out a mass e-mail? Post it as a Face.book status? Invite the people I want to tell to dinner?

How did you tell your friends and loved ones? What was their reaction?

I'm absolutely petrified to do this, but I know that this is something that I have to do. I feel like I'm drowning in secrecy, and I'm tired of the charade.


  1. I think with me, I just started telling people. When the kids/pregnancy/when-are-you- planning-on-having-one-of-your-own comments came up, I just answered honestly.
    With family, I find that once one or two people know...word spreads fast. I don't think announcing your IF has to necessarily be a formal thing. HOWEVER, we chose to send a letter out at Christmas time to all the family, sharing with them our plans for adoption. So, if you wanted to make that announcement, you could send out a letter asking them for their support and prayers! And including something about how long you've wanted to start a family, etc. would clue them in on the infertility part.
    I still wouldn't want family and friends reading my blog, but I'm definitely glad to finally have everyone we know in the loop about our adoption. It's amazing to have their support!

  2. For me, telling people about my IF is something that comes up in a personal conversation, usually over lunch or dinner and wine. Because I never know how I am going to respond, it is always good to have food (or alchohol) around! Yes, I've had to tell our story more than once, but then I could edit the info as I see fit, telling more or less of my journey depending on who it is and how I am doing with talking about it. More often than not, I feel a weight lifted when done! Good for you for having the strength to talk about it. You'll find how supportive people are, how much they care, and there is an increase of prayers! We all need prayers!

  3. We never started to really tell people until we did our last ivf cycle, and we just started to tell people, if they startled chatting about their family and asked one of us, we would just say that we are working on it, that it's taking a long time. Close friends we just plain told. My dh became a surpsingly big teller to people at work, if he was missing time, and people asked he would say, if they asked what he was doing on the weekend, he would say (shooting my wife full of drugs so she can make some eggs).
    It is so freeing.

  4. Yes, put it on Facebook. Hahaha, can you imagine?!?!?!
    "JellyBelly is infertile." Lmbo, that would be weirdly hysterical to see :)

    I basically just started telling people when the topic came up - and you know it ALWAYS comes up. I never really had to breech the topic myself with, "Hey, so guess what, I'm barren - cool, huh?" It always somehow manages to steer toward children, pregnancy, etc. in group conversations or even 1-on-1s.

    Good luck! I find it refreshing to be so open about it now.

  5. I agree about letting it come up naturally. Maybe with close family you could initiate the conversation. But otherwise when people ask about kids, just tell them you've been trying but God hasn't blessed you yet and you're even starting to consider adoption! You can the point across w/out even saying "infertility."

  6. I've actually been thinking about this lately. It's sort of a heavy burden-on top of the already heavy burden of IF-opening up more and more to people about the struggle to concieve. Part of me wants to simply tell everyone that asks when we're going to start trying, that we've been trying for over three years and it's hard and it hurts. But the other part of me worries they won't understand that it is painful.

    At this point on (sorta) on board with you-wanting to be honest and telling those who ask. Maybe I will...we'll see!

    Either way...you go girl!! Do what you need to do!

  7. I usually told people when I got the question about if I had kids/am I having kids/what am I waiting for etc. Then I would usually just say that my lack of child wasn't from a lack of trying. Depending on the person and the conversation would determine how much I would share.

    I got sick and tired of all of the crap people said about me being 'next' at the office, or we had been married x-number of years, and I would just flat out say we wanted children, had tried, but it hadn't happened.

    Honestly, it made things a lot easier for me once the cat was out of the bag.

  8. I think I wouldn't make it an event (although you certainly can if you want to). I would do it a person or a few people at a time, the next time it comes up in conversation ("when are you guys..." or "all of us will eventually" or "when you decide to..." - you know, those comments that are so hard to respond to without explaining). I told a couple of people who were chatty and made it sound really nonchalant, but that was when I was in ueber-Catholic law school and was being asked when we were going to have kids every week, in my second year of marriage. I was going to hit someone if I heard the question again, and telling (and having other people tell) made it easier for me. I've kept it up - people know, they pass it on, it's not seen as a huge thing. Well...I assume...I guess I don't really know how they see it :).

  9. Sorry to hear you had to go through that dreaded dinner party all by yourself! that is TOUGH! but good for you for being so brave and getting thorough it.

    For me, when my family or his family were either asking, giving suggestions etc in regards to our "non announcement of pregnancy after 4 years of being together' talk..I told them that we were embarking on IF treatments and that was about 1 year ago and as of recently I mentioned that we are planning to do international adoption. In a way this has been a way for me to get them off my back (especially now that they know we are planning to do adoption next year) so that I can relax and enjoy my TCm treatments and ttc on our own naturally without any further questioning etc etc etc...It is definitely freeing to get it out into the open, many of my friends are aware of my IF struggle. But, of course whenever you share anything private about yourself there will be times that people will cross the line a bit too far and ask or say something hurtful in regards to your choices etc. Good luck.

  10. First of all, I am so very proud of you for taking this step. I know it is hard for you to be open with them but let me tell you friend, it is going to make you feel sooo much better. It is going to take so much stress off of you.

    I would let it come naturally. Maybe in conversation saying something casual to another's response about babies. Or maybe just saying "I haven't told y'all b.c of certain reasons but I'm ready to finally get it off my chest...." Maybe asking for prayers for you and your IF struggles.

    Warning...if you are anything like me, bringing it up might make you a little emotional. BUT, that is completely ok and normal. Plus, it makes you feel better to get it all out.

    With teaching, I know that here at my school we always throw baby showers for the pregnant people. I finally just told my boss that I would not be attending those b.c I am too fragile for that. That opened the door for conversation there.

    My situation is a bit different b.c I lost the baby and my tube last year. That sparked conversation that led me to be open with everyone. For you, it might be a bit more difficult. I am praying for you and am so proud of you. This weight will be lifted!!!


  11. This is something I've been dealing with recently too...I can't imagine how it feels to have such a huge secret burden for so long. I've been discovering that the build up is what causes me the most emotions. In telling people in conversation and owning it, I've felt a lot of peace. You may feel better having your husband tell your friends too, if you're afraid of breaking down in front of your friends. I think you, by pure length of time trying, will be spared a lot of the ridiculous comments that people make when you "haven't been trying that long" (argh). I'm sure you will find your friends that haven't known about this shocked that you could keep a burden like this for as long as you have and they will WANT to support you. Hopefully they will respond respectfully and will be supportive. If I discovered my friend was going through something so hard without knowing, I would want to make up for lost time.
    I hope you figure out what's best for you.

  12. Wow - I'm so with you on this one. I have such a hard time sharing IF struggles with friends and family...so I'm not a great one to talk to about it. I think the Spirit lets you know what info can be told to whom. I definitely wouldn't do a blanket statement facebook dinner party thing, especially as you've confessed that you're terrified of letting ppl know. I've just told ppl as the moment came up, and it's been ok so far. Some ppl I just say "I'm not sure we can have kids" when they ask why we don't have children. And others I go into more detail.

    Besides that...I am a fellow Canuck also invovled (somewhat) with the MB Centre in TO. I'd very much like to hear your experience with the Centre like how long you've been with them and which doc you see (I'd also be very interested in the name of the napro trained naturopath)...and compare notes if you're interested.
    Cheers - you're def in my prayers!

  13. i loved reading through all these comments. To me, this seems like a serious brainwave - great idea! I have been toying with the idea of telling some select people too... but it surprisingly doesn't come up in conversation with those people! Good luck to you JB! Really nice seeing you on the weekend.