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Thread: BW's rules for the family who wants to be supportive

  1. #37

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    How about when they find out your periods a day late they cannot instantly say 'you must be pregnant'. Like it's not something I dream about but I'm a bit more realistic than she is optomistic.



    This is my Mum's way of being positive and supportive. I've never been regular but I got this tonight when discussing cycles, FET dates etc and I mentioned that it all depends on my AF which is nearly two weeks late. I just responded to her that after more than 10 years of no birth control, and 3 cycles of IVF I don't think it's just going to happen without intervention.

    Mostly though, I think I'm really lucky with friends and family respecting my privacy and take my lead on what to discuss and when. This thread has made me appreciate that more than I did previously.

  2. #38

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    wow, you guys have got it nailed in one so many of the things mentioned I have experienced as well I think it would go over the top of my family as well though great effort though good luck to all with your journey

  3. #39

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    Oh I just remembered this I put it out of my mind for self preservation because it upset me so much at the time. When I first started the IVF program my DH was unable to come with me for an ET so I thought I would take my mum.
    our nearest clinic is in Hobart 4hrs away from where I live, on arriving at the clinic my mum started talking to a little girl and then looked over at her parents and announced "i'm a grandmother you know'(not by me at this stage) and then to my total mortification she announced to a fully packed IVF waiting room that "i've told my daughter that she needs to take after me and fall like a rabbit at the drop of a hat!!!!!" I fell through the floor with embarassment and really never got over it needless to say my mum has been a lot less involved in the process since this episode as much as I love her she really never has and I don't think ever will understand just what a journey infertility is.

  4. #40

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    Hi everyone,

    I so relate to all of the things said on this thread!!! I just don't think that anyone can ever understand the IVF journey properly unless they have been on it themselves, even close relatives.

    My grandmother said to me that "if it couldn't happen naturally, it shouldn't happen at all..." Needless to say, after that I have never ever told her a single thing about our IVF. She didn't even find out we were pregnant until after 16 weeks (we live interstate from our families). Funnily enough, she now completely adores my IVF-conceived gorgeous daughter, so maybe she has now changed her mind.

    I also get annoyed when people expect us to drop everything and travel to see them interstate, even when we explain that we need to stay at home for IVF procedures - it's not like we choose the timing on purpose to clash with family functions, not to mention the expense, which due to IVF costs and me being a SAHM right now, we just can't afford!

    Whew, OK, rant over!!! Thank you so much for this thread, BW, it's nice to know it's not just me being a grumpy-pants about this stuff!

  5. #41

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    I just thought I'd prod this thread back to life for a bit.

    I'm currently finding myself completely not coping with how close we are to Christmas, the difficulty I'm having in recovering completely from the latest round of OHSS... and I guess it is now becoming all too real to me that we've had two miscarriages this year...

    DH and I both in agreement that we aren't going to be spending Christmas with either family. It appears that a quite Christmas at home with ourselves is going to be much more soothing to us than trying to cope with the chaos and noise of Christmas with my family and (for me) the scary unknown of Christmas with DH's family.

    I'm not brave enough to actually call and speak to any of them and tell them they won't see us at Christmas, but my thoughts returned to the "rules" I had set out before... and a long, long letter has been typed up - explaining why we won't see them at Christmas, and telling them about the second FET and second stim cycles we kept to ourselves, and the trauma of the second miscarriage and the fairly long hospitalisation with the second case of OHSS... It then launched into a re-wording of these rules, trying to word them in a much gentler manner...

    It's been another cathartic process, but again, it's something else written for my family (and DH's) that they will probably never, ever see. It appears that one is too cynical and sarcastic (I'm yet to be convinced that it is humorous and witty), and the other is three typed pages of "woe is me".

    So... suggestions, comments, advice for surviving the silly season with a shred of sanity intact? What have others done in such a situation or at such a time, and how has it been recieved?

    BW

  6. #42

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    Take yourselves on a short holiday, BW. Even if it's only for a few days over Xmas. Go somewhere where no one else knows you and pretend it's your honeymoon again... Let someone take care of you. I'd suggest a bed and breakfast somewhere remote. Leave lots of lovely pressies behind for your families, so they don't think they're forgotten, but go somewhere where the mobile phone reception is terrible.

    Maybe if you take care of yourselves and don't worry about anyone else, you will come back feeling a bit refreshed. You deserve a break from worrying about what everyone else is doing/saying/thinking about and to you. And make sure you buy a good book before you go!

  7. #43

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    wow Jennifer13,
    I like the sound of that,I hope you make time just for your family BW you sound like you really need it after the year you had. I'm going to avoid my family a bit more this season just isn't feeling like christmas yet DH has started a new job and as luck would have it he will be working nightshift christmas night and will get home boxing day afternoon so I have advised Santa that he can leave our house until the night after christmas so that DH can see DD open her presents. DH is also working Newyears eve and day but I guess I'm ok with this DD and I are planning to have a quiet few days in the lead up to daddy getting home (we'll see I guess)Merrychristmas to you all and all the best with how ever you choose to spend your holiday period- maybe I should start christmas shopping to get me in the holiday spirit? I'm just to scared to hit the shops this year!!!!

  8. #44

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    i've had this thread at the back of my mind for a while now - trying to work out how to introduce some of it into conversation with my family without stepping on toes. they're really trying to be supportive (very trying!!) - but just have no idea. i had a bit of a hissy at my mum last night. after finding out that my IVF cycle hadn't worked, mum called my dad at work, who then called me late at night to say "keep your chin up" and some more unrelated and completely inappropriate BS - and i didn't take too kindly to it. anyway, something i put in my text message to my mum sorta felt like it should be in here:

    knowing we're going through this is a priveledge, not a "right" - it's not about you, it's about US, and our wishes, our privacy, should be respected. if i'm having a hard time cos something hasn't worked, and i decide i don't want to hear from you, or that what you've said to me wasn't appropriate, deal with it - don't make this about you and how you "won't care in future" cos your gesture wasn't taken in the context it was meant - get over it! this journey is extremely taxing - both physically and emotionally - i don't need to deal with your guilt trips now - they just won't work!

    i will admit that i've been much more polite in my wording of the message here than i was last night - but seriously, i don't regret it at all - i had literally JUST found out the cycle had failed, couldn't get hold of DH for a few more minutes and had received a message asking how i was doing - so i was honest - brutally honest!

  9. #45

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    I have had similar probs withn some of my family not appriciating how difficult it is for my husband and i to cope with other babies in the family after loosing our two children- we should be thrilled of course and relish in their excitement and joy and it shouldnt remind us of our losses at all.....

    I have chosen to pretty much just distance myself from them and their "un" understanding ways

  10. #46

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    BG - I've been feeling the same thing as you have - people need to stop making things *always* about themselves for a moment.

    I have said this to my father, mother (especially in relation to IVF and my wedding) and explained the concept of it to other people, and it resonates with everyone I have spoken to.

    I think it's probably the simplest, least insulting (or intepreted as insulting) and most resonant way you can tell someone that their behaviour is affecting you.

    BW, I think BG is spot on - you should find a way simply to tell your family as softly and gently as you can that it's not about them. This whole process is not all about themselves and then nick off somewhere quiet with DH, no mobile reception just as Jennifer says. Look after yourselves, go somewhere where it is easier to forget about them for a few days, and where the guilt of actually doing the right thing for you first rather than them doesn't reach so far. Remind them when they get back, don't make it all about themselves again. Ask them to let it go for your sake.

    Hope you're recovering ok, and please try not to let the whole family thing affect you and stress you too much, as hard as I know that is. You need the most stress-free environment possible to recover properly - perhaps you can tell your families that too....

    Miss C

  11. #47

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    I know I've come into this one late, but man, I have had a little chuckle over some of the things that have been said mostly because I can relate.
    My sister actually said that she blamed me for her unwanted pregnancy and thus child, because she didnt want to have her tubes tied incase I needed her eggs. I must add, at no point have I ever suggested that I would ever want a donor egg, nor have I asked.. Some people can be really insensative to the IVF. I found with my first BPN, all I wanted ppl to say when they were told was, Im sorry. Thats it, nothing more. I know its hard for ppl who care bout us, but those hormone drugs, EVIL things.. E-V-I-L....

  12. #48

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    MWL, the amusing part of that is that your sister having her tubes tied wouldn't prevent her eggs from being harvested later if that's what it came down to. Knowing me, I'd have come up with some sarcastic remark about her giving the child to me if it were my sister. But that's just me... and I don't think my sister would ever be able to think beyond herself for long enough to be able to come up with such an idea of donating eggs.

    This thread wasn't really intended to be a once-off thing - I still haven't actually said anything to my family, and I'm not sure I ever will. I do however, think it's important for us to work through what we do want and don't want.

    And hopefully there'll be someone looking for ways that they can be supportive for a friend or family member and be able to take something from this.

    BW

  13. #49

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    Thank you for this thread. DH and I have just found out that we will need to go through IVF. This thread has definitely given me some ideas on how to deal with some issues that I know will come up with my family (only my parents know at this stage).

  14. #50

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    Indie - there are a number of threads for people trying to conceive long term or moving to assisted conception - feel free to come and join us over there! a lot of us are in waiting over the holiday, but getting started again in the new year.

  15. #51

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    Thanks BW!!! wow i really needed to read these! I think it is humourus and u could look at titling it "the ten commandments of supporting your Family / Friend through IVF". Sometimes it needs to be blunt to be understood. To me it reads like a parody of the 10 commandments iykwim

  16. #52

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    Hi everyone,

    I just wanted to thank you all for creating this thread & contributing to it. I stumbled across it tonight & it couldn't have been discovered at a better time. We're in the middle of our 1st IVF - something I always said I'd NEVER do. Funny how life changes when you have no choice!

    We're due for EPU either Good Friday or Easter Monday, & a family member informed me last night that the entire family has decided to come to our place for an easter BBQ (1st time mentioned to us, I should add.) & totally missed the point when I explained that we would be in Sydney at some stage that wknd for the procedure & therefore couldn't commit(nicely trying to say thanks, but it won't be happening). At this point I can't begin to fathem preparing the house for a gathering, let-a-lone how emotional we will be having the procedure done for the 1st time. She just responded "we dont mind. we're coming for the company, not the house"

    DH & I both agree that this should be part of the IVF booklet/brochures handed out, but marked for family/friends/work collegues.

    If I hear one more story "i knew someone who fell naturally once they stopped" or "my friend did that and they never had those issues" I'm going to email your commandments to everyone I know!

    Thank you for the best laugh I've had in months!

  17. #53

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    Lou, I'm so sorry you have to put up with people being so insensitive and clueless. At this point, I'd probably turn around and tell the awful people who have invited themselves over that they can damned well uninvite themselves because you just won't be there! I hope you manage to figure something out that works for you.

    I will admit that the rules were never sent to my family. But my mother, who was the worst at being nosy and intrusive, now completely changes the subject every time I even get close to telling her something related to our IVF treatment. I really don't know whether the insensitive probing questions were worse than the complete couldn't give a shi!t and completely disinterested attitude I'm getting now.

    BW

  18. #54

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    BW,

    my mother went through the same process (they should do a study on it as it many families seem to go through the same stages) - she went from being intrusive, prying and overly interested to completely ignoring the matter, changing the subject, and making everyone else around us not talk about it either. I remember a dinner party at my parents' where my sister was 8 months pregnant, and when DH and I got there, the conversation stopped in its tracks. I went over to my sister, who was massively pg, and asked her how she was feeling, and she got flustered and refused to answer.

    I found out later that my mother warned everyone not to talk to DH or me about IVF, about babies or about pg on the pain of death, so everyone pretty much just didn't talk to us all night. Way to make us feel even more isolated, people.

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