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

  1. #55

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    Dear all,

    Time has lapsed since Sushee's post but since I am new I have been reading through some very old post/threads.

    Hubbie and I come from a very large family. My hubbie is the youngest of 10 children and I one of 4. So you can imagine when the two family gather, we have over 40 people. We have both good and bad experiences with our families.

    When we finally were put on IVF I did the stupid thing and told my brother in law at a family gathering that we have now decided to go through IVF. Next thing I knew he announced to everyone that hubbie and I were expecting a baby. My nephew and nieces came to congratulate me. I felt so horrible and had to explain to them that was not the case.

    Our first attempt was unsuccessful. It was after Christmas that I found out. I was completely heart broken and told my hubbie to call his mother and tell her the news and that we wouldn't be coming to the family camp. I also requested that no-one speak to me about it because it would only hurt me more. I think this did the trick because no-one said a word when the family next meet. I think, it scared them too because it is very unusual for me to make such requests (I have always been the obliging, quiet member of the family and always go out of my way to make everyone happy). I had a lot of hugs and "we love you" which was very comforting. The wonders of quiet empathy!



    By our 3rd attempt, we had run out of money (my hubbie had quit his job to do further study before we knew that we had problems). When his family found out we were short of money, they all chipped in which enabled us to go through another cycle. I know...I am so very fortunate..

    There is one thing about family dynamic that I would like to share with you all today. I have always been the supportive one to my mother and sisters. I found that this role did not switch when I was going through hell with my failed cycles. This has caused me to stop calling my mother. Honestly I don't think I have the strength to carry two lots of worries, mine and my mother. I find it doubly painful when I told my mother my "bad news" and having my mother continued talking about her arguments with her friends...etc.

  2. #56

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    Kahlan some families really do need these rules hey

    BW - CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! only 6 months to go!!!!!!!!!!!! :woot:
    Last edited by alioops; July 8th, 2008 at 04:08 PM.

  3. #57
    LizzieP Guest

    Red face

    Sorry all - but it's time for a bit of an emotional purge. Just ignore me if I am sounding too whiny or grumpy. I just had egg pick up yesterday and I am a real hormonal tornado. Apologies again. Although I must say this has been very cathartic...

    Thou shalt NOT tell me to stop worrying because stress has a negative impact on an IVF cycle. I already know this!!! Please be patient with me when I say I really am doing the best I can. I appreciate your concern and I am trying a whole range of things to "chill" but this IS a roller coaster ride and I don't particularly like roller coasters.

    Thou shalt NOT, as a medical professional, make me feel that I am asking too many questions about the IVF process and the changes in my body especially when I have fears about Ovarian Hyper Stimulation.

    Thou shalt not discuss IVF in front of me as if I am not there and then proceed to give me advice having not done a cycle before. Please...just let me have a little time to tell my story the way I am experiencing it.

    Thou shalt be compassionate like my work colleagues by encouraging IVF patients to take leave when they need it. (I am very lucky)!

    Thou shalt have a wonderfully supportive partner who goes to the chemist late to buy heat packs and who brings you dinner in bed when you're feeling crappy. (And who also tells you really inappropriate jokes that never fail to make you laugh).

  4. #58

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    hi all,
    this is my first post, i only just discovered this site today.

    but just thought i'd share my experience thus far: bit of background for context... we are at our egg collection stage of our very first cycle. we don't live anywhere near our families due to work location.

    We have told none of our family or friends what is happening. That is just the way it has to be because of the commandment list! I'm from a small rural area and if my mum knows, everyone knows.

    So if i tell her and not my friends there will be issues.

    Everyone knows we have to do ivf but we weren't plannign to start until next year sometime. so we just remain vague if asked and no one is really asking. the other reason for keeping it quiet is that it doesn't become the be-all focus for us, we have to engage with our families normally and that's good for our sanity i think.

    Then there's the other commandment i'd like to submit "THOU shall not constantlly chirp on about how, if I am lucky, I'll probably have twins or triplets because all IVF babies are such". eerr, go to te back of the class.

    I would just like to add, finally, that i love our family an I realise that they mean well and love us and only want us to be happy. they are uninformed and clueless but i know they mean well so that is why i feel i couldn't ever post the commandments to them. I think while we all understand it, I don't think my folks would. They'd just be hurt. but that's just my relationship with them which is usually very close and everyone's different.

    So there's something to be said for 'flying under the family/friend radar' but then again we don't have much support when/if it goes pear shaped.

    thansk for listening.
    Last edited by onthefly; November 30th, 2009 at 03:36 PM.

  5. #59

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    I thought of another one - don't know if has already been mentioned...

    If you have been included in critical information THOU SHALL NOT pass on information to a third person without the express permission of the IVF couple (particularly if it is someone outside the intimate circle of family and friends).

    This causes stress to said IVF couple who have to run around making sure that their intimate circle of family and friends have been informed, when they may not necessarily have wanted to inform them.

    (Grrr Dad - gosh I hope that this does not get mentioned at the baptism tomorrow).

  6. #60

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    Hi Guys,
    So good these suggestions. I have one to add for friends and aquaintances:

    * The most appropriate response is "oh, bummer" and then closely followed by "are you OK, do you need anything" then shut mouth for 5 minutes, this has the same affect as actually listening.

    * Thou shall not say anything to the effect of "at least you already have one child"or "be thankful for that". This process has made me more thankful,and more sad, than you will ever know. If you say that again, to anyone, you forfeit the right to your second born, I will do a great job raising him or her.

    * Also I forever claim the right to lecture anyone over the age of 35 who says they are waiting until they get married, get more money, get taller, grow wings, etc etc before TTC, as I know about this particular heart break and you don't, so nerrr!

    Also to the naiive cousin.

    * if I ever again hear that you are putting off having children right now (you are 36 and should know better) because a baby would interfere with your fun social life right now, maybe in a few years, you will give up the right to my rich Aunts inheritance!

    Bit bleak I know, I am a nice person sometimes!
    Last edited by Samandpoppy; February 5th, 2009 at 08:10 AM. Reason: too bleak, had sense of humourectomy

  7. #61

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    Wow - I am so glad that I came across this thread. It's made me feel as though my emotions over my sister are normal.

    She has clearly told several people about my infertility, including her beautician. And if I have to hear one more time "just adopt, my friend did and she's so happy now" I think I will fly down to Sydney and strangle her.

    Put the icing on the cake was when she told me before xmas that she had finally thrown out the cot and change table she had been keeping aside for me for all these years, as it's time to move on..........that was a tough one and brought out a lot of emotion from me.

    But I also love it when sisters, sister-in-laws and mother-in-law all insist on telling me and DH what we SHOULD be doing to fall. They're all such experts on endometriosis. And they know of someone who tried this, and someone who tried that. Oh, and have we tried this. NO we are obviously stupid and haven't researched or tried a thing.

    I know they are not devoid of emotion and understanding, but they just don't back down. I'm too scarred to tell any of them that we are weeks away from our first IVF cycle.

    BW - your "Thou shalt not..." statements are priceless. With your permission I may use modified versions of them in need.

  8. #62

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    Go for it, SK. I'm in Sydney and would happily volunteer to strangle your sister for you if it becomes necessary. You'd think they'd start to get it with time, but it never seems to happen.

    Hang in there - the end result is so worth it!

    BW

  9. #63

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    BW
    Was very amused by your offer! ha. Thank goodness for my brother, who just said oh, bummer. what a great man.
    Last edited by Samandpoppy; February 5th, 2009 at 08:12 AM.

  10. #64

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    what a great thread...great points. I have a great family but it's others around me who hit me with the stupid insensitive comments.
    I am still getting the "it will happen when you arent thinking about it, you just need to relax and put it out of your mind"...yeh right.

  11. #65

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    I know this thread is a bit old now, but I need to vent. I haven't told ANY of my family. My mother is an idiot who successfully 'planned' her offspring (to the minute) and who doesn't even believe in PMS. Worse she is the least discreet person on the planet, no really. My auntie did IVF and I personally heard my mother announce (and go into huge amounts of detail) to 1) stranger at the bus stop, 2) waitress in a restaurant, 3) every family member and friend. Further, she feels it is her God given right to have grandchildren and asks me at EVERY available opporunity when DH and I 'plan' to have children. I actually avoid seeing her alone as then I can't leave, ignore her, have something urgent to do lol! She also make comments about my cousins like "you'd never know they were IVF" and "they look normal" -

  12. #66

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    Thanks to BW for starting this thread. I have got lots of laughs but also quite a few jaw drops, too.

    Buffy - In some ways your mother reminds me of mine. I love her to bits but she tells anyone from the milkman to the baker what's going on in her life, which of course also includes everything going on in mine! It took some stern words from my partner about this being a private issue for us for it to sink in, and I have to admit she is much better now. But I am lucky to have a good relationship with my mum, and we talk nearly every day

    Can I add a couple of commandments:

    Thou SHALL NOT talk about how `fertile' you are to your friend who is undergoing multiple unsuccessful IVF cycles. I met up with an old school friend who I hadn't seen for 22 years and she told me she was so fertile she needed to have an internal device fitted after her third child - literally minutes after I spilled my guts telling her I was doing IVF!Aaaagh, the insensitivity of it all.

    Cilnic nurses SHALL NOT say to you when ringing up for BT results and it's a BFN, `Did you think you might be pregnant?' I mean, honest to god, what the ...

  13. #67

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    This thread has gone hasn't been posted to in some time but with a dear friend of mine about to start IVF I am doing as much reading as I can in order to support her through this.

    I realise now that I have pulled away from her somewhat for fear of being too intrusive so I hope that by reading your stories of what they could have done better - I won't have the need to once pull my foot from my mouth

  14. #68

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    I know this thread is old, old, old, but I have just gone through my first IVF cycle (no transfer due to OHSS) and thought I'd share some thoughts, both from the beginnings of our journey until during this cycle.

    I do have a very supportive family on both sides, but I don't think it can be stressed enough that regardless of supportive or indifferent ppl, if they haven't ever had to go through it, they will NEVER understand. Thus the following rules would apply to me, in addition to most others I have read here:

    thou shalt not say "oh my friend has that issue, that's no big deal, she just took these tablets and got pregnant" (maybe she was lucky and clomid worked straight up for her, maybe she didn't disclose the whole ordeal of her treatment to my SIL)

    thou shalt not say you would like to read my AC info book and then leave it on the bench in the exact same spot every week we visit, obviously never been read

    though shalt not write on your facebook status that its easier to work full time than be a full time mum (a friend who recently went back to work after 18mths off after her first when she wasn't even trying)

    though shalt not ask me how things are going and when i mention i was having a hard time with some of the treatment and tests, tell me "oh that's nothing to when you are pregnant, some of those tests aren't very pleasant... like internals" ummmmm i have someone sticking something up my "internals" numerous times in one cycle so I think I probably already outscore you! (same friend as above)

    and lastly my dear dad, thou shalt not answer the phone when I ring with "oh hi love how are you?... I'll get your mum" I'm still a person you can talk to!!!!

    ok I think that's all I have for now... all of these things were said by ppl who I know care, but just won't ever get "IT" and I guess we can't really expect them to. I mean how many of us know exactly how a woman gets pregnant before we are faced with fertility issues and kind of have to know? We get the most basic of info in sex ed at school and I think young people (girls in particular) should be told more about the cycle. If people knew how it doesn't just happen when you have no birth control and have sex and that there are actually a LOT of things that have to line up just right, then maybe more people would have a knowledge that goes back further than when their "broken" child comes to them and explains it. (By "broken" I mean from my experience I think my parents feel like there was something they could have done differently to stop this happening and make it "better", I certainly didn't mean that any of us are anything but normal).

    Ok I think I have flip flopped between cynical, jaded and empathetic of family/friends so I might leave it here before my soapbox breaks.
    Last edited by mellybelly81; April 2nd, 2010 at 12:29 PM. Reason: clarification

  15. #69

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    I've just been reading through this thread and I have switched between laughing at some of the comments and sitting in shock at some of the things people have said.
    I'm currently 4 day into the 2ww for our first IVF cycle. Wow- Crinone is fun isn't it?

    So far we've been really lucky with our family and friends, we've had a lot of support and a close friend of mine is going through AC as well so we've got some people to really vent to. We haven't had to share any results yet though so not sure how that will go, either way...

    Thank god for this forum though. I haven't really posted much but been reading for a couple of weeks and it's really good to hear people who really understand. Nice to know I'm not on my own with all the psycho thoughts etc.

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