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Thread: What drives you crazy about TTC?

  1. #1
    David_R Guest

    Default What drives you crazy about TTC?

    Hi everyone. I'm the author of Swimming Upstream - a book about the struggle to conceive and how to deal with it.

    The moderators of BellyBelly have asked me to write some articles for couples trying to conceive, based on our experience (5 years TTC and IVF treatment) and my research in writing the book.

    The first article is up - it's called "Putting on a brave face in a child-centred world". It talks a bit about how when you're struggling to conceive you're expected to just put on a smile and deal with life when seemingly everyone around you is having babies easily. Here's the link: http://www.bellybelly.com.au/article...ng-infertility



    (When you're reading the article, check out the special 20% discount for subscribers of the BellyBelly forum. http://www.swimmingupstream.com.au/bellybelly.aspx.)

    Anyway, the reason for posting is I'd like some feedback from you ...

    I'll be contributing more articles to BellyBelly to help couples who are having trouble conceiving, but I'd like your feedback as to what issues you'd like to see covered. What would you like to read about? What are the big issues for you?

    Here's a list as a starter:

    * How men deal with infertility and how to talk to them about it
    * Who's to blame for an inability to conceive?
    * How do you talk to your parents?
    * Fertility myths
    * The effect on your sex life

    I'd be keen to see what you'd like ... or any other ideas you may have!

    Cheers, David Rawlings
    Last edited by BellyBelly; January 29th, 2007 at 03:27 PM.

  2. #2

    Default

    Hi David
    This sounds awesome and just what is needed. I found the disappointment of getting my periods pretty hard to deal with. My heart dropping into the pit of my stomach whenever I got those tell tale signs.
    * Maybe something about Superstitions or beliefs in falling pregnant? ie booties beside the bed, fertility statues, crystals. After trying for so long I was keen to try anything, including rubbing the belly of the fertility statue at Ripleys Believe it or Not on the Gold Coast.
    * Or how to deal with other people who are asking you the question "when are you going to have kids?" etc. That was hard on me because I was getting harrassed constantly as a newly wed about when were we starting our family. I didn't want to have to go into my medical history everytime.

    That's all I can think of for the moment...I'll come back to you if I think of anymore.
    Good luck

  3. #3

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    Hi David,

    I think this is a great idea as well. I've just ordered your book for DP to read as he is really struggling with TTC at the moment. Now i just have to get him to read it :biggrin:

    A big issue for me (and its my own fault) is having people judge my decision to TTC. A lot of people know DP and I are TTC. Often when they learn how long it is taking us, they turn around to me and say that its ok that its taking its time because i'm so young! I even had 1 person go so far to say that it didn't matter if i didn't have a baby for another 10 yrs :eek: I don't know how to explain to these people (people that have never had probs TTC or who don't actually have kids yet) how hard this TTC business actually is. I guess really its for me to realise that these people don't mean any harm. But as a hormonal person, sometimes its very easy to take things the wrong way!

  4. #4
    David_R Guest

    Default

    Thanks for your feedback (and for buying the book bron!)

    Katie: we actually have written a chapter for each of your two points. The first chapter talks about some of the strange things people do in order to get pregnant. It's not saying people are nuts for trying things (in fact, my wife and I tried a few weird things too), the chapter looks more at why people do things and how to address the issue if the two of you wonder if you're going crazy. Your second point is a good one too - our chapter called 'The last thing you want to hear' talks about the Top 10 dumb things you'll hear (just relax being number one with a bullet) and gives advice on how to respond to it.

    bron: one of the things that annoyed me the most when we were TTC was the things people would say to try to make us feel better. Often they were just clueless as to what we were going through and we hurting us (my wife in particular) without knowing it. IMHO, you really need to have gone through an experience like this to understand what it's like. I guess that's why I wrote Swimming Upstream.

    I'll add your suggestions to the list.

    Thanks for taking the time to post!

  5. #5

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    Hi David

    The thing that I hate the most is the loneliness. I am in a situation where my beloved is the one with the fertility issues and it has been his decision not to tell anyone that we are TTCing at all let along going down the IVF path (we even had to choose a fertility specialist that was in the same building as a physio so that he could explain away visits if seen in the vicinity - I am still waiting for him ot ask me if we can enter through seperate doors!) This is his choice and I support it as being important to him but I find that it leaves me feeling a little lonely as I can't chat to anyone about it except in forums like BB.

    I think that an article on how to deal with male infertility would be fantastic.

    I (seceretly) call it Henry VIII syndrome - and while I am pretty sure that DP isn't going to cut off my head I think that sometimes he considers it! I would love to have more information on how to chat to DP about how he feels about it and also how I feel about it.

  6. #6

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    David
    Thank you for writing this book, I am very interested in it.
    My problem is other people.
    The frustrating thing for me is no one else gets it!! Bellybelly has been such a blessing as people here understand exactly what you are going thru.
    If I hear one more person say to me "just relax it will happen!" I will rip out their throat!
    People who have had no probs TTC can be so non supportive like "stop trying, stop thinking about it" So we just dont tell people at all now. But I know people who tryed for 10 years before seeking help and when they did they fell pregnant with twins first IVF cycle, why go thru all that, where is the point when you go lets get checked out? ASAP as far as I'm concerned.
    We want this more than anything in the world and are going to appreciate every second of it when it happens.
    All i can say is thank god for Bellybelly!!:biggrin:
    Looking forward to reading your article

  7. #7

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    Blayz - I agree totally! Thank god for BellyBelly! Also, I hate it when people say "just relax" or "it'll happen when you stop trying so hard"! Just recently i've adopted the whole i'm infertile, its not going to happen without help approach with people i feel are insensitive to what DP and i are going through (i don't think that at all and I'm TTC as hard as ever). A lot of people don't know how to respond to this and now they have moved on from saying "Just relax" to maybe its your DP with the problems! Ahhhhh!!!!!!!!!! i could just scream! Why does it have to be either of us with the problem? Why couldn't it be both of us? Maybe there is no problem, its just taking a while!

    Through out it all though, i've come to realise that these people have no idea what we are going through and I have to remember this. They are just trying to be comforting and unfortunately because they can't relate they always say the wrong thing. I think a part of that also comes from us thinking that they can't understand anything of what we are feeling so what they are saying is ignorant to our situations. So we twist what they are saying into something bad (not intentionally twist it).

    I can't wait to read this book though!
    Last edited by Bron81; January 29th, 2007 at 04:22 PM. Reason: just wanted to fix it up and add on a bit

  8. #8

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    Funnily enough, everything I can think of that would make a good article... I've already seen in the book!

    David, I would like to take the chance to personally thank you for putting the time and effort into writing a book that has helped both myself and my husband through this horror of infertility. I was really impressed that my husband voluntarily picked it up and started reading it for himself.

    The one thing I've found hardest to deal with are the people who want to sympathise and say they know how you feel, when they really have no clue. I had a friend try to tell me that she knew how I felt after TTC for four months with regular cycles... how can you possibly make someone understand that 4 months of seeing your body work normally is nothing on 12 months of seeing your body consistently fail to ovulate, and 6 months of knowing that your husband also has fertility issues? It's comments like those that seem to have the effect of minimising our experience and our pain... I still don't know quite how to deal with it...

    BW

  9. #9

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    David,
    It seems the thing that drives all of us crazy is other people. All the stupid comments we have heard like “just relax, it’ll happen”, or “maybe you’re doing it wrong”, or “I know how you feel, it took us 3 months of trying”.
    My problem at the moment is my DH wants to tell everyone who asks about our TTC story, but I am the complete opposite. I told a few people and their reactions left me feeling cold. This is something DH and I have discussed at length, but never seem to agree on. He sees it as merely a hiccup in the road that needs medical intervention. I see it as all the disappointment, frustration, jealously, etc. Although we are going through the whole thing together, our individual journeys are quite different. We both sometimes need to remember that we feel differently about TTC, and neither of us have it right or wrong.
    Sites like Bellybelly, and books like yours are important to help those of us going through this feel we are not alone. I don’t think we’ll ever change the other people, but we can influence the way we feel about ourselves and our situation.
    Jo

  10. #10

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    Hi David
    BB certainly is lucky to have you in here - congrats on the success of your book.
    My TTC story is a long one spanning almost 17 years - I am very determined My frustrations through the course of that journey are probably not all that different to anyone else's I suppose.
    One thing I can say now is that this journey, whether I end up holding my own child or not, has changed me forever. I have a lot more patience for one thing . Having said that though, I tend to react more swiftly if I even suspect that someone may possibly only be contemplating even thinking that they might consider ripping me off. In any way. Leave me off an email joke list and I'll think I've been ripped off. Run out of mint slice bikkies at the supermarket and I'll think I've been ripped off. I get over it though, so no counselling required. I don't think.. I have been left with an overwhelming feeling that some being out there in the universe has ripped me off - good and proper! Through no fault of my own, I have been denied something that so many women achieve without really having to give a second thought to. And, good luck to them!
    I could prattle on forever but I'd like to add that I am now entering into the known egg donation area. I am already in the known sperm donation world. At 44 years of age, I have had my share of ignorant comments, faces staring back at me as if I'm talking about taking part in a sci-fi flick and a now ex (thank goodness) manager who asked "Well why are you still trying after all these years?" when I asked for time off last year to cycle.
    So, if you'd like to do a follow up book - the world of Donor Conception is one that needs a better public understanding. It also carries the same set of TTC frustrations and complications but with an added level of stress!! Hope that doesn't sound like I'm on a bandwagon - I'm not. Just trying to say that TTC stress can come in so many packages these days.
    My story is here http://bellybelly.com.au/forums/showthread.php?t=28391

  11. #11

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    David, I have only just become aware of your book in the last couple of days and will definitely pick up a copy for myself.
    My biggest issue of late has been dealing with comments from my mother in law. It took a long time before I agreed to let my DH tell her we were going through IVF. Straight away she looked at me and said "oh, so you have problems down there?" I was obviously shocked and speechless. I was on IVF drugs at the time so she is quite lucky I didn't rip her head off. We then had to explain we have unexplained infertility, and that was nothing wrong with anyone. Even now, a few months later she still brings it up and doesn't understand that it is possible for there to be nothing wrong and that we simply have not been able to conceive. I feel that she blames me. She forever talks about how fertile her whole family are (so were mine if truth be known, so I never thought it would be a problem for us, but obviously it is).
    I really regret sharing it with her, but now that I have I have to deal with her and her comments.
    I guess in a way, some of the things she says seep into my brain and gets me blaming myself for this (even though I know it's no one's fault). I wish I could take back everything we told her, but I can't and now I have to learn to cope with her without causing any more tension.

  12. #12

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    Megan, I'm not sure this is the right thread to put this in, but thanks for sharing your MIL problems. My MIL behaves much the same way. She actually said to me that marrying me was the most selfish thing her son could do, because he was deliberately denying her of 'her grandchildren'. I actually do ‘have a few problems down there’, but that’s still no excuse for what she said! I have issues with blaming myself as it is, I don’t need any help from her. I have let her attitude go on for too long without pulling her up on it, although I would probably be wasting my breath if tried to get her to be a bit more understanding.
    Telling families is a really hard thing, and any helpful articles that I could have either read myself or give directly to them would have been a great resource to have.
    When you are TTC you have enough stress/emotion – we shouldn’t need to be tip-toeing around family members, worrying about their feelings.
    Jo

  13. #13
    David_R Guest

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    Thanks for all your feedback everyone.

    I'll schedule a few articles on dealing with other people, some of the dumb/hurtful/clueless things people say and possibly also how to deal with your parents.

    They're all topics we cover in Swimming Upstream. In fact, we've been told that the chapter on dealing with your parents has never been covered before in literature! That surprised me, considering the relationship with your parents is one of the most pivotal to most people.

    Anyway, thanks for the input.

  14. #14

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    David, I have just ordered the book and can't wait to get it so I can get started. I may pass it on to the MIL after I have finished. If I'm still speaking to her by that stage!! lol

    Jo, that is awful of your MIL to tell your DH he is selfish for marrying you. I know I would be extremely angry and upset if MIL said something like that to my DH.
    We are having an FET on Wednesday and she doesn't know, and won't know. Can't deal with her.

  15. #15

    Default

    David, I'd love to see more articles as to what you can say to friends who are having troubles - whilst I have heard most of the faux pas so know what to avoid, I would hate to offend people thoughtlessly, so maybe some "do" things rather than "don't" things would help.

  16. #16

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    Ryn, you've never said anything remotely offensive at all! You are one of the most sensitive people to the situation that I've ever discovered, but I completely applaud that suggestion.

    It would be great to have a list of things to do as well as not what to do... would be great to be able to hand that to the people who pull the "just relax" line, or who believe that adoption or successfully having one child through IVF is a magic cure for infertility.

    BW

  17. #17
    Alex Guest

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    Hi,

    I have to say that for me the hardest thing is dealing with the disappointment at the end of the IVF cycle, and even before IVF, every month when my period came, I felt eaten away inside by the grief. also, other people not allowing you to feel grief, because in my opinion we are all entitled to feel sorry for ourselves! My SIL keeps saying "these things usually take a long time, and don't work the first time around", don't ask where she has her facts from, it's easy to say when you have kids yourself and no problem falling pg at all.

    People quoting famous people and how they've got pg, and being more interested in these total strangers and their feelings, than they are in their own family.

    I suppose it's the lack of understanding, and also the fact that some people, like my MIL, seem to think that my personal cycles are public knowledge! she tells her hairdresser, friends etc. that we are going through IVF. I am not interested in anyone knowing unless we feel that we want them to know. So that's another one, inappropriate questions about your personal health. It's a sensitive issue as it is!

  18. #18

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    hmmm, so many of these things that these other ladies have commented on are the kids of things i feel need covered. i guess i'm really struglling at the moment with how to deal with FS appointments at short notice, and lack of flexibility at work - i live about an hour from the nearest clinic for IVF or IUI - so it takes a fair chunk out of the day to make appointments - and when you have a couple of appointments in a short period of time to monitor follie development, it can be really difficult.

    i guess the other is dealing with other peoples impatience with the process. i have a couple of people who know we're going through this journey - and they seem to think that it all happens so quickly! they tend to not take notice of waiting for drugs to work and all that sort of thing - and it's really hard to explain without feeling even more down than i already am!

    as for your book - i've heard some really good reports here on BB, so went onto your website yesterday and ordered it.

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