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July 26, 2004

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Brooklyn Girl

A co-worker of mine was just complaining about her sister's baby shower, where there was a cake that said "miracles" on it. My co-worker--who knows nothing of my own fertility issues--laughed and said "There were no miracles; it was pure science," and told me that her sister had conceived through IVF.

To me, that made the conception all the more miraculous, so I was surprised by the dismissiveness. I didn't want to out myself at work so I said nothing to my co-worker. Your story makes me wish I had.

Moxie

I'm sorry. I wonder if the other women feel some sort of survivors' guilt that make them not want to talk about it, or if they're just ashamed of it. There are some people who are so determined to fit in that they're willing to deny the things that form them. I think if you hang in there with the mothers' group you'll eventually find one or two women that you can open up with who will become your friends.

If we're arranging this marriage thing, will we pick one of your girls, or move to a country that allows polygamy?

Ninotchka

Wow, what an uncomfortable situation. I have to say that I too still feel a tinge of envy when I hear of "oops" or easily attained pregnancies. I thought I was the only one! Thanks for sharing. I'm sorry you didn't find the support or commiseration you were looking for. At least you have it online, right? :o)

Kelly

I am due to have twins in 7 days after a third IVF and countless other failed procedures. I also have encountered others who are reluctant to say how they conceived - I guess I just find it odd. I do always tell people when they ask because I am not ashamed that we did IVF. I actually told a random person who asked about my pregnancy at the bookstore - I told her it was twins from IVF. It turns out she was just starting her first IVF and very nervous - I talked to her for about 20 minutes and she was so happy to have met someone who it had worked for. I am not someone who likes to talk about my personal issues with a lot of people but for me Infertility is different - if I can help or give hope to one person struggling then its worth it. I love when some people say "Oh, my twins are natural." I always say, "Really, mine are completely, 100 percent fake since we did IVF." I am not sure if some people think its a badge of honor that they conceived twins naturally and those of us who did IVF are somehow "second class" - who knows. I am just thrilled that IVF worked for us and couldn't care less what others think about how we got here.

Kelly

Bella

I want, and need to talk about my IVF experiences. However, my husband is very private about it and does not want the general public to know (male factor, obviously). After 6 IVFs we finally had an amazing baby boy, and I'm sure there was some measure of relief for him that we didn't end up with twins if only because it makes us look less "infertile." It may be that those mothers had decided to keep that topic out of bounds to protect some members who don't want to talk about it.

By the way, my husband did let me tell certain people, sworn to secrecy, like my family and some extremely close friends. Also, he won't "let" me get my own blog in case someone figures out who I am. Bella is not my real name... I'm going into IVF 7 and I'll have to get my support/therapy from somewhere else!

Rebekah and Aidan

Linda, I just wanted to tell you how I could relate to some of the things you said, and how sorry I am that the other moms reacted the way that they did last week.

I totally know what you mean about feeling more comfortable sharing your struggles on-line. I unfortunately went through a miscarriage last week, and I didn't feel like talking to my "real" friends about it at all. I've only started picking up the phone in the last couple of days, actually. It's not that I was so completely undone by the whole thing; I've actually dealt with our loss pretty well, I think. I just didn't/don't want to go through all the details over and over again with every single person we know. THAT would have been excruciating. My stomach turns just thinking about it. And so, like you, I chose to share what was going on with my close friends at iParenting, and not really anywhere else. I let my DH field the phone calls and be the one to let our friends and family what was happening. It's not that I didn't want them to know about it ... I just really didn't want to talk about it.

I don't know why the other ladies felt so uncomfortable talking about IVF, etc. I think some of the other ladies have touched on some possible reasons, but I still think it's a shame that your innocent, reasonable question was reacted to that way. Maybe it's just going to take some time for them to open up to you. Whatever the case, I hope that if this group doesn't work out for you, that you find somewhere you can go for support and friendship.

I hope you're doing well. =)

Becky

I didn't like talking about infertility when we were going through it either. But now that Emily is here it's not so bad. I don't always volunteer it but I don't hide it either. I think people feel like their bodies should "work" and they should be able to conceive with no help. But our bodies need a lot of help with a lot of things--funding an entire industry of drugs.

Do you ever read Good Housekeeping? They have a story this month about celebreties who went through infertility. Of course they were all around 40, but maybe the article will help people be more aware of the issue and be more sensitive when talking to people.

Becky

Julia

Man, I could hear the crickets chirping when you asked your question. You did better than I would have though: I'm sure I would have said, "What? We aren't allowed to talk about infertility here?" or something equally foot-in-mouth.

Maybe the best way to test the waters is to start telling bits of your story... if they're human, they'll feel a need to empathize at some level. Right?

Megan

Linda,

I have had a similar experience with the moms club in my area. I joined 4 years ago with the birth of my son. I went to two meetings and that was it.

I am slightly neurotic about meeting people and so I forced myself to go the second time. It was bad. They were not rude by any means but they were not personable either.

I am due to have another boy in three weeks and am worried about what to do with my other son since I'll be home. This time, the mom's club in my new area won't let me join because I'll have a job outside the home.( I am a nurse too.) I thought maybe I'd go so he would have someone to play with, but since I'm not allowed...

They explained that the mom's club is for stay at home moms. Mistakenly I thought it was for MOMS. Maybe I'll start my own club for normal moms.

Anyway, good luck with your twin girls, they are adorable. I love the names.

MelissaS

Hi Linda,
Haven't posted for a long long time, and had only posted once or twice at that, so you may not remember me......the thinking-about-becoming-a-nurse person...

Anyways....I may have missed something in your post, but my initial thought was that some of them might have just been surprised at the question. Is it a group specifically for moms who have gone through IVF? If not, perhaps it was a little 'awkward' to have that question be thrown out there because some women did conceive twins naturally and they felt that you were assuming something about them....I don't know---that's just my initial thought, and I could've missed something in your post. I can't imagine people not chiming right in with there own comments like 'oh yeah, I read something about that too', or 'our girls were conceived natually and we were so surprised', or something similar. I mean, when I'm around other moms-- in any setting-- it seems inevitable that one of us will mention some aspect of childbirth and all of us, regardless of how well we know each other, are chiming in with the most intimate of details. And it's not like you were in the middle of church or a symphony where it would be inappropriate to be talking about stuff openly..you know?

I'm sorry that you're not feeling more of a connection with this group. Here's hoping the right group of people will find you!

And, to Megan from your comments who isn't allowed to go to the mom's group because she works....my heart hurts for you. You'd think mom's would be able to turn to other moms for support regardless of our work status. I hope you find a group that's a better fit for you! (ps...I'm a working mommy too)

Linda

Wow~thanks for all the comments, you guys. A few thoughts:

Brooklyn Girl~I agree. Those babies are miracles, regardless of how they got here.

Moxie~I'll give you a few years to see what temperment each girl has. Then we'll fill out a list of preferred traits and skills. For example, I'd really like my girls to learn a second language. That could be a bargaining chip to get your son to play an instrument. Get it?

Kelly~I'm going to start saying that my twins are fake, too! What a great answer to that question. Thanks!

Megan~That is horrible, just horrible. It makes me sad and angry. Just what we need: more infighting between women.

Melissa~Sorry, I didn't include the part that 5 out of 7 of the sets were concieved with either clomid or IVF. I'm not sure about the other 2, but I had gleaned the previous info from various conversations. A few of us had gone to the same RE and agreed that he was really hot. It appears that factual exchange of info about infertility was okay, that's why I asked the question. I hadn't yet ventured into feelings about infertility. Obviously, I won't now.


Anna

Megan ~ I am sick that that group is so ostracizing. Others said it well: you'd think that mothers/women could support each other a little better.

Linda ~ What a strange reaction...it does seem odd that they'd want to "hide" it. I wonder what they'll tell their twins when they grow up; will they think it's something shameful?

I'm glad you posted this though because I happened to ask a woman in my mothers group about her twins. Normally I don't ask anything so personal of anyone but I was dying to tell her how in awe of her I was (my god, twins!) and cautiously asked "IVF?" because they were so totally unlike each other. She was really happy to talk about it but I'll know in future to stick with my don't-ask-personal-questions instinct and just keep my mouth shut.

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