How our parents deal with our IF

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-18-2007
How our parents deal with our IF
8
Fri, 10-17-2008 - 11:30pm

I know that this has been touched on in some other posts, but I'm curious how your own parents and/or in-laws have dealt with your IF. Do they know about it, and are they sensitive/insensitive? Do they not know for sure but suspect? Do they not know at all but drop insensitive kid-related comments to you and/or your spouse all the time?

In my case, my parents had ABSOLUTELY NO ISSUE conceiving myself or my siblings. None whatsoever - the opposite, in fact. My mom really has been great about trying to put herself in my position, and try to imagine how I feel - having found out while my late husband was dying that I might have a health/fertility condition (PCOS), being widowed in my late 20s, getting remarried, and then finally trying for kids years after I'd hoped to already be a mother... only to find that I definitely do have PCOS, and am pretty much not ovulating, which of course poses a huge problem for trying to get PG! A far cry from my mom getting pregnant without really trying with all of us, but she really seems to have tried to empathize.

However, even though he does mean well, my dad has no clue about what this is like for us, and just doesn't seem to have made all that much effort to imagine how we both feel (especially me because I'm his child, for heaven's sake). He seems to have trouble grasping how huge this is for us as a couple, for our lifestyle, our expectations, mental state, etc. (Part of it is that I think he still can't deal with the idea of his little girl having sex, even though his "little girl" is 32 and a remarried widow!)

I actually had a "heated discussion" with my father about the issues surrounding work and pregnancy/kids. He started saying, "I don't think there is much you can really say, and it would be a HUGE MISTAKE if you complained." As though I don't have the right to my feelings, or the right to point out that so gratuitously displaying baby pictures and bringing in your kid to play in your office during business hours is more than a little insensitive to those who have fertility problems and/or don't want their office environment to look like it's half a day care center. (Having my teaching license, having worked at a day care in the past, and having my current company be based on education for young children, I can say this without being totally snide.) That really hurt.

I pointed out to my father that, particularly in a work situation, you just don't know who you're hurting by being insensitive about kids/pregnancy issues. Yes, it may be that woman who has been married a few years and just smiles a little strained smile when she has to listen to pregnancy blah-blah-blah. But it could also be the young married GUY whose wife who has a sperm issue, and is feeling bad that he can't get his wife PG while that jerk down the hall has had three kids with his bimbo second wife, while he ignores his kids from his first marriage. You just don't know.

And I also pointed out, how is putting in a complaint about someone who has plastered the wall next to their office in a ridiculous amount of baby pictures forcing everyone on that floor to constantly see their child any different than the woman 30-40 years ago who complained about the scantily-clad pinup pics some guys had up in their offices? Back then, that was considered either just normal to have those pics, or at least not something you should complain all that much about for fear of "making trouble". Now, it is NOT acceptable to have up such pics in most workplaces, precisely because some women DID speak up. I truly see little difference between the change in the acceptability of pinup pics vs. overbearing amounts of child pics etc. put up in a workplace now. Both are at best insensitive and at worst outright offensive to those who are marginalized by each one (i.e. women in the first case, and anyone with any fertility issues).

Anyway, to my dad's credit, he at least heard me out. I still think he mostly doesn't agree with me, but I like to think I may have at least given him a bunch of thinking points, especially since he clearly had put little thought into how hard it is for me to be going through this, and how certain work situations could make that even harder for me and others with IF.

*off my soapbox now, end rant*

Anyone else want to talk about how your parents deal with your IF, discussions you may have had with them (or want to have with them), in-laws, etc.?

--KJ

KJ (32) & DH (39) PCOS Dx 3/04, confirmed 6/08 Off BCP since 12/07; irregular cycles (42-96 days long) Ovulated right off pill 1/08, but likely no O since (possible unsuitable O?)


(8/08): Clomid 100mg round; NO O; Cannot take Clomid again due to visual s/e


(10/08): Follistim 75; MANY follicles developing all at once after a week; RE suggests converting cycle to IVF.  Waiting for confirmation of additional follicle growth / IVF plan.


 Photobucket

Mom to Silas Walker, born July 2009, thanks to IVF. :)
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008
Sat, 10-18-2008 - 9:07am

KJ,


I am going to be honest I have it easy, both my parents and my in laws are great about being sensitive to IF.

  

Photobucket

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-19-2008
Sat, 10-18-2008 - 9:43am

My parents and grandparents know of my issues TTC. My in-laws don't know anything.


My parents are dealing with it now, finally. At first, they thought I was being overdramatic and jumping the gun when I didn't get

Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-05-2008
Sat, 10-18-2008 - 11:19am

Infertility is also not in my family's vocabulary. I'm one of 6 siblings and we were ALL surprises! And I have 2 younger sisters that have babies, both of them were 19, and both of them are on welfare, (which is a sensitive subject for our family b/c we don't want to fit into that stereotype of "just another Puerto Rican on welfare") BUT, all of my sisters are just so amazingly supportive. They're very curious and ask lots of questions "out of concern" that I completely don't mind addressing. If they're around and someone is being annoying, they'll be the first to step up for me! At first they were in a bit of denial that I was the one with the IF, not out of embarrassment, but b/c it is just SO unheard of first of all in out culture (we're an inherently fertile people) and much less in our family.

My mom has been ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! At first, like my sisters, when my HSG and bloodwork came back she actually said ,"NO!" which I honestly thought was adorable. But I think now, my mom is seeing this as an opportunity for her to be there for me. It's odd, my mom will call me sometimes just b/c she's thinking about me and it will happen to be the day that AF shows and I'm feeling particularly blue about it! She can sometimes be a bit of a Bible Bopper, but she doesn't judge me when I tell her that I'm pretty upset with God at times. For a while, she didn't understand, and I didn't expect her to (she had her first kid when she was 14 and had me when she was 17) but she just acted as a sounding board. Now, she tells me that she's related my IF to her mom dying (right after I was born) which makes total sense to me. When I see someone with a baby belly its the same, for her, as seeing someone hanging out with their mom. So, now she relatively understands the way I feel and lets me vent.

My dad on the other hand was horrible! He and I have come to an agreement that we're not to talk about any IF related issues. He and I got in an HUGE fight about him saying that I'm overreacting to all this, and that b/c I'm stressing about not being pg is the REASON I"m not pg. and he even lied and try to say that he himself was "sterile" at one point and that my older sister's mom was also unable to have children. So I just laid it down for him that either I'm going to have to just cut communications with him or I just have to cut him out of my IF experience.

But my HUGE Support in all this is MIL. She knows exactly what I'm going through. She's one of 9 and the only one that had trouble conceiving. Though premies and MC run in their families, they can just try again with no issues. She knows exactly what I'm feeling and the fear I have, and her advise is the only one I can truly take to heart! I thank God everyday that I have her for a MIL!


Photobucket


Photobucket
Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2008
Sat, 10-18-2008 - 12:11pm

Hi KJ,


good topic! at first, we told all of our immediate family. all were supportive enough, and didn't make any outright rude comments. but as the 1st cycle failed, it really affected things. my parents, as supportive as they are, are horrible at expressing emotion and conveying feelings of concern other than fear and panic. i had to be the parent in terms of making this all ok for them, and after the first failure, i just couldn't do that anymore. my in-laws have been much better, particularly FIL. in fact, FIL is the only one we give any details to anymore. he's very supportive, although it's been hard for him to just be with us emotionally, and not try to offer a quick-fix (which, of course, doesn't exist). sibs have varied. my brother and i don't talk much anyway, and after he didn't even call when the first cycle failed, i was through sharing. my sister is supportive, but is 7yrs younger than me and not at a place in her life where she's thought about fertility, so doesn't quite get it. i try to protect her from most of my pain, since she doesn't quite know what to do.


SIL has been a nightmare! she's in her late 30s, has 2 kids, and no fertility probs (except for 1 m/c before kid #1). she is totally self-absorbed and thinks her life is really hard (even though she is married, has kids, has a rich bio-dad so is herself quite wealthy, etc etc etc), and feels that the world owes her. she's pretty insensitive, and even implied that when the 1st ivf cycle didn't work, maybe i didn't want it enough. the last straw was a few months ago when she sent us this huge card saying "flush your worries down the toilet" and had cartoons flushing a toilet and there was even audio! this was massively insulting, as well as totally inappropriate given that each month, i flush my dreams down the toilet LITERALLY w/ AF. haven't spoken to her much since. she sends me emails complaining about how hard it is getting 2 kids off to school. she even complained about her trip to paris w/ her husband, saying it's the first time they've holidayed together since before child#1 was born (he's almost 7, and it's total crap since her inlaws always come to town to babysit, and they've gone on plenty of weekend trips). poor her, she has it so rough!


ana

mom to beautiful baby lia.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-28-2008
Sun, 10-19-2008 - 1:19am

Over all my parents are great about it.

Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-04-2007
Sun, 10-19-2008 - 4:02pm
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008
Sun, 10-19-2008 - 7:48pm
Jess, I am nosey as you remember from our chats but my curiosity has been peaked.....your SIL who is infertile, do you know why? ( know I am nosey!!)

Photobucket

  

Photobucket

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-28-2008
Sun, 10-19-2008 - 10:06pm

It's not

Photobucket