You always get those questions of “when are you getting married?” and then your married and you get asked “when are you having a baby?” and then you have one child and you get asked “when are you having another?” It seems to never end…
In the beginning I use to get so embarrassed when I was asked the dreaded question of “when are you having a baby” I would just smile and say “oh we are trying” and try to change the subject. Then one day I thought why should I be embarrassed, this is my story, my answer so I started responding with “we are trying, we are having some issues and having to go through IVF.” The majority of the time that would lead to an awkward silence or them saying “I’m so sorry to hear that” which I felt was genuine and then them trying to change the subject. In society these days although there are so many women going through this process, it still seems to be a bit of a taboo subject. I completely get it, it is a very personal and emotional time, and everyone deals with it differently but I hope by sharing a few things others may feel comfortable sharing their journey or the next time someone says to you they are going through IVF you may have a better way to react or know what to say. And after reading another blog this morning from ‘Mum on the Run’ that I shared on my facebook I wanted to go into a bit more detail on what can be the worst thing to say to a woman going through IVF.
“It will happen in time or when it is suppose too” – Although I believe that everything happens for a reason whenever I heard this all I would think is yes but when will my time be and when will it happen for me it’s very easy to fall into the “why me” when you hear this.
“Just Relax & it will happen” – This seems to have the opposite effect on anyone when someone tells you to relax, you don’t immediately calm down when your angry or stop crying when your upset so how when you are going through something that does bring a lot of stress to your life do you “just relax.”
“You’re still young you have plenty of time” – When we started our infertility journey I was 29 and we had already been trying naturally for a couple of years prior to this. I was 31 when I had Noah, now I think myself as very lucky that we had only two years at the clinic however I had that constant little person in my head telling me that I wasn’t getting any younger so someone reinforcing a time clock on me only made me think about it more and didn’t help my stress levels.
“Wow that must be costing you a fortune” – Yes IVF is expensive, we are lucky in Australia that medicare does cover some of the cost because private health covers a very small portion however you are still out of pocket a hell of a lot. Just as you probably don’t want to discuss your loans, debt etc people going through IVF are exactly the same.
“How on earth do you give yourself injections.” – If you are genuinely asking out of care then I will answer but if you follow it by “I couldn’t think of anything worse.” No injecting myself was not a joyful experience but if you were in my shoes I am sure you would do whatever it took to increase your chances, this was a sacrifice I was willing to take as the “worse” for me was IVF not working!
And lastly and this one I did find a tad amusing at times but it was the “Have you tried ………… ” This was everything from have you tried a different diet, eating healthier, acupuncture, lifting your legs up in the air after sex and certain positions during sex are best. You name it, I tried it because don’t you think I would have tried everything before resorting to IVF.
There are still plenty of ways you can react and answer in a positive way and it all comes back to being genuine. Ask them how they are honestly feeling and let them speak and vent if they need to and the biggest one is don’t judge!
Now I have our beautiful babe I constantly get the question of will you have another child? To be perfectly honest I am fine with the question and happy to answer… Yes, I would like another child however I am thankful and grateful every day just to have Noah, I want to enjoy him and these first years and I just don’t know if I can put mentally, emotionally and physically put myself through the IVF cycle again just yet. I have friends and family that have been lucky, they have gone through some kind of infertility journey with their first child and then conceived naturally with their second child. This is often on my mind and this is such an amazing thing for them but when outsiders have no idea about my journey or my body and comment with “well how do you know you even need IVF next time” it just makes my blood boil.
Remember be kind, be gracious, just think before the words come out of your mouth and lastly send big fat positive vibes her way!