Friday, December 08, 2006

Face to Face with Another Infertile

I love getting comments. They are always so helpful, so thank you! I definitely think I do need to add more protein to my diet to balance all the fruit I’ve been eating, and I’m finally at a point where I think I can do that. For awhile protein was making me a little queasy. Meg, about the maternity bras, yes I did convert a few weeks ago. They feel great at first, and then I grow out of them. I’m about to go on bra hunt number three. (I shudder to think of all the money I’m spending on bras.) My favorite so far is this Elle Mc.Pherson nursing bra. So comfy until the right boob started inching ahead of the left again. The bra leaves marks even though it doesn’t have an underwire! This time when I go shopping, I’m going to put myself in the hands of a fitting specialist. Can anyone tell me how, um, exposed you have to be to get measured properly? I’m just not into saleswomen seeing me in my ill-fitting bras. Guess I need to get over it.

Okay, so back to the story about who I told my IF story to the other day. There is a girl at work, Jen, that I’ve gotten friendly with since I started here, and she’s a few years older than me with no kids. She’s married, and we have a lot in common. The kid topic has never come up with us, but someone at work told me that she was undergoing IVF treatments and had been for awhile. Evidently she’s at least somewhat open about it if this person knew, because they’re not very close, and supposedly other people in the office know about it too. I learned this right as I was starting my IVF cycle and really wanted to say something to her about it so we could commiserate. Just the same, I didn’t feel comfortable bringing it up randomly, especially since she had no idea that I knew. I figured sooner or later I’d run into her at the branch of my clinic that’s right by my office.

Well, I never ran into her and it never came up naturally in conversation, so I didn’t push it. Then I got pregnant, and immediately thought of her when I started telling people at work. How she would feel having yet another pregnant woman in the office (there are several that just had babies this summer). I decided that I would tell her that I did IVF, even though I don’t want the whole office to know. Well, she’s been out a lot lately, likely due to another cycle. She was out the week I told everyone I was pregnant, then I was away after that. This week, I’m showing and people are starting to bring it up in conversation, so I wanted to talk to her alone before she heard about my pregnancy from someone else.

We went to lunch, and again kids and babies were the furthest thing from our conversation (not surprising for infertiles, I guess! We get to be good at avoiding the topic.) I almost chickened out of telling her about the pregnancy even. So finally, I said, “Hey Jen, I’ve got something I wanted to tell you outside of the office that’s a little personal but that I want you to know.” She looked very concerned. I blurted out that I was pregnant with twins, and her concerned look immediately went away and she gave me a hearty congratulations. She actually looked happy for me. She asked when they were due and stuff, and didn’t ask anything about them being natural. I steered the conversation back to what I really wanted to say. I told her the reason I wanted to talk to her outside of the office was that I had heard that she was going through IVF and I wanted her, and her alone, to know that I had too. I told her that I knew for myself hearing news about pregnancies was hard while I was going through treatment, and so I just wanted to be open with her about it even though I’d be lying my butt off in the office whenever the “natural” question came up. There was immediate understanding.

Telling her this news seemed to take down a wall. Now we were looking at each other truly eye to eye and relating. She seemed surprised that I had done IVF and at the same time she looked very glad I told her. She told me she had just had her 2nd failed cycle over 2 years, after several failed FETs and IUIs. We traded stories, and overall I must say that she seems to be handling IF much better than me. She said she was never that driven to have kids that are biologically her own, though she wants them whatever way they can come to her, and she’s starting to think about the adoption process. We talked about the impact IF has had on our husbands. It wasn’t a long conversation because I waited until almost the end of lunch to bring it up, but we agreed to get out again soon to talk more. She does seem genuinely happy that things have worked out for me, and I really hope things will work out for her soon. I explained to her why I wasn’t coming out to people about my treatment, and she was understanding. I’m glad I told her even though it was hard, because I couldn’t let another infertile think she was even more alone as someone else announced another pregnancy. Even with the pregnancy, I am still very much an infertile.


Anonymous said...

I have to admit jealousy. I wish I knew someone in real life that "gets it"...

I'm glad you have someone to talk to.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say that I am truly happy for you and your DH. I am also so shocked that people are asking you those questions and are being so nosey. Whenever I see someone pregnant with twins, I never even think about fertilty treatments. Twins have been around for centuries and these people need to understand that is a normal process. One thing going against you is that there a tons of people who flaunt their procedure around and tell you more than you want to know and it gives others the impression that you will want to do the same. I mean do we go around assuming that all peole with straight teeth had braces??? stupid analogy I know, but you get the point.


Michelle said...

Emmie - I know how important it is to you that your IVF remain a private matter, and think it's awesome that you "came out" to this co-worker. Quite brave and incredibly thoughtful of you.

Re: the bra fitting. After years of my bra straps falling off my shoulders, even on the shortest length, I finally went to N*rdstrom and was fitted properly. No surprise, I was wearing the wrong size. I wasn't thrilled with the intimacy of the fitting, but it was well worth it!

UtRus said...

i think it' so cool that you told your co-worker about your pregnancy in the way that you did, and that you discolsed to her about undergoing IVF. i bet it really meant a lot to her - and that "wall coming down" moment - i've had just a couple of those and they are so amazing.

GLouise said...

How kind and thoughtful for you to share your story with your co-worker. I am sure she appreciates the gesture more than you know