"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life" Proverbs 13:12

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Awkward meeting and who to tell about IVF

This morning I went in for a blood-test. As I was leaving the waiting room I looked up and spotted someone I knew. I was so surprised, so thrown by this that i gave an embarrassed "hi" and bolted through the door.

For various reasons we had suspected that her and her husband might be trying, and might have even been having trouble. They are nice people. We like them and they like us and I suspect if situations and friendship circles were different they probably would have been close friends.

But they are not close friends, and it is strange, walking out of a room knowing we are both doing IVF, with neither of us necessarily intending to tell each other that fact. Yet now we know.

Different people are more open than others about the whole infertility thing. I have friends who are happy as anything to say that their little girl and boy are IVF babies. I have friends who haven't even made it public that they had any trouble conceiving- much less how the conception took place.

Tim and I are somewhere in the middle. If we do have a baby, we would probably tell people about our struggle, because we've learnt so much and we are pretty open people. But IVF is not something we want out-in-the-open.

It is not that we are ashamed. We thought, prayed, and worked really hard to think about whether IVF was something we felt comfortable with Ethically. And we are more than happy with the choices we've made, not the least because we have so many beloved Embryos in heaven, because of the gift of IVF.

It is just that there are consequences of telling people we don't want to deal with.

We do not want to have conversations with people who think it is wrong, particularly because we have children in heaven we love because of it- and those kind of conversations are emotionally tough. We have had one such conversation once and we do not want to have it again!

We don't want to have people judge us or our faith by this decision. We are happy to say we believe that IVF under certain conditions is appropriate, but we do not want people to make rash, wrong decisions about our character because of it.

We do not want to cause any pain to people who have decided for their own reasons that IVF is not for them. How tough for them to hear constantly about other people's success (not that this is our issue yet!)

And particularly, we don't want people to think any differently about any children we have. Whatever children we have through IVF are going to be as precious and NATURAL as any baby whose have not, and we want to leave the decision of talking about how they were conceived in the hands of our kid/s.

And finally, no one else has to talk about the specifics of how their babies came into being, it is a personal matter, and nobodies business.

Of course, it's funny to be saying this on a blog where I talk about IVF all the time. The truth is that we speak about IVF where it is helpful. We have told friends who support us, mentors who encourage us, and family that are there for us.

We have told my parent's but not Earl's, because Mum's support really helps me, whereas Earl just doesn't lean on his parents that way.

We have, in hindsight, told more people than we would like, and the fact is it leaks out accidentally, usually when one friend mentions it to another, assuming we would have told.

But so far, not telling has been a blessing.

Bloodtest today, hopefully Ultra Sound and bloods on Friday.
Praying once again, for a baby. This time one that stays.


  1. Telling or not telling is such a personal decision, obviously. The one thing I can say is this: when I first started blogging and coming to terms with infertility and potential IVF, I felt so alone. Perhaps the woman you saw in the waiting room is also feeling alone. Perhaps seeing you in there helped her through the loneliness. Perhaps it allowed her to see another "normal" human who is going through this. Perhaps, if you reach out to her, you will find someone you can connect with, share with, cry with. Perhaps you'll become friends *because* of this experience. I expect she will keep your secrets safe, even if she is one of those people who is open about IVF and infertility.

  2. That is really helpful, I should have been thinking about what was best for her not about myself. That is really good advice-thank you!