How to tell others what I’m going through?

5 fertility expert(s) answered this question

How to tell your friends and family what you are experiencing?

Letting your friends and family into our inner-most infertility struggles can be one of the most difficult things to do. How to communicate to them what you are currently experiencing?

Answer from:
Psychologist, In Vivo Fertility, Founder and CEO In Vivo Fertility

A valid question – to answer it we need to have done a bit of homework beforehand.
So, I am going to answer the question by giving you some food for thought questions to think about at your own time.
Who are the others you want to tell?
What do you want to share – what is the extent of detail you want to go into?
What is the goal and objective of telling others – Is it that you just want to share your feelings or is it that you would like them to do something for you.
Make sure, if you have a partner, to communicate to your partner your intentions to share your fertility news with other people.

Remember you are in this journey together and you are the core team of captains of this ‘game’.

The more specific you are in answering the former questions the truer and more effective you are going to be in sharing with others your fertility circumstances.

Answer from:
Fertility Coach, Founder of Your Fertility Hub

It’s completely up to you whom you tell around your infertility. It’s very individual and some people keep it completely private, others share with just close friends and family, or others are completely open around their journey. It really is about what feels right for you. Making your choices around those three areas is hard but I encourage you if you can be open about it, not completely open necessarily, but a little bit open because often you can really find some sources of support.

So many times over the years I’ve heard “I finally opened up about my infertility and my boss had gone through the same thing three years earlier” or “I found out when I told my family that my auntie had gone through this as well” and you get those connections and that support that you so desperately need when you go through this.

You can also share your journey online. There’s a large TTC community, for example, on Instagram, and that can be a real sense of support. Often people on Instagram post anonymously so that can be one way of sharing your journey and telling others about what you’re going through without being explicit. But in terms of how you actually tell somebody what you’re going through, honesty really is the best policy in terms of just saying “this is where I’m at, this is what I’m going through”. Then if you can, people often want to know how they can help, so be specific around how people can support you and help you. Whether that would be dropping meals round after egg retrieval, or helping with car rides, or helping you take your mind off things, whatever it is, if you can be specific, it helps a lot. I think the people around you want to give you that support, even the people that you maybe don’t expect can really help guide you through this really horrendous phase of your life so it’s up to you whom you tell and how private you want to be on this but when you do reach out there will often be so much warmth coming back to you.

Also, you should know that there is the support of a counselor, a coach, a therapist, or through your doctor, the support of your clinic if you’re going through a medical journey or support in something like our app. We have an app where we have a private community so you can just talk privately amongst other people because you do really get such a sense of connection when you talk to somebody else that’s going through it as well. That can be a real sense of support for you.

Answer from:
Fertility Coach, Freedom Fertility Formula Specialist and co-host of The Fertility Podcast Freedom Fertility Formula Specialist and co-host of The Fertility Podcast

It’s really worthwhile thinking of what you want to say, so having some sound bite answers, if someone says, oh you’re not pregnant yet, you might decide you want to say, well actually it’s taking longer than we expected or we’re struggling to conceive or you might just want to say, no not yet. But having that prepared answer, will put you in good stead for these unwanted questions.

Answer from:
Fertility Coach

As I said, the reason for telling it to other people is because it can give you their support, their understanding, and more appropriate reactions. So, a very crucial question to ask yourself is which people you think you will get support and understanding from. If you don’t know it immediately, think about other difficult situations in your life, other difficult stages in your life, and who you got support and understanding from at that moment. These may be the people you should be telling at this moment in your life.

This is a very important question, and this is why you should do it, it can help you talk about it if you look at it this way. What should you say? I think a very important one is that you have to tell other people what you expect from them—how they can help you, how they can support you, what they can do that should help you, and what is of no use to you, or what they shouldn’t say.

Don’t assume that they feel this or that they know this, because they probably don’t, especially if they haven’t been in a similar situation as yours. They don’t know, and it’s a win-win for both of you that you tell them, because then they know how to handle the situation, and you get more appropriate responses like you would like to have.

The last thing I want to say is that I think it’s often a misunderstanding that you need to talk to a lot of people about it to get support. It’s not true. If you have a very limited but very close circle of trust to whom you can tell these things, it’s already very valuable.

Answer from:
Fertility Coach, Specialist Fertility and Miscarriage Counsellor Wendy Martin

There’s a lot to be learned there about what you say and how much you say who you say what to. Then also there is that awful question when people say have you got kids you got children or when are you going to be having kids you know some wedding that they’re at and then if they’ve been married a couple of years and a granny and everyone is asking them that question. It’s the dreaded question. It’s just like barbs in the heart. It’s so painful that most people haven’t a clue what they’re doing when they ask a young couple that question because they have no idea what that couple might be going through.

How you respond to that question varies enormously. It varies over time at first: it’s just like a rabbit in the headlights. It’s like “I don’t know what to say”, “how do I respond?” “what do I say?”, “I don’t know what to say?” –  it’s almost so painful you just can’t bear to even broach the subject and can’t bear to be asked. It’s just too awful and then very very gradually over time people learn to find a way of saying: “well we’re trying”, “it’s not happened yet” or “well we’ve just got a puppy at the moment” and so that’s not on the agenda or fight people find ways of managing that question. Also another way is if someone asks you: “Have you got kids you just simply turn it round onto them, very quickly and just go “oh no I haven’t, have you? Have you got any children?” and within seconds the split seconds the attention is off you and on them. They might say “oh yeah I’ve got a little boy is nine, little girl is four” and that might be painful to hear but it might be preferable to you having to try and find the words to describe “well we’ve been trying for two and a half years and then we went through all these fertility tests and investigations and we’ve had two ivf cycles we’ve had three frozen embryos in each one and neither of them have worked”. You just can’t go into it with people and they’re not interested and they don’t know what you’re talking about probably so just switch it around, turn your attention on them as soon as you can and then I don’t know make a sharp exit as soon as you can. Just excuse yourself and just get away. It’s all difficult, there’s no doubt about it. It’s all difficult.

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