Coming out of the infertility closet?

So after the ultrasound on Thursday, Q. and I decided that we could stop keeping this baby a secret among our wider circle of friends, as we were both tired of lying about our plans for next year, why I wasn’t ever drinking, etc. And luckily we had a work gathering that same night, so we were able to tell almost everyone at the uni who matters at the same time and avoid the rumour mill. Everyone was thrilled, obviously.

And then the funny thing happened. May 2011, if you didn’t know our history, is a perfect time for us to have a baby. I am through everything in my PhD except for my dissertation. Q. is about to go on sabbatical. I have a whopping big scholarship that means my uni has to pay me, whether or not I choose to teach. All our ducks are in a row.

So our dear friends all assumed that we’d planned it that way. That Q. and I just woke up one morning, decided that May 2011 was an appropriate time to have a baby, and chucked out the birth control pills.

And here’s the thing- this really started to bug me. It’s not as though I wanted to preface the whole announcement with, “Well, we never said anything to you, but it’s actually taken us three YEARS to get pregnant and more than one round of IVF”, but at the same time, this assumption that we’d just fallen pregnant right when we wanted? It made me feel a bit dirty. Like I was contributing to the cone of silence surrounding those who struggle.

I think part of me had always figured that if we did get pregnant, we’d end up with twins, and that makes people more willing to ask “mind your own business” questions like if twins run in your family. So I figured I’d be able to drop a couple subtle hints that this wasn’t super easy for us and leave it at that.

But now everyone thinks we’re just fertile superstars. When I told my grannie, she asked me “How did that happen?” I laughed and said, “Well, it’s a long story.”  “No it isn’t!” she replied, and then the conversation took a different turn.

I have to respect Q.’s wishes- he doesn’t like to talk about it. That’s the main reason no one at work has known. But at the same time, I’m frustrated that there doesn’t seem to be a way to acknowledge our struggle.

I’m thinking I might post a couple of the early ultrasounds on f/b- ultrasounds from a time when, if you know anything about pregnancy in Canada, you would know that people do not normally get ultrasounds. And then see if anyone wants to inquire.

That was the other big step- on Sunday I outed myself as pregnant on f/b. And then almost instantly freaked out. All these people! Commenting and liking my status. Holy crap. Did I have too many friends? And why were they ALL on f/b on a Sunday evening?! Frankly, it was a little overwhelming- I don’t normally get all that many comments on my f/b stuff, and I don’t spend a lot of time on there. But it seemed like everyone came out of the woodwork to pass on their congratulations. I dropped a hint in my status update that this had been a long process- it’s there to pick up on if you are reading sensitively. So we’ll see.

I had my first “real” appointment with my midwife this morning. She felt for the top of my uterus- it was obviously present, so she decided it would be worth having a listen with the doppler. She cautioned me not to freak out if we couldn’t find the heartbeat, and I said I wasn’t worried because we just saw bub on Thursday.

And get this- I meant it. I wasn’t worried. I wasn’t concerned that the baby had somehow died over the weekend. I was utterly positive that bub was right where s/he should be. And when she turned on the doppler, there it was instantly- a perfect perfect heartbeat.

Maybe, just maybe, I will get to be a normal pregnant woman now.



Filed under Emotions, Family, Friends, Midwives, PhD, Pregnancy

3 responses to “Coming out of the infertility closet?

  1. Ugh, I’d be annoyed too with all the assumptions that you just planned the pregnancy around your time off. I guess though, if Q. doesn’t want people to know, then you’ll just have to put up with the ignorant comments :(.

    Congrats on a great appointment with the midwife! Yes, I do hope you get to be a normal pregnant woman now :).

  2. Oh it is so good to hear that from you. So confident, as you should be. I think you are really going to enjoy this pregnancy, and I’m so so happy for you about that.

    I completely get what you’re saying about the IF outing thing. I go back and forth. Some days I feel really open about it and some not so much. Sometimes I just want to be a normal person, a normal mom, too.

  3. I have thought about this too. If/When I get pregnant, the last thing I want is to make another infertile people feel sad. But I also don’t want to broadcast my business to my whole f/b list.

    Some things I was thinking about doing was posting a photo of my beta graph, or of the embryos. Must like your idea of week 6 ultrasounds, these should be enough of a sign to other infertile people that you’re with them.

    So happy to hear your little one has a good strong heartbeat, and is developing perfectly.

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