How do you explain to friends that don’t know you’re going through IVF that you can’t meet for dinner because you have to be home at an exact time to jam a needle in your stomach without seeming like you’re being anti-social and blowing the off?
How do you politely explain to a friend who does know why another friend doesn’t?
How do you even find the right time and place to finally open up to those you feel comfortable with about this process?
For me, it’s not been easy. I have told maybe 10 people and each time I feel more and more vulnerable. My mind just spins – what are they thinking? Are they judging me? Are they wondering whose fault it is? Are they going to ask a lot of questions? Do they even understand what IVF really means?
One girlfriend was totally taken aback and said “oh wow wow wow. Ok, well good luck I guess.” and then sent me a two page email the next day explaining she was taken off guard and honestly never knew anyone who went through it so she didn’t know how to react. She also spent hours researching the IVF process, endometriosis, and how to support someone struggling infertility. Another girlfriend immediately just hugged me and said “I won’t ask any questions, you tell me when you want to talk.” You never know what you’re going to get but keeping it together in the moment is hard.
I chair a committee for Junior League and it’s very clear to those on my team that something is up. That being said, only one lady out of 60 has any idea what is going on. Why? Because women are mean and women judge – and half of them are VERY pregnant and we all know how fun that is.
My girlfriend asked me the other day why I hadn’t told my co-chair and I simply said “She told me at dinner that she doesn’t like kids, doesn’t see herself having them and thinks all of her friends who have kids have horrible lives they don’t enjoy. Even if we don’t agree, it was clear she would likely never understand.”
Flash forward to this weekend and said co-chair and good friend of mine asked if DH and I wanted to come over for dinner and drinks. We just talked about how DH and I were free and I don’t want to lie to her but I also wasn’t about to be like “gee would love to but I have be home for an injection.” I explain we’ve had a busy week (which wasn’t a lie!) and I wanted to lay low for a few days. She was totally understanding but I felt like she thought something was a little off.
I feel just horrible, I feel like I am being shady and dishonest. And it doesn’t help with the whole keeping your stress low thing. I just want this process to feel authentic and for me that means keeping it close to the heart. I feel bad for likely not giving many of those closest to me enough credit but the fear of judgment and rejection is so strong, I can’t get myself to say it out loud.