Thursday, March 23, 2006

Pre-Day 12: I'm a (Lying) Little Teapot

This excellent post entitled "A watched Pot Never Boils" by Flygirl on She Speaks got me thinking. Click over and read it - she's a great writer.

I am generally a really open person. What you see is what you get. I think my friends and family trust me and know that I don't much bother with artifice. That being said...

Trying to conceive feels like a really private thing to me. From the very beginning, I have kept it to myself (except for one VERY close friend who promised to never ask me "how it's going" and another far-away, IF-experienced friend who I called up to ask about IVF issues). I asked the Hubs to do the same. At first he was like, "Why?" And I explained to him that:

1) I don't want people keeping tabs on my fertility. I don't want them "watching" me or wondering about our fertility when they see us. I for SURE do not want anyone's pity if things don't go as easily as we'd like. For god's sake, we put enough internal pressure on ourselves anyway, the last thing I want is to feel any pressure from outside.

2) I don't want anyone else to have to feel the rollercoaster of hope-disappointment-hope-disappointment. Especially potential grandparents. We are SOOOOO lucky that neither set of parents has EVER put any sort of pressure on us about kids. But I know they're hoping and I couldn't bear to drag them along on this thing I can't control.

I was glad I put these parameters around us at the beginning (guess I was intuitive on that one) because things have not been successful yet and I am extremely glad I only have to deal with myself and (very supportive) Hubs.

Here's the thing, though. When people ask me directly if we're going to have kids (why the hell do people feel compelled DO that?!), I now have to lie. I basically say the same thing I was saying before we pulled the goalie. Which is, "Well... we're thinking about it. We're talking about it, but not entirely sure yet." I guess this is a boring enough answer that they kind of smile conspiratorily and then usually leave it alone (after maybe a "Well, it's the best thing I've ever experienced, so I recommend it" or a "Well... don't wait tooooo long. I know a lot of people who have had trouble").

Is it ok to lie about this? I feel ok about it with acquaintances and friends who are not really close... I don't believe they care deeply about my answer anyway. They just want to know in a curious sense, or want to know if you'll be joining them in the Parenthood Club. But I am beginning to feel guilty about it in a few situations. And if IVF is successfull, and I choose to disclose that we used ART... if they are paying attention, they will know that I was giving them this bullshit line for years while we failed enough to get to this point.

I would say, now that we're doing IVF it's even weirder. This is a big procedure, you know? I would love to discuss it with my dad (happens to be an MD and we're really close) but even the thought of exposing him to the hope and then the statistically-likely failure makes me feel ill. I'll be stoked to talk to him about all of it after the fact, when it's all over - regardless of outcome. Part of me feels like I'm lying by not disclosing in this particular case.



Flygirl said...

Thank you for your kinds words! I was surprised to see my name up there. :)

Also, when we first started trying, we didn't tell a soul. After it became obvious that we were going to have trouble and I became a complete lunatic, I made the decision to tell my parents and close friends. (They knew something was up with me anyway) Since then I've had to come clean with a couple very select coworkers because at this point, I am going for many more appointments and I wanted to avoid the painful joking questions about whether or not we're going to have kids.

But you know, I feel like a watched pot with the people I have told, to be sure. But it's the people that I haven't told that tend to make it unbearable. It's the nosy coworkers that DON'T know what I'm going through that make me angry. They almost always feel the need to inquire why I'm not pregnant yet etc etc.

There's another girl at work that's trying to conceive and she has made it pretty public. I wanted to tell her to hush because it might not be as easy as all that. (At least people are watching her too.)

Anyway, whether we tell anyone or not, the truth is that people are keeping an eye on us.

And it's a-okay to lie. It's all about self-preservation at this point.

Manuela said...

CRAP!!!! I just wrote a REEEALLY long comment that just VANISHED!!! DAMN!

K... will try to write it again... briefly.

Do what you have to in order to protect yourself. Tell. Don't tell. Whatever gives you the greatest sense of peace. BUT... make sure your motives are for the sake of protecting YOURSELF. It's not your responsibility to worry about other people's reactions to your struggles. Believe me... there is enough heartache in IF without taking on other people's baggage.

Take care of yourself...

Just another Jenny said...

It's one of those questions like "how are you enjoying married life" that people feel compelled to ask for lack of anything better to say. 90% of the people that ask that question don't want a real answer, they are happy with your response. Your gut tells you they don't care about the response and you are probably right (that has been my experience).

Protect yourself. It's not lying, it's not any of there business in the first place.

When it comes to family, I am protecting some of them from the ups and downs. You have to do what works for you. This is about you, not them.

Sunnie said...

It is ok to say whatever you want because it is your life....if you say you're waiting people say why...if you're saying you do IVF people say why and give their opinions on it and say things that are either nice or not so nice....

So, you have to take whichever will give you the best result right now...and of course, that changes...

IF you have to deal with the questions (only you and the hubs can decide if you want to deal with that)

IF you don't's still up to you. You're not lying. You're just not telling your personal business.

I think that pregnant women talk about their issues (baby poop, gas, body changes) why can't we?

There is nothing to be ashamed of. Test tube baby and all the other negative connotations are things of the 70's.

You hold your head up and you tell whomever you think can handle it, girl.


1 2

You say it :)


N said...

I could have written this post..honestly!

I am very open about everything in my life to most people, just not about IF and TTC. It is for the exact 2 reasons that you listed.

About lying. I do it too and I feel it is totally ok. If people ask questions that are non of their business they must be prepared to get the adequate answer.

I have one particular nosy friend who also happens to be a gossip queen and tells everybody always things that nobody wants to know really. So I once declared to her, that me and the Bette rhalf have decided NOT to have kids. She has of course spread the word, but that's OK, at least we don't get any stupid questions!

Thus, I think it is totally OK that you lie...It's a self-protecting white lie.

Have a good weekend!


Beth said...

I tend to be an all out person about everything. In the beginning, our infertility was our little secret. Now, its out on the clothes line for everyone to see and there are days I love it - because when someone makes an asinine comment I feel justified in giving them my best "die now" look. Other times, I wish I had kept my big mouth shut - I feel a lot of pressure from certain parties - "did it work?", "what's next?". I think whatever you choose its a mixed bag. Hang in there.

Jo said...

I kept quiet for the most part. The only one that knew was my sister who was also going through treatments.
The pain of a failed cycles and an ectopic were things I couldn't discuss at the time with anyone but my sister.
Now that I had the Boy, I find it easier to let go and be more open with close friends. I don't think I could "go public" with everyone though. There is too much emotion involved.

Lori said...

I feel okay telling people but I'm very careful in deciding to tell certain people. And I don't care if I tell a lie in response to the "when are you going to have kids question", it's rather impertinent of them to ask. I even lied in church to a woman who asked. Not a twinge of guilt either! You do/say what you need to.

thalia said...

I pretty much tell everyone. Well, not quite everyone but I have figured it's easier to tell than to lie, and I work closely with a lot of people. The only time I don't like it is in the 2ww after an IVF where I feel like they're all LOOKING at me. So you need to do what works for you.

TiggleBitties said...

Hubby and I were secrestive at first. Then we just let it all out so people ould stop asking us.

I think you have to do what's best for you. It's not really a "lie" it's more of a "It's none of your business" without being rude.

Do what it takes to take care of yourself girl, there are people out there who will talk about ya and speculate whether you come clean or not. It's just what is easiest for you to deal with. Good luck with your decision.

Sunny Jenny said...

It really is no body's business but yours. I too was closed mouth at the beginning but have become more open as the cylce progressed.