Monday, 28 September 2009

My husband swallowed the key to the IF closet

We are so out of the IF closet now hardly anything is embarrassing or awkward to talk about anymore. For us. For complete strangers that get an earful of our upcoming circus performance when asking if we have kids, maybe.

We went to a BBQ at a friends house on Saturday. The hostess is a new friend of mine and we hadn't met each others families yet. D is a social butterfly and loves meeting new people so he was excited about the party. We get there and I know one person, the hostess. After introductions are made and we're outfitted with drinks D and I start mingling. The first couple stepped on the IF bomb simply by asking if we have any trips planned this fall. D happily announced that "Yes, as a matter of fact, we're going to Sweden in a couple of weeks to do IVF". Insert sound of crickets. D was oblivious of the awkward silence and gave a few more details about the trip before he pulled me over to the next couple. This young couple with new baby on their arm unsuspectingly asked us if we have kids. D answers merrily that he has grown daughters and that we're hoping to expand our family with the help of an upcoming IVF trip. The man gave us an unsure smile and wished us "Good luck with that" while his wife picked up her dropped jaw off the floor and busied herself by fussing with the baby. 
By the end of the night I think the story of our upcoming trip to Sweden to have IVF was mentioned to all the guests at least once and as people started getting a little tipsy they seemed to be more relaxed about the conversation and actually started showing interest and asking questions. 

I think the closer we get to our first IVF the more it is in the forefront of both our minds. And I feel fortunate to have a Hubster that has no scruples about being open and verbal about it. Don't know if I would talk about it to strangers if I was on my own but it actually makes me feel good when he brings it up. I guess with the hostess' group of friends we'll be remembered as the circus couple. But that's OK in my book.

Why should we be the ones that feel awkward when asked if we have kids. It's nice to have it be the other way around for once.


  1. I'm making my debut at the IVF circus in October too, having spent some time in rehearsal in IUI-ville.

    Best of luck!

  2. Good for you and DH for being able to be so honest and open! I wish I were in a place were I didn't get upset talking about it. Not quite there yet, but working on it.

    Have a great day!

  3. Why in the world would people be so shocked or uncomfortable these days with IVF?? Good Lord, take a look at all the twins and triplets running around, it's fertility treatments people! Of course, I'm speaking as a wizened IF lady but I still don't think I would have been shocked if someone had mentioned IVF to me before I joined the IF circus. I guess some people don't know what to say, but since your DH was so open, you'd think they could realize they could ask questions before the liquor loosened their tongues. I love the non-tiptoeing around the subject -- like you said, let the other people figure out the polite responses for once!

  4. LOLLLLLLLLLLL boy did this make me laugh, I LOVE it! Super S would so do that, hasn't yet in my presence, but would so do it. Sure we get the kids question, especially here and especially if we mention we've been married for 13 years...their faces really look puzzled then and the go quiet. Immediately following their silence, its usually "have you seen any doctors?" I would love to say, "oh no, why should we"? But of course my short answer is yes and we are trying somethings.....

  5. I'm in the same boat (sort of). My husband seems to think that he should tell every single person every single detail of our upcoming procedure, and I'm a little bit uncomfortable with it.

    It started because our diagnosis is male factor, and so, I pretty much told him that it's his story to share and he can share it with whomever. And in his case, that happens to be all of his co-workers and other work acquaintances, all of his friends (close and not-so-close), all of our mutual friends, his parents, his aunt and cousin, and anyone he happens to have been mildly acquainted with, personally or professionally, over the last few years. So when we decided to pursue IVF, he basically retraced his steps of those whom he shared the diagnosis with, and told them of our family-making plans.

    And I don't know. It's weird to me somehow, to have his distant colleague at a conference run into me and say, "I heard about your plans, " as though we were undergoing some sort of secret mission. I think it's just all of the "I know something personal about you but I don't know if you know that I know" kind of looks, like they're waiting for me to bring it up, and frankly, with these acquaintance-types, I don't really want to get into the nitty gritty of how my ovaries are performing.

    It's not that I'm embarrassed for these people to know that we are doing IVF, I think I just wish that I had a bit more control over who knew about it, and because it's (mostly) H's story, I just kind of have to go along with it. And it's weird to me that he wants every single person in his life to know that his testicles don't make enough sperm. It's just sort-of TMI. I wouldn't discuss other intimate medical issues with these people (I wouldn't go into detail about having gall bladder surgery, for instance), so why would I discuss these diagnostic procedures and body function issues and blahblahblah. I mean, I'm hardly one to follow social protocol, but somehow, it just makes me feel like an old person droning on and on about various medical problems, which is just annoying at the least and uncomfortably intimate at the worst.

    My two closest friends know, my two high school friends know (because one of them dealt with IF), my parents (reluctantly) know and my brother and sister-in-law know. And my once(-and-future) boss knows (which means my old office knows, too). And that feels like too many people in my life, but that's just kind of the way it happened for me.

    I think I just need to get down my routine answers to invasive questions, because now that the IVF cat is out of the bag, I get a lot of them, and I'm always, ALWAYS uncomfortable answering them. I need something vague that also intimates that this is a medical condition for which we are pursuing medical treatment. I'll have to think about that.

    Ah, well. Nice to know that someone else has one of those kinds of husbands as well...

  6. You are the first person I have run across whose husband is completely open about it like mine! I think he realized through my blog that I am an open book about this and he decided to follow suit! :)


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