Infertility - The gift that keeps on giving

This morning on my way into work, I realised that it didn't hurt me as much as it usually does, when I saw the usual collection of pregnant women on the train. I acknowledged it and felt a little bit peaceful about it. Then, my recently married friend messaged me to re-arrange a dinner because the date currently scheduled is during her ovulation week and they've started trying to conceive. Unexpectedly, it was like someone had slapped me. For the past few years, I've been surrounded by a barrage of friends and relations getting pregnant at the drop of a hat. Thankfully, it has tailed off a bit now that the babies are all here and I thought the worst of it was over. I was wrong. I haven't replied to my friend yet because the thought of sharing someone else's journey of trying to conceive and probably getting pregnant within a few short months, the subsequent pregnancy etc just makes me feel like I want to crawl under a rock and hide. Infertility seems to have become a permanent elephant in the room, always there just dragging me down, some days more forcefully than others. The gift that keeps on giving.

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  • Well done for surviving the train journey & acknowledging your feelings.

    She actually said that the planned dinner coincided with her ovulation week!?! TMI I think. Some people might say they're trying and leave it at that. I assume that she knows about your struggles with fertility? Perhaps say it''s a shame they can't make it and you were looking forward to the dinner. Wish her luck but request politely that she spares you the details. It's always hard when there's a pregnancy announcement. At least you know to expect this one. You can be as involved as much as you want or not in her journey.

  • Thanks pm27! She knows that we've had tests etc but I don't think she knows about the outcome. She's not an insensitive person, just not very self aware. Thanks for the advice though, maybe I just need to be honest and say that i can't deal with hearing all the details. We used to work together but she left recently so thankfully I won't have to see her every day when she does get pregnant!

  • I suppose how much you share of ypur story might depend on how close you are now you don't see each other every day. Hopefully she will be sensitive and understanding about how hard it is to hear pregnancy/baby news.

  • That's a good point. Thanks so much for your support. I haven't replied to her yet as I'm not still not sure what to say. I'm ashamed to say that it crossed my mind to not reply at all and just let the friendship fizzle out, or to take a rain check but on dinner but I think that might have the same effect of ending the friendship through inaction on both our parts.

  • I know how you're feeling. On your strong days it's so nice to feel yourself again and freedom from the constant pain and sadness. But it doesn't take much to bring up all those feelings again. It's so isolating...And has made me a bad friend. There are very few people who I can allow close to me now.

  • I couldn't have said it better! I feel like I'm a terrible friend at the moment too but just don't have the strength or energy to spend time with my friends who have children etc because it's just too exhausting emotionally. I guess we just have to recognise them and pat ourselves on the back on our strong days.

  • Hi, I feel the same I've almost isolated myself as I'm the only one of my group of friends now without children. I don't feel I have anything in common anymore. I can sit in the group and they will talk about babies and pregnancies and I feel so excluded. After my last ivf and being advised I had no chance of becoming pregnant I've found it easier to avoid them. It's sad as I've had these friendships since I was 11 years old.

  • At a counselling session I talked about keeping those difficult friendships and the counsellor advised me to be more selfish over the type of friends I need at this moment in my life. Some bring dark clouds and some bring light. I am very thankful last yr I met a wonderful single lady. We do many things together and she has been a light that has kept me so sane. So try not to be hard on yourself, and look out for a friend who can be the little light you need.

  • I think that's good advice. At the end of the day, we're all going through a difficult period in our lives and need to do what we can to be nicer to ourselves and ease the pressure where possible. I feel guilty sometimes about being a bad friend but at the moment I think it's just a case of doing whatever it takes to maintain sanity and help me to keep going day to day.

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