Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Letting the cat out of the bag

In brief: sharing good news is uplifting

After the 12w scan, I decided the time was ripe to start sharing our news with the outside world. Everyone reacted in line with my expectations.

On Wednesday, I informed my manager and the head of department. They were both taken by surprise, and both congratulated me.  Very quickly, they mentioned coming back to work after maternity leave, which is some reassurance regarding job security.

Then, I told my colleagues over lunch. They too were surprised. One guy said 'another one!', referring to the two other PG co-workers. My female co-workers responded with great enthusiasm, little exclamations in high-pitched voices. Predictable reactions, from which I gather there are no other infertiles present. Good.

Though I considered it, I didn't mention that this is an ART pregnancy. It still isn't any of their business. The reason I thought I might, is because I'm not sure I can handle all the attention. The normalcy of it, the assumption that all will end well (when I said that was my main concern, I got 'of course it will go well'), and the plain intrusion on my privacy. The thing is, YOU may understand the connection between IF and a sense of reserve, but I don't expect them to - at least not without a thorough explanation, which I'm not prepared to give. So, I will do my best to handle it.  Not that I did a stellar job of handling myself during treatment, I was so self-absorbed that toes got stepped on without my noticing.

On Thursday evening, I invited over my brother and sister with their partners for dinner. Through dinner we chatted about how they were doing and saved our news for desert. Their reaction can only be described as stunned.
My sister wanted to know if it was planned. Yes, for years. I didn't want to go into all that then and there, but said I'd gladly give more details later.

This weekend, we visited my grandparents. One pair was also stunned at the news, though they congratulated us immediately. A good two hours later, after chatting about all sorts of other things, suddenly some questions came. When was I due, had I been feeling ill, ... Rather sweet to see the news sink in like that.
My other grandmother was all questions at once and visibly very happy for us.  She said she had wondered about us, but never wanted to ask, because she knows that can be a painful question. Turns out, she had to wait over a year to get PG with her first, an unpleasant wait - even though she had 2 more children at appropriate intervals after that.  Let's not forget treatment was hardly available at that time.

We still have to tell SIL&BIL #1 and #2, whom each have a son of about 1 year old.
No opportunity has presented itself to tell them in person, and we're not in a hurry to tell them by phone or mail. One reason is that I have a lingering feeling of resentment towards them, a jealousy that hasn't quite disappeared. It's not their fault, but I don't feel guilty either. It takes time to get over IF.
Anyway, we'll have to tell them before we go on holiday next month.
The risk is they'll find out some other way, since they live in a small town where news travels fast.

While sharing our news was mostly pleasant, it's also a bit scary. What if ...
Telling other people is in a way an act of confidence. It's not that I feel so confident, more that telling builds it, if only a little bit.



At 03 May, 2007 02:48, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am happy to hear you have had your 12w scan and that all is going well.

I am also glad you got to let the cat out of the bag! I am sure if feels kind of strange to admit you are pregnant!

At 03 May, 2007 03:28, Anonymous Jys said...

Hi Lut!!!
I am so happy for you - this is a big milestone letting the cat out of the bag. You made the right decision in my view. To date, only 2 or so people know about my IVF - with time I didn't feel compelled to tell anyone else either. And I'm glad they do not know now. Once you say it, you can't "unsay" it. And somehow I've enjoyed this being my private affair. Like you said, it takes so long to heal. And one thing that helps is just feeling NORMAL. Just feeling like any other pregnant woman out there.
Frankly, after carrying the baby for 9 months, you simply are. Because after all you do to bring this baby into the world... suddenly that one single day of conception becomes inconsequential in comparison to the fact that you truly DO harbor and nourish this child for nine+ solid months to bring it into the world. And IVF is simply not a big deal anymore. If anything, you only went through that much more, and you feel so proud of yourself.
Congratulations again!!! And congratulations on ending the first tri. ENjoy it all!

At 03 May, 2007 04:37, Blogger Mony said...

That's Lovely Lut. We dream of this time don't we? ...and have for years! Enjoy..

At 03 May, 2007 04:55, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Given your good results to this point combined with the fact that you're practically 15 weeks, I think a little confidence isn't unwarranted.

The initial attention can be awkward (and you're right that ART is none of anyone's business if you don't want it to be -- nobody else reveals that their baby was conceived on the washing machine, do they?), but I think people settle into the knowledge of your pregnancy pretty quickly, and it becomes pretty routine with occasional questions about how you're doing.

I'm happy that things are still going well and that you've had very positive responses to your news. As for your sibs and their spouses, it's your news to announce (to whomever) when you feel ready, so there's no need to feel in any way apologetic for not going out of your way to tell them. The time will come when it comes.

At 03 May, 2007 07:47, Blogger MsPrufrock said...

It's a big step to take, isn't it? I also kept the whole ART business to myself, and it was only after P. was born that I felt a bit more comfortable sharing with some people how she came to be. It was a HUGE deal for me when I told the women in my Mums and Babies group, but I'm glad I did it. I must say that it's very odd to keep ART a secret for years and then come out with it.

I'm so glad that you have good news to share! It's about bloody time, eh?

At 03 May, 2007 17:43, Blogger lucky #2 said...

Yeah! Sharing the exciting news is so fun, but I also remember the trepidation since I hadn't shared the IF process with many. I also waited until around 14 weeks to tell people!

Funny how for so long we want to be one of the "pregnant ones" but once there an IFer feels like an imposter!

Yeah for the second trimester!

At 03 May, 2007 21:27, Blogger Carol said...

Glad to hear that you are finally telling people! And especially glad that it feels good for you to tell1

At 03 May, 2007 21:51, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations on telling people - it's a huge step, I know. (Also glad that things are going so well).

At 04 May, 2007 01:33, Blogger projgen said...

Yay! I love that you were able to tell people, have it be positive and have it boost your confidence!

And I love your other grandmother ;)

At 04 May, 2007 18:00, Blogger ms. c said...

Uplifting indeed! I do understand about the "what if...", but am happy to see that you are gaining some confidence. (I agree with you on the "others will never understand so why bother" stand with the co-workers.)
I'm happy to hear that all is well. Simply splendid!

At 04 May, 2007 23:58, Blogger Hopeful Mother said...

It is a scary, and confidence-building move to start telling people. I agree with your not mentioning ART - none of their business, I say, and I think as time goes by you will have less of that sense of reserve and feel like a "normal" pregnant woman! As you should!

I'm just so happy for you Lut!

At 05 May, 2007 23:50, Anonymous Ova Girl said...

It's a great feeling to finally be able to tell people. Try to enjoy it (easier said than done). Very glad the Insider seems to be thriving and all going well!

At 07 May, 2007 18:44, Blogger Alli said...

Glad all is well!

At 08 May, 2007 18:21, Blogger LIW (Lady In Waiting) said...

I can only imagine how scary that was. And I really hope that people act appropriately towards you from now on!

At 08 May, 2007 19:13, Blogger Angie said...

Glad to hear all is well!

At 08 May, 2007 22:14, Blogger Beagle said...

I'm glad you've made it past that second trimester line! Glad you were able to share your news too . . . time to celebrate "out in the open" now!


At 10 May, 2007 21:21, Anonymous Orodemniades said...

I'm glad things are going well!

At 11 May, 2007 06:20, Blogger Bumble said...

So happy to hear everythings going well for you Lut. And I'm sure its scary to tell people, but you're right, we do understand. Happy 2nd Trimester!

At 11 May, 2007 23:44, Blogger Jennifer said...

I wish I had told my dad in person just to see the expression on his face...he was fully silent for a good 10 minutes!

At 13 May, 2007 19:49, Blogger Kris said...

I'm glad the cat's out and that all is going well at 12 weeks. If I ever get the opportunity, I think I'd handle it like you- not informing those who don't already know about the IF. No one needs to know unless you feel like it.


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