She Says… Imaginary Friends

First things first, I apologize that we don’t have more babymaking details to give you. As you know, the plan for the next “try” (I can’t really call it a cycle anymore, since nothin’s cycling on its own!) is to double up the Clomid to 100mg and get a progesterone test at 7 days past ovulation to see if I really ovulate and/or have a low progesterone issue. But, as Benjamin explained, we have a lot of tricky scheduling coming up: he’s traveling, then I’m traveling, etc. And since I need to ovulate and then have the progesterone test, I need to make sure I’m scheduling ovulation at a time when I’ll be home, and then I’ll be home again a week later. Yikes!

After much calendar shuffling, I think we’re going to start the Clomid on Halloween. I’m a little bummed that means that we’re hanging out doing nothing (on the babymaking front, at least) for a few weeks an eternity, but I guess two more weeks won’t kill us!

In the meantime, I’ve been thinking a lot about telling our friends and family what we’re going through. In the beginning, I didn’t want to tell anyone that I wasn’t cycling normally because a) that’s pretty personal, and most people don’t want to hear about my periods and b) I wanted them to be surprised when they found out I was preggo. As the months have gone by and I’ve been diagnosed with PCOS, I am slowly coming to the realization that I am not like everyone else. That I really do have a fertility issue. It still hasn’t hit me entirely — I still feel like we’re going to get pregnant really, really soon and I won’t ever have to face the “I” word (infertility). And I will be able to say to people, “Oh, it took a few months, but now he/she is here and it’s fabulous!”.

That’s where you come in. You, my imaginary friends. Oh, I know that  you are all real people with real stories and real lives, jobs, etc. But since I only see you when I log-on to my computer, it kind of feels like you are imaginary. But you have been my source of comfort and friendship and release throughout the last few frustrating months. In some ways, I feel like I don’t need to tell people in my real life, because I already have a community of fabulous women who completely understand where I’m coming from (or try their very best to) and who root us on and support us. But in other ways, it would be really nice to be able to just chat with friends about cycles and Clomid and ovulation and periods and how my womb aches for a baby sometimes.

Lo and behold, the other day I saw that one of my readers and fellow bloggers has started a Boston Meetup Group called Rubyfeather. 

RubyFeather hopes to engage and empower women who are experiencing the ups and downs of  adding on to their families. We believe that we are stronger together, than individually. We are here to offer you some good energy, and some girl power. We meet up for coffee-talk, mocktails, mixers and outings. Whether you are single, married, gay, or straight, you are welcome. Whether your journey is through IVF, IUI, adoption, or the traditional method we encourage you to join us. We are not a “group therapy session” but a group of strong ladies who believe laughter and encouragement is the best medicine 

Are you in the Boston area? Do you want to meet up with us? Sign up for Rubyfeather! Thank you for organizing, Shell!

If you’re struggling with babymaking, have you told family and friends?


31 responses to “She Says… Imaginary Friends

  1. Funny you should bring this up! I have been thinking the same exact thing, so unfortunately I don’t have any words of wisdom for you, but I can reiterate that I do know how you feel. I don’t want to admit there is a problem either and I am still hoping my next preg test comes back positive knowing pretty well that it won’t. Amazing how the mind works! lol I am interested in what other people say as I am faced with the same dilemma. I always wanted to surprise my family, but maybe it’s better they know that we are struggling a bit and who knows, maybe they have some information that could be useful. Good luck with your decision, it’s not an easy one.

  2. My husband and I just discussed this over the weekend. We decided if we’re still having trouble in a year then we would tell our family and friends. As for right now, only a couple of close friends know anything is going on. I haven’t shared everything with anyone. It’s tough, but at some point, those people you want to be surprised are the ones that will lend the most support in times of need. I wish I lived in Boston so I could come to RubyFeather. Sounds like it would be a wonderful opportunity for support and encouragement.

  3. We have told some select family and friends. We told people we knew could keep our secret and would support us and not give a lot of unwanted opinions. We were contemplating telling everyone about our struggle to conceive but we are so sensitive about this subject that the comments and advice from people that have no idea what its like to go through infertility would be too hurtful. I have found that this blogging community has been such a great source of support, because we are all going through some stage of TTC. I wish you luck in your decision.

  4. I have long participated in the “if I don’t say it out-loud, then it’s not true” mentality. I think it’s just a coping mechanism that let’s me do things/face things in my own time. I can appreciate that it must feel like sharing what’s going on with you and Benjamin to your family and friends will somehow make it “more true”. It sounds like RubyFeather will be a great place for you to just say it out-loud to real people.

  5. My close friends and family know. It is tough to talk to them about it, but I feel better knowing that I have more people praying for and supporting us.
    I would think about this topic like the article you posted about sharing an early pregnancy and resulting miscarriage with family and friends… why hide it when the people closest to you are the ones whose support you would want?

  6. We told everyone pretty early on because of all the painful questions about “when will you have a baby?” I was so tired of answering it and telling them really quieted that. Also, it explains my bad moods , doctor’s appts, and abscence at baby showers. Plus, I found a lot of my “non-imaginary” friends who had similar problems.

  7. Cathy P, I hope some of these answers can help you too 🙂 I know, part of me feels silly NOT telling them. They are my closest friends and family — they would be the ones who would offer the most support and love during this stressful process. But then there’s the element of surprise that will be lost. And I also don’t want them to tiptoe around me when it comes to babies or discussing the topic. So many things to consider!

    Sarah R, I hear you! I have told a few very close friends what’s going on, but none of them have ever been through anything similar, so it’s hard for them to know how to respond. And a few of them are guys, so that just complicates things further 🙂 But you’re right that RubyFeather might be the perfect way to be able to share some of my thoughts without changing things with friends & family. Maybe there is a similar group in your area?

    Jessica, I know, who knew we could find so much comfort through the internet! I was hesitant to “come out of the closet”, so to speak, and start commenting on others’ blogs, even though I had been reading for awhile. But quite often those little comments do begin to add up to real friendships.

    Karley, I know, I guess I am just dodging the reality of what’s going on with my body. But so far my coping mechanisms have kept me super-positive and hopeful, so they’re working, I guess! You’re right, though… I like to deal with things in my own time. And I’m just not quite there yet. So by not telling people, it’s almost like it’s not happening. Ignorance is bliss, huh? At least for a little while longer.

    kwally, Yes, that article really got me thinking. I would definitely tell my friends and family if we had a miscarriage, so it seems natural that I would want to tell them about this part of the journey too. Except it still seems so awkward to bring up. And I’m scared that they may try to dance around the issue, or not want to talk about certain things as a result of knowing that we’re having trouble. Part of me is scared that I’ll become a charity case or left out.

    Amber, It’s true… it’s getting harder and harder to field that “When are you going to have a baby?” question. The hardest part is that I used to say, “We’re almost there, but not quite (hardy har har)”. And now I feel like everyone’s waiting for that answer to change. Little do they know how much we think/talk about it. You make a good point about telling people, though, as it explains a lot — like why I’m not drinking! I have made up some really lame excuses recently about that 🙂

  8. I have a similar issue that you might come across later too. I’m uncomfortable telling anyone that I’m pregnant. It just seems…personal? I don’t know why I feel this way, because eventually I won’t be able to hide it. I’m almost at 10wks and I’m supposed to start telling people at 13wks, but I’m not looking forward to it. All the online message boards are full of women bursting at the seams to tell everyone, so I think I’m not the norm. I would feel the same way about fertility issues, so I think it’s great that you’re considering telling people. If one of my friends told me about that, I would want to know and support them.

  9. Deciding whether or not to tell people you’re trying and having problems is a sticky situation. I’m in general an open person and I can’t stomach not telling people what’s going on. So when they ask, I answer completely and truthfully. And now that it’s been this long I notice people leaving me out of certain things and tiptoeing around me at times. And that kinda sucks, but for me it’s better than the alternative of people having not idea what’s going on with me.

    Hope that helps. If you do decide to share with them, I would suggest telling ppl up front what kind of support you need from them and how they can be there for you. Good luck!

  10. Waiting stinks. I’ve been waiting to get back into things for three weeks. Thankfully I’m almost there. I haven’t really told a lot of people. My parents know and two close friends know, but they don’t know the details or anything really about it. I wish there was a meet up sort of thing near me. I don’t think there is much going on in my state.

  11. When people ask when we’re having kids, I usually say, “We’re working on it, but we’ve hit a speed bump or two along the way.” Most don’t know what to say, but they stop bugging me lol. I am still in denial about my issues too. The idea of Clomid scares me because if I take that, it’s like I am admitting there’s a problem! Also, twins run in my family BIG TIME and I have a fear of that too! At the same time, i want the Clomid because it wasn’t supposed to take this long to get pregnant! I mean with all the teenage pregnancies in the world, you’re supposed to hop in bed and BAM lol. I know, I dream big haha. The only people I have really told are close friends and my mom knows because I wanted to know if anyone in my family has issues. I really didn’t want to tell her because now I know my entire family knows about it *sigh*.

  12. Kara, That’s interesting that you’re hesitant to tell people that you’re pregnant! I feel like after all this trouble, I can’t WAIT to [someday] tell people I’m pregnant. But I totally hear where you’re coming from. You also make a great point that if one of my friends told me they were struggling, I would certainly want to know and support them.

    Al, Thank you! I think that makes a lot of sense. I am generally a very open person about everything. I really don’t see the point in hiding things from people, especially not my friends and family. That said, I do fear being left out of certain things, or having people avoid certain subjects just because they think I can’t handle it or it will hurt me. That’s a really good suggestion — to let people know what kind of help I DO want when I tell them the news. Is it wrong to say I just want to talk about it even if they don’t understand what I’m saying! Ha 🙂

    Low Fat Lady, Yes, yes, the waiting is the PITS. It’s like this crazy limbo. The two week wait is bad, but at least you have the potential for an awesome surprise. This wait is like waiting on… nothing. Grrr.

    Cate, That’s a great answer! And it leaves the door open if people DO want to know more. I can understand your being hesitant to take Clomid (for various reasons). I am dying for twins, though, so I’d happily trade places with you! Hee hee.

  13. LOL, fraternal and identical twins run in my family. There are 3 sets of identical twins on my dad’s side and 2 sets of fraternal twins on my mom’s side. My biggest fear is that i will get pregnant with 2 fraternal twins and they will both split and I will have quads! I know rare, but scary!! It’s my own irrational fear LOL. I go to gyn next week and see what they want to recommend. They already have me on Metformin in hopes of it pushing things along…so far, not so much :*(

  14. Hi Kate! Good things are on the horizon! You have a plan and that’s half the battle! It is frustrating, I know, I’m on my third round of Clomid at 150mg, hoping to get even the chance to try IUI this month. My history with Clomid isn’t too uplifting but I’m hoping the higher dose kicks those follicles into highgear and get those eggies growing! But, it makes such a difference to read blogs like yours and read other people’s stories. It also truly helps to talk to friends and family. At first, I asked my husband to keep the issue between the two of us, well and my mom and dad of course. 🙂 But then I started opening up to more family and more friends and it has helped. It is something so personal, but it helps to know that other women and other couples are going through the same thing.

    I remember, months ago, searching around the internet looking for reasons why I wouldn’t be getting a period. I came across PCOS and said to myself, “nah, that’s not it.” Well, yes, that is exactly what the issue is and it doesn’t put a squash on our family dreams. It’s a little speed bump that’s all! With some medicine and a little extra care, we too can provide safe and warm homes for our babies to grow and enter this world with all the love and support we have been waiting to share.

    I wish the both of you all the best! Just keep positive and know that you will get there. One of these days, instead of writing about the frustrations, you will be writing about the joys as you describe your little boy or girl to us!

  15. Thanks Kate! I’s a Boston area lady and I just joined RubyFeather. Fun!

  16. What a great idea, happy you are finding more support. I am the most impatient person in the world so again and again you amaze me with your perseverence.

  17. Wow, that sounds like an amazing group. I’m supremely jealous. I’ve search high and low for something similar in San Francisco, maybe I have to start it myself. Anyway, I think it is a great idea. And I hope you come to a decision about telling your friends and family that feels right for you. Until you do, us “imaginaries” are always here when you need us!

  18. Hi Kate,
    We have decided not to tell anyone about what we have been going through. Surprisingly is is not that hard for me! My husband is a very private person and usually I am just the opposite, but for this it seems so personal. I have done the clomid for 4 or 5 cycles, 3 cycles with injectables, and currently I am on the 2 week wait…so I am hoping for a miracle at this point! I am wondering though, does anyone ever have to know we did this? Or what if we have triplets will we have to tell how we got them? Or can it be our little secret? What do you think? I am hoping we can keep it this way!!!

  19. romancingthestone

    Hi Kate, I told my family we were doing IUI and IVF, but we set up a “don’t ask don’t tell” policy about details and timing. Sometimes, it’s just too fragile to discuss. They know I will update them when I feel I can, and I know I have their 100% support. I can tell, having a real Jewish momma, that she always wants to ask- but it’s all out of love! Thanks for mentioning RubyFeather. I hope more ladies join us! Hugs and girlpower to all of you! Shell

  20. Cate, Ha! J.E.A.L.O.U.S. Although… quads? Now that’s scary 🙂

    Michelle, You just gave me goosebumps talking about how someday soon I will be writing about the joys of having a baby. I can’t wait for that day. You are so right — the support of friends and family could be a really wonderful thing for us, and encouraging others to speak up about fertility issues is a huge bonus. Through my blogging and discussions with others, I hope to break down the barrier that this is something couple should keep to themselves.

    Lara (NoodleGirl), Yay! Can’t wait to meet you! I’ve also been reading your blog recently… love it.

    MyHormonesMadeMeDoIt, Thank you! I’m generally fairly impatient myself, but I’ve mastered the art of putting things out of my mind if I don’t want to think about them. It helps me stay very zen, even about the stressful things. As I said before, ignorance is bliss! I’m hoping I can just relax and “ignore” it all (outside of RE app’ts and such!) and one day we’ll be pregnant.

    Esperanza, Thank you, I really appreciate the support and the comments! Especially throughout the waiting. It gives me something to do and people to talk to.

    Tracy, How exciting for you! I hope your two week wait ends with a BFP. I, too, am terrified that we’ll have multiples after Clomid or other reproductive assistance and I’ll have to tell people that’s why we had them. That they weren’t some miracle, they were a result of drugs. I hate that! It somehow diminishes the coolness of having/being twins. I totally hear you. Although I’m ok sharing my struggle with others, I am much more uncomfortable with sharing the level of “help” we might have to get. There is such a stigma against procedures like IUI and IVF (thanks, Octomom!). Frustrating stuff.

    romancginthestone, That sounds like a great setup for you — “don’t ask, don’t tell”. That way you get all of the support and understanding and none of the bother 🙂

  21. Hi Kate, from my perspective, you have to do what is best for you and your hubby – if you feel like you want or need more support then go ahead and tell them. There is nothing to be ashamed of and you never know if someone you tell is secretly struggling with the same issues!

    I do have to say, that you have an amazing suport community right now – when I was going through the whole infertility -what is wrong with me- really i can’t be having another miscarriage again – time of my life – my 3 best friends were pregnant with their first babies. At one point, we all were pregnant and due the same time of the year – I was the only one with “issues” and I am the only one that didn’t get to carry full-term with them. So they had no idea what I was going through but I had amazing support from my husband, doctor and friends on fertilty friend..I found it comforting to talk with (imaginary) people with the same struggles and issues but more importantly – people who all succeeded in the process of babymaking – it always gave me the hope I needed…

    Sorry for the long response – what is funny to me is that4 years ago I shared very little with anyone and now I can talk so freely and easily about the big “I” word…

    Go pink, Go!

  22. Only you can decide whether to tell your family, but I think it’s wise for you to get support somewhere, even if it’s just through your internet friends. It helps to not feel alone and to have other people who understand what you’re going through!

  23. I waited quite a while to tell people what we were going through. I finally decided it was the right time when I was continually offended by things people said or hearing about pregnancy announcements at inopportune times. The only way to change these things was to make them aware of what was going on so they could be more sensitive to my feelings. For the most part is has worked out very well. I have had a few people who still say stupid stuff, but they are just stupid people 🙂 Even though my closest friends know my IF struggles, it is through blogging and my internet friends that I find the most support. I think it is because you all know just what I am going through. It is also nice to not have to sugar coat any of my feelings. Best of luck with your decision.

  24. Hello to everyone! This is actually a comment for all, does anyone know of a group like Rubyfeather or something for women in northern NJ? I know it’s a long shot, but I thought I would ask!

  25. Gina (at blog) posted on twitter that her cousin has a blog now. You might like it,

  26. Hi Kate
    We are going though the same thing at the moment. We don’t know if we should tell our family and friends since is our first time trying for a baby. I keep telling everybody that we are going to start in January so if we do get pregnant now is a surprise for everybody…so we made a promise not to tell anybody, but is so HARD!! Sometime I just want to call my mom or best friend and tell them what we are going through. But oh well not until January. Good luck and can’t wait to read in your blog that you guys are pregnant =)

  27. Here’s one vote in favor of not sharing. I told one close friend that we were ttc – not how long or how hard – and the next time I see her she’s telling me stories about friends who “just needed to relax”. Assvice! But she’s not to this stage of life yet, so how was she to know that she was a ttc stereotype?

    I do hope the Rubyfeather group turns out to be useful. Great idea.

    And, I hope my posting this makes you hopeful: I got a BFP at 9 dpo last week after ten cycles ttc. This was our first on Clomid and progesterone. I hope your next cycle is the one for you!

  28. Joanna, That must have been SO HARD for you when your friends were all pregnant. I have recently been feeling somewhat left out as my friends have, one by one, announced their pregnancies. People who I used to joke with about things like, “Wouldn’t it be great if we were pregnant together?!” are now mothers of infants and toddlers, and even thinking about their second babies. Part of that is a result of most of my friends being older than I am. I’m 26, so I know I still have a long way to go before my time is up, but it does feel like I’m missing the boat sometimes.

    Tabitha, True. It’s not so much that I feel so alone with no one to talk to, it would just be nice to have my friends and family truly understand what we’re going through. But just telling them the news of the struggle we’re going through isn’t going to necessarily make them understand it any better. So it’s a strange spot. I’m not really sure what I want/need yet from the people I do tell.

    Baby Hungry, I totally agree. It IS nice not to have to sugarcoat my feelings for my blog, since the readers are (mostly) all people going through it themselves. I do find myself talking with people who know about our issues and saying things like, “Oh, well, we’ll try again next month”. Much more nonchalant than I may actually be feeling. So, I guess, even if you tell people, it’s still hard to be “real” with them about how difficult it is.

    Cathy P, I hope you find a group near you! I wonder if maybe there’s something similar in NYC? Not sure how close you are to that…

    Kara, Thanks for the recommendation! I love Fitnessista 🙂 and I just checked out her cousin’s blog and it is laugh out loud funny. I’m adding it to my list for sure!

    Zuly, Yes! I definitely know the feeling. I kept hinting at the fact that we were going to “start” when I finished my masters. When that time came and went in March, I know that some people in my life were wondering, “Ok, can we talk about it now?”. Most have waited for me to bring it up, but it’s still a weird thing to have to say, “Ummm, nope, not yet!”.

    Ettie, Those “relax” comments are infuriating! Seriously. At least I have a diagnosed problem so I can say to people: I have PCOS, and it’s making it difficult for us to get pregnant. And not just: We’ve been trying for a few months and are not pregnant yet. Maybe with the first statement, people will keep that stupid advice to themselves. CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR BFP!!! That DOES make me hopeful. I am so happy for you! Yay for the magic concoction of Clomid & progesterone.

  29. Hey, just wanted to check in even though I know you are in the waiting period. I went to the fertility doctor yesterday and got blood labs and the ultrasound done. Based on that, my follicles are very small and fewer than what is optimal. Looks like I’ll be going on Clomid next month. I have the HSG on Tuesday and am nervous but excited. Take care.

  30. Aly, try not to be too nervous about the HSG. I had this procedure a little over a month ago. I’m not going to sugar coat it, for me, it was painful, but my doctor prescribed me pain medication and I failed to take it. I went in having taken Motrin only. So, if your doctor has prescribed you pain meds, it may be a good idea to take them. Basically, you are asked to lie on a table and a doctor cleans the area with a swab and then inserts the speculum. After that, you feel a pinch, and that is the doctor I believe placing the catheter in so that the dye could flow through. I started having some cramps at that point but they got much worse as the dye began to flow. The doctor asks you to tilt your hips a couple of times while they take pictures to make sure the dye flows through each tube. Then it’s over. It’s literally less than 5 minutes. It wasn’t an enjoyable experience but if you are prepared you will be fine. And again, every woman is different. Before my HSG I read many blogs from women who had only minimal cramping. Oh and I was fine after the procedure.

    I just finished my third round of Clomid at 150mg per day on Wednesday. On Thursday DH and I went for an ultrasound to determine if any follicles had matured enough to do the HCG injection. Unfortunately, none were quite big enough, but fortunately, I did have four that seemed to be on the right path. 🙂 They were recorded as about 12.4mm each. I was told that my doctor’s office prefers the follicles to be between 15mm and 30mm before they will trigger ovulation. I was asked to return to the office for another ultrasound tomorrow. We are hoping my follies have grown enough by tomorrow so we can do the injection and proceed with the IUI! It’s all very exciting but every hour seems like it’s actually 24 hours as we wait to find out if we can proceed with the IUI this cycle. I can’t even imagine what the 2ww will be like.

    I hope all is well and Best Wishes to everyone 🙂

  31. Aly, I’m sorry to hear about your diagnosis. On the bright side, there are many happy stories from pregnant women who used Clomid. So if Clomid is what you need, and Clomid is what you’re getting, you’re well on your way to being preggo. Good luck for your HSG, too. As Michelle said, it’s not comfortable, but it’s certainly not unbearable. Just get through it — it’s a short procedure. And I found some research that indicated many women are especially fertile following their HSG! So there’s something to look forward to…

    Michelle, GOOD LUCK! I know from a future post that your follies got nice and big and you triggered, so YAY.

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