Tuesday, July 6, 2010

How I Told My Parents

This post is going out by request to Inbetween:

I had intended to keep my plans to start a family top secret. I knew my family would be happy and supportive about a grandchild on the way but I didn't know how they would react about the process. I didn't want their opinions to sway my thoughts about going forward. I used a known donor for a while and it's pretty high on the ick factor to bring up that Mr. X is over here banging me multiple times during a certain time of the month. Also, I never in my wildest dreams thought it would take so long to bring my dream to life. When I began to see what a struggle it would be, I wanted to spare them some of the heartbreak I was going through each month. It's hard to keep a big secret that effects every facet of your life for so long.

Eventually I got to the IUI with donor sperm stage. At one point, I had a very long wait at the doctor's office and I was supposed to pick up my niece. I had left my phone in the car so asked the nurse if I could use the office phone to call my mom and ask her to pick up my niece. My mother didn't even say hello. Just, "Why are you calling from the doctor's?" Curses! Caller ID. So I'd sort of given up my secret by mistake. I didn't tell her on the phone, but later that night when I got to Mom's she said, "Tell me you're not dying or something." My pessimistic mother. I was glad to have an opening to tell her. She was extremely surprised but responded with joy and support. It was good to have someone who was on my side to know something about the struggle. After that, she asked every chance she got for an update on how the process was going. Almost to my annoyance, but I was hungry to share it and have support.

Dad? Neither my mother or I told my dad. A few months after I told my mom, I went to an RE and he told me that my eggs were nearly non-existent, dried up and useless to me. I was so devastated and heartbroken. I knew after 24 hours of crying that I wouldn't be able to keep it from them. We are a pretty close family and see each other often. So I went over there and just blurted everything out. My mother reacted with disbelieve, sadness and a little anger. My father said he was sorry to hear that and asked why it took the first doctor so long to get me to a specialist. So I had to tell them about trying for a year with a known donor and then an anonymous donor. After that he said very little, but I know he was concerned that I was so broken hearted. Since then he NEVER brings it up but responds with support if I do.

In the words of Shrek, "Better out, than in". It has been much better going through this with the people I love knowing, and able to show support and concern for me. Since I'm going it alone, I needed someone on my side. It's much easier not having to constantly watch what I say when many times there is one thing and one thing only on my mind.

I still have vivid daydreams about telling my parents that their next grandchild is on the way.


  1. Support from your family is key. The right level of support is PRICELESS (i.e. - reading your cues on when to be inquisitive and when to not say anything). I'm glad you have your support system!

  2. Your story is giving me courage to tell my parents, or at least my mom. Right now, they know nothing.
    It must feel great not having anything to hide.

    Thanks for sharing (and inspiring)-

  3. wow. You are amazing. I really admire your strength AND your relationship with your family. You are going to be an awesome mom, and what a great family you have to give to your baby! Thanks so much for sharing! I want this so much for you - every appendage I've got is crossed to bring you good luck.

  4. That's fabulous that your parents are supportive of you even if the details are maybe a bit much for Dad. I hope you will soon be telling them about a new grandbaby on the way too!

  5. Thanks for sharing your Sharing Story! I must say I regret not telling back years ago - now we are so on the tail end of things, and the chances are very slim, and it will all be over (HOPEFULLY!) in another month or so (PLEASE no 1/2 way pgs - no one told me you can be "kind of" pregnant before we started!) So I won't be telling my family, and of the few people who started the journey with us only 1 still asks periodically about the status.

    Hilariously - even my DH only occasionally asks for a status report. It is just too hard to keep track of where we are (which really makes me mad!). At least this is one frustration you won't have - and hopefully you will be pg by the time school starts and all this will shortly be a dim memory!

  6. I love how you accidentally "outed" yourself to your mom! LOL

    You're right, doing this alone is so hard, it's really important to have the support of your family as you go through this, especially when things don't go the way they're supposed to.

  7. I kept it in for months, when I talk to my mom every single day, and it was killing me because I kept imagining doing one of those surprise things like from Funniest Home Videos where we'd give our parents a present and they'd open it up and it would be a picture of an ultrasound and they'd cry and be all excited. Telling them was insanely hard and got some difficult responses, though directing them to IF sites (like resolve.org) helped them to learn how to talk to me about it, which was helpful. I'm so relieved to have it off my chest and it's making things feel easier. I do feel more supported. I hope that you feel that way as well :)

  8. Good that you shared and great that you have such a close family who loves and supports you :-).
    I told my family before I started but then when I was doing IUI I kept things to myself (that is - they knew I was ttc but didn't know the details). But then when doing IVF I couldn't be secrative anymore.