My IVF Pregnancy Journey Part 5
My Personal Decision to Disclose
Since my husband and I embarked on this process of finding treatment for our inability to conceive, I made a decision to tell my Director, who has always been very supportive of me, and the people I worked with. I needed their understanding, patience and support as I go through this journey. I knew that there would be plenty of trips to Adelaide that we would have to do for appointments and upcoming procedures. I couldn't just call in sick if I would need to take time off work due to these trips or who knows what I would be experiencing once I'd start the treatment.
I also told some people at my church because I'm in the children's church ministry, and I knew as well, that there would be Sundays that I might not be able to lead or assist in the kids' church. I also told people from my Church Connect Group because I needed them to pray for me and John. So every Wednesday that we had Connect Group meeting, they prayed for me and asked God to bless this whole process.
I told my two aunts (my father's sisters) about it since one of them was an Ob-Gyne back in the Philippines but now living here in Australia. She has always given me advice that might help with my "fertility problems", such as:
- limit my caffeine intake to only 1 cup a day (I used to drink 4 cups of coffee every day),
- have intercourse every other day during my fertile days (my previous G.P. actually told me to do it every day to increase chances of getting pregnant) - This just made me even more confused as to who I should listen to.
- take prenatal vitamins (I told my aunt that I was already taking multivitamins, so maybe that was enough)
- take Clomid
A few years ago, I requested my G.P. to prescribe me with Clomid, but she said the gynaecologist was the one who had to prescribe me with that medicine, so she gave me a referral to see an Ob-Gyne. Unfortunately, we only had a visiting Obstetrician-Gynaecologist in our town who would come once a month, so I did not bother going to the hospital to see the specialist. Now, it makes me wonder, had I gone to see an Ob-gyne and requested this prescription, would things be different? Would I have gotten pregnant with the help of this fertility medicine?
Initially, I did not want to tell my mother-in-law about our decision to see a fertility specialist. I just didn't want to tell her whole family about what John and I were going to go through. I also did not want my husband's children (from his first marriage) to know about this until we were certain that the treatment was successful. But then a month later after our first consultation with the fertility doctor, John and I decided to let her know. John said it was unfair that my aunts knew about it, but not his own mother.
I never told my mother. I only told her in January this year (2020) after my second ultrasound.
I have always opened up to my sister, @dynamicshine, about almost everything, so I told her about it. I specifically told her though not to mention to any of our other siblings just yet so that my mother would not yet find out.
It's just that I had a fallout with my mother back in 2017. When my brother visited her at her place, my brother, Enrico, asked our mother and my other brother, John Paul, if they could pray together before he would leave their place. Enrico led the prayer and in that prayer, he said, "Lord, we also ask that You bless our sister, Elizabeth, to answer her prayers and grant her heart's desires to have a baby..." While he was speaking those words, my mother, in her anger towards me perhaps, butted in, "It's not going to happen."
My brother rebuked our mother that she should not be saying those words, that instead of cursing her daughter, that she should be speaking life over her daughter, that she should be blessing me instead.
It hurt me so much upon hearing this. How could any mother have such hatred towards her child that she would pray against her daughter's prayers and wishes? I did forgive her... but when John and I decided to seek help, go to our appointments with our doctor and undergo treatments and procedures, I still could not disclose it to my mother. Not just yet. I did not want her to be negative about it. I did not want her to pray against it.
So, here are some questions that might be helpful to those people who are in the same boat as me in considering whether to tell other people that they are doing IVF:
Is it going to hinder you in your current job that you might need to take time off work because you have to travel long distance? This process will definitely involve lots of trips to the clinic, especially if you're living far away from the city where you intend to undergo treatment. There will also be a series of doctor's appointments that you can't miss out since these specialists are "not always" available on your preferred dates.
Will you be able to do your procedures out of work hours? In my personal experience, I really couldn't. There were a couple of times that I actually had to miss a few days off work because I was that terribly sick from certain procedures.
Do you think you will need someone to talk to for prayers, or advice, or just someone that you can lean on for support? This IVF process can really make you go through an emotional rollercoaster, and it is helpful if there's someone who's willing to listen to you to give you comfort and a shoulder to cry on sometimes.
Are you going to be strong enough to explain to your family members, relatives and close friends every time this whole IVF process is brought up? There was a friend that I told all of this to, but I was taken aback by her response. I felt judged that she thought I was trying to justify my decision to go through IVF procedures, and not entirely putting my trust and faith in God. I did not make it too obvious that I was a bit offended, but instead, I told her to pray for me that God would give me wisdom and strength to overcome any pain and endure this process.
Would you rather keep it to yourself and your partner first and just share when you're certain that it has been successful? For me, I chose the people whom I want to share with the beginning and the progress of my journey, and then to some people, I only shared it when I got the good news finally.