Thursday, January 26, 2012

To tell or not to tell? or, the curious case of "I know Jay, and I'm pregnant"

Since the time that we knew that we had to go through the IVF procedure, one question that always kept us thinking was " should we tell others about this?"


Somehow, it seems a little sensitive. And opinions are widely distributed in this regard. But with the wisdom of someone who's been there, done that - here's my recommendation - please do! And here's why....


  • It manages anxiety among close family and friends. Peer pressure is no pleasure...
  • It helps you to be honest about why you cannot take time for social events - you are going to spend a lot of time at the doctor's anyways
  •  It can surprise you with the support you get. Once you open up, you will realize how many people around you has gone through similar situations. 
Once we started opening up, almost every other person knew someone who had gone through this, knows how difficult the time is, and is willing to help; or even more surprisingly for us, how many people around us had actually gone through this. ( thanks to all those friends for their support.... You have no idea how much it matters to us ). You will get doctor reviews, procedural comparisons, medicine notes and so much moral support. That itself is enough to go ahead and open up.
Given the software dev mentality that i have, i like to analyse this to death and categorize this to 4 phases :

  • The Deep Sigh phase - This is phase 1. You are having a conv and you hit upon this difficult question of " so what are your family plans?". You stop for two seconds, take a deep sigh, and start " you know what, we are going though an IVF....." 
  • The Tilted Head Phase - This is phase 2. You have used up your quota of sighs ( and it doesn't work when you try to :) ), you continue your conversation without stopping, but by tilting your head to one side and having a "this is a difficult topic" face expression.
  • The "Oh That!" Phase - No conversation stoppers, just an "oh that! that is because we are going through an IVF..."
  • The "You mean you still don't know this? phase - well, you get the idea. by now, probably the radios are announcing your progress in their daily news :)


This opening up business has also given us phenomenally funny moments in our journey. I had a lady friend who was also going through some difficulty in getting pregnant and was taking medical advice. ( She is blessed with an adorable baby now :) ) Anyways, we used to discuss this quite often. One day, when I was at the airport, she called me up excitedly, and said that she is pregnant. I requested her to call my wife and tell her this, as i would be getting on a plane and i would have to switch off my cell phone. I kind of missed the fact that this friend and my wife has not talked earlier at all  :):):)

So here is how the conversation apparently went :

Triiiiinng triiiiiing ....
My wife picks up the phone.

"Hi this is ...., is this Aparna?" a voice from the other side ( Aparna is my wife)
"Yes"

"Oh hi!" 2 seconds silence
(awkward silence, my friend suddenly realized this is the first time she is speaking to Aparna )

"Hi Aparna, I Know Jay, and I am Pregnant"

2 seconds silence this side of the line. and then, a fitting reply
"I also know Jay, but i am not pregnant......."

What happened when i came back from my trip is still classified information.