So when we first started TTC at end of 2005, I was not shy at all about telling people, because who ever thinks it will be hard! But I always seem to think that I jixxed us by telling my cousin during her wedding dress shopping that I may be preggo while in her wedding in April 2006. Of course, I was not and the journey continued for over two and a half years.
As time went on and we found out we were having trouble, then that DH had a low count, we tried to keep in the family and close friends circle but even then told only certain people. I was often upset because a lot of other couples were getting preggo. This only made it harder to talk about our problems. I did have a connection to some family and friends who I found out were having trouble too. Makes it a lot easier to know others have issues too. Even though I would not wish it on my worst enemy! But I am one who likes to talk about these things and can not "lie" about days off and lateness in these "medical" situations. So I begin to tell co-workers that I trusted and even college friends (in my new program to become a teacher). But the hardest was when student teaching started around the sametime all the RE visits started.
I kept questioning myself, DH, my parents, and fellow student teachers - what do I say to my supervising professor and cooperating teacher about being late to school for student teaching? when do I tell them? keep it general medical-related or specify? So I know I have no obligation to go into detail with anyone but I don't think I can lie.
Student teaching is 16 weeks long and was starting just after having our first RE consultation. So I waited until the appointments definitely started to hinder my being on time to the first grade class which was about 40 mins north of my home while RE office was about 45 mins from my home in the opposite direction. So here is how it went:
I first just said I had a doctor's appointment that I could not avoid and had no possibility of going to at night. I always asked for the earliest appointment but traffic was horrible around RE office and it took about 1.5 hours from RE to school. I was lucky that the first appointment was before school started for the students and I was allowed by my university to have 5 sick days, which meant if I missed about two hours for each appointment, I should not go over that limit. So at first I was just going to keep it as a general medical condition that was not threathening to anyone. However, I did not keep it at that.
About half-way through student teaching, during one of my post-lesson observation discussions with my professor (supervisor), I just said, "So I have another appointment on such and such date and I should be in school by 10am if not earlier" (because we all know RE's office can get backed up). Then I said, "I feel as though I should explain." Of course, she said, "You don't have to." But I needed to. So I said, "My husband and I have been trying to have children since Dec 2005 and we started seeing a specialist. We have just been trying for so long that I could not stop and wait another 3 months until after student teaching." She is such a wonderful lady and totally understood and just told me to continue to notify her as I scheduled appointments. And the great thing about telling her was that she gave me such encouragement and support that we actually became better acquinted and friendly. It really opened up our relationship!!
So eventually I had the same type of conversation with my cooperating teacher. She was also understanding and since we already had the type of relationship where we talked about our personal lives, it too made everything easier. When it came time to consider IVF for the next cycle, I was able to put it off for a few weeks until after student teaching ended. Both my supervising and cooperating teachers were very appreciative of that decision, especially because the end would be when I was fully in-charge of the classroom for two weeks.
And now when I email these two ladies, they both show concern and ask in a caring way, "How is everything going?" I have kept in touch and can't wait to be able to give them and everyone else some good news!
The lesson I learned out of all this is that we are all human and unless it is a personal need to keep something to onesself or someone is known to be incompassionate, it is always better to share because most of the time you will only receive more compassionate support! Which is great for any stressful situation!! Don't get me wrong, I still feel pregnancy and IF are sensitive issues that require a level of privacy, which is always a personal preference that can change with each stage.