IF and the City

I used to feel sad when I watched the episodes with Charlotte failing over and over again while trying to get pregnant. Little did I know that my own attempts would lead me on the same sad journey. We've now passed 4 years in the trenches. 6 failed IVF/ICSI cycles = nothing. Time for something new - donor eggs. Success at last. Now for round 2.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


A week or so ago we started telling people our news – our families and some of our friends.

We decided we didn’t want to do the GRAND ANNOUNCEMENT email. We’d tell our family first then friends as we see them.

We’ve also decided that we’ll tell people the whole story when we’re ready, right now, we’re pregnant and that’s all we want to focus on. This is the short version – the truth is we will tell some people outright we’ve done a donor cycle (Mr. S parents), and others with what we’re referring to as ‘measured transparency’ that is when the time is right (my parents). For some, now is not the right time.

Mr. S mother currently has shingles, so our face-to-face announcement was shelved. In true Mr. S low-key style he slotted the news into the middle of his conversation on the phone. Something like ... ‘Umm, well since shingles is contagious, we won’t come over ... because Sparkle is pregnant ... anyway hope you’re not feeling too bad’. Consequently it took Mrs. S Senior a little while to register. Once she had, she was crying ‘tears of joy’. It’s a wonderful feeling to make other people so happy

My family got an email (since most don’t live in the same country as us), and (mostly) they are all very happy for us, my mother said it was the best news she’d had in months (my father is not well at the moment). Two of my sisters and my brother are equally happy. However ... one of my sisters ... you may remember her from either this post. We are estranged, we have been for some time, but in recent months we’ve reached the point of emails and had a couple of phone calls.

Two days after I’d sent my email – nothing – I asked my other sister what could be going on? ‘She’s jealous’ was the answer.

Keh? Jealous? She has two children and everything else she wants in the world.
‘She doesn’t want you to have what she has’
‘Well that’s way too complicated for me’.

The weekend passed. Nothing. Monday morning at work I check my email – 10pm the night before an email had been sent. I read it, took a deep breath and read it again.
How strange, it was a ‘copy and paste’ of my email congratulations to her on her last pregnancy (now a baby boy).

There is something quite unnerving about having your own words emailed back to you – it’s a weird feeling – because ‘our’ words are us – kind of an alphabetical fingerprint. We all talk and write with our own style – mine happens to be mostly bereft of ‘flowery sentiment’. My sisters’ isn’t. Her email pregnancy announcements were giddy – ‘over-the-moon’, ‘ecstatic’, ‘overjoyed’ – you know the types of verbs. Mine, on the other-hand: ‘very happy’. Full stop. That’s just who I am, I find it embarrassing expressing - or more accurately – too ego-centric to be expressing such over-the-top emotions.

Mr. S decided there were three possible explanations (once he’d stopped laughing) 1. It was a complete coincidence – we decided that was around a 1% chance; 2. She didn’t like my congratulatory note at the time, and decided to send it back – a taste of my own medicine or 3. There’s something going on that we don’t know about – she’s angry about something and we’re not aware of it.

Either way, this level of immaturity astounds me. It is also something I can’t be bothered with, you know we’re estranged for a reason. She has grown into a selfish woman, her natural competitiveness with her siblings has slowly poisoned her and developed into something horrific, she has lost her ability to feel happy for people.

I’ve toyed with the idea of emailing back something smart like ‘these words look familiar’ or in fact phoning and ignoring the email and having a chat. I’ve decided that to do anything is to get back involved with this ridiculous behaviour either by questioning it or validating it by ringing up and never mentioning it.

Once I used to keep these things private (in real life), I had a warped sense of loyalty and protecting her dignity, now I tell my friends, in part because I need to be told – this is strange behaviour.
My friends believe she has become psychotic ... so does Mr. S.

Infertility has taught me to walk away from toxic relationships ...

I’ve raved on longer than I thought on this, so I’ll save my post on ‘my best friend has a big mouth’ for next time.

15 weeks – not sure what the fruit is – just a measurement – 4 inches – that’s 11cm for those in the world who converted to metrics in the 70’s(!)


At March 20, 2007 4:28 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, it's the old saying, 'you can pick your friends but not your family.' Good on you for not validating her silliness and choosing to not partake in a toxic relationship. I am sure you will feel better and even mentally healthier for it. Because sometimes people can bring us down, especially family- even if you are not close.
I hope you have a smooth, happy pg :)

At March 21, 2007 12:06 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sparkle
I am so happy for you that all is going well with your pg and you got to share the news with family and friends creating so much joy for (mostly) everyone. I'd definitely go with box b) thought you werent thrilled enough at the time so decided to get a dig back at you now..how appalling; some people have no idea of the trauma of infertility. I'm with the other anon that has written before me..avoid her like the plague. I am so the same as you - any toxic relationships have long since been kicked to the kerb. I Think of you often and appreciate your emails of support you wrote me not so long ago! I had just found your 'infertility' blog when you went to 'the other side' so I'm hoping thats a good sign for me with ivf next week (last hurrah) and if no luck donor after that. I've lost my log on idea for blog (AGAIN) so thats why i'm anon too. Best wishes Justice/Marcia x

At March 21, 2007 3:38 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi lovely sparkles
i just read the back story on your sister which is even more bizarre..that she had ivf treatment and kept it quiet is STRAAAANGE or what?? I think the whole competitive thing is right on the money and I concur with all previous comments just to avoid her like the (black) plague :)
ciao bella Marcia/Justice

At March 22, 2007 3:11 am , Blogger Carol said...

wow, your sister sounds challenging. I think you're handling it well.

Glad to hear that you are finally spilling the news to family - and that the rest of them are happy for you!

At March 26, 2007 2:46 pm , Blogger Patience said...

Hmm... wonder why you're not popping up in my bloglines?

I think you've handled your sister beautifully - remember, the issue is hers, not yours.



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