This isn’t an indictment on my family. They’re not selfish or any more insensitive than anyone else (including me!), but they wouldn't know how to react, and that would have been hard for all of us. I could see myself having to spend all my energy worrying about my mother, for example. I might be selling her short. But I wasn’t prepared to test it. Besides, I was 40. I stopped relying on my family for emotional support when I was 17. I wasn’t going to start again at this. I wouldn't have known how, and neither would they.
As my ectopic dragged on, proving complicated to treat and resolve, as I was in and out of hospital, I got support from my husband and from on-line friends who knew what I was going through, having been through similar times themselves. One of my sisters was concerned, and would ring regularly to show support. I appreciated that, but I found it hard to talk. So in the end I asked her to email, not phone. In the midst of grief, having that control, being able to choose when I spoke (or wrote) to someone, was important. I didn’t have to pretend I was cheerful, or to sound upbeat. The words could do it for me if I needed, and I could type with tears streaming down my face.
So when I tried IVF, I didn't tell anyone in my family. There were dozens of women on the support group who knew I was injecting myself daily with drug, but only one real life friend. I knew I couldn’t cope with the expectations, the questions to see how it was going, how I was coping, why I wasn’t feeling optimistic, or getting “over it” etc. I’d seen others under enormous stress from their friends and family, expecting positive results, and I didn’t want to deal with that. So I blocked everyone off, and I did that to protect myself. I needed to be selfish, and concentrate on what I was going through at the time. It worked for me. It doesn't work for everyone, I know. A lot of women would be shocked that I didn’t involve my family. But it was right for me, and really, that's what was important at the time. And to be honest, almost eight years later, I don't actually know if my family know. I can't remember if I told them in the end, and we've moved on. I guess if they read this, they know now!