When I found out late 2017 that me and my other half would need IVF if we wanted to start a family, I didn’t know who to tell.
The first person I told was my mom. I was up in Sheffield helping her clear out some of my detritus that she’d been storing in her garage, as she was in the process of moving house. And, in among all the crap, there was a cot that she’d bought for my brother’s children when they were small.
She smiled and said to me: ‘I was thinking about keeping that. You know, just in case you’ll need it one day…’ And my heart sank. I’d only just learned that week that conceiving might not be so straightforward. So, that’s when I told her – the secret was out.
Over the last few months, I’ve let a few close friends know. There’s the two who’ve just had their second babies, one of whom had several miscarriages, and the other whose best mate is having fertility issues. And I talked to my friend who had IVF a couple of years ago, and was successful first go. I’ve told another couple more, too.
Then there was the whole ‘who do I tell at work?’ question. As my company offers a week’s paid IVF leave, I kinda had to tell my boss, especially as I was travelling abroad and was uncertain about the dates. I also confided in some close colleagues in my team who were managing my work in my absence.
From a work perspective, absolutely everybody I’ve told has been brilliant. Each person has said: ‘that’s exciting’, which is such a positive reaction and one I massively appreciate. And it’s been nice to come back to the office after the failed cycle and know that there’s a few people there who understand why you’re a bit downbeat, or want to work from home that day. Plus, the benefit of telling a select few is that you don’t have to tell loads of folk when it fails…
But next time we do IVF, I’d like to keep it quieter. Sure, I’ll need to tell my work colleagues if we go for treatment outside of Windsor (which is highly likely given the cost of private IVF here…). But, with my friends, I think I’ll only tell those who I’m closest to.
I’d just like to get through the next round like any normal couple would do when they’re trying for a baby – by keeping it private. And if it works, it works, and I can tell friends as and when. But if it doesn’t, then I can lick my wounds in private. But let’s see. Now the cat’s out the bag, I’m not entirely sure how easy that’ll be.