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Search Engine Terms

As you can as well I imagine, from my blog’s dashboard I can see the terms people put into search engines which brought them to my blog.  I don’t really check them out or give them too much thought, but they’re there.  Occasionally I see that someone found me by looking for TasIVF or Bill Watkins and wondering about another woman physically close to me going through this torture.  I sometimes think of these people, perhaps new to this world of infertility or perhaps just getting deeper into it, searching the internet for something.

However just now I saw a phrase in my search terms that made me stop:

Can IVF ruin friendships?

F+*%.  I feel awful for this unknown searcher.  Who knows what side of infertility he or she might be on, but obviously this question is coming up in someone’s life.  And yes, they would have found a post on my blog where I mention  friendships ruined through IVF.  It can happen.  It can for many reasons: putting friends on different sides of the fertile/infertile divide, causing stress when this major life experience changes the outlook of one person and not the other, making it difficult to meet up because of the embarrassment of asking about treatments that aren’t working, etc.  It doesn’t have to ruin friendships, but it can.  But. . .

I’ve been thinking of this all day.  I haven’t been able to word what I want to say quite the way I want to say it.  I was talking about this to a friend a few minutes ago:

IVF, infertility and loss are major life events and of course they change you.  And anything like that can stress or break a friendship – but it can also strengthen them.  And make you find totally new ones you would have had no opportunity to find.  I’m sorry I met you because of infertility and loss, but I’m not sorry that I met you!

I wrote this to my dear friend Anxious Mummy.  We haven’t had the same experiences, but she understands me.  Receiving an email from her can feel like having someone curl up in my heart.  And without IVF, infertility, and loss I would never have met her.

So yes, IVF can ruin friendships.  Just like anything in life.  But it can build them too.

Categories: Musings
  1. 20/10/2010 at 10:06 pm

    Beautifully said. Im overwhelmed at the kindness of strangers in this community, as I am by the callousness of ‘friends’. Humans are a strange and bizarre race.

  2. 20/10/2010 at 10:07 pm

    I totally agree with you. I have made the most amazing friendships through infertility. So far I haven’t lost any, but then I never had that many to start with and I have to say that my current state of mind can’t be too easy on my friends and I find some of them hard to relate to, but so far we are still battling through. And that’s where the friends you make through infertility come in, they are the ones that understand the darkness and can help you find your way out. And hopefully you get to return the favour.

  3. 20/10/2010 at 10:40 pm

    Infertility has shown me that there is a network of compassionate and giving people all over the world. I have gained far more friends through IVF than I have lost.

  4. 21/10/2010 at 2:39 am

    Huh, that’s an interesting feature. I don’t know how people find my blog, but I didn’t know about that. I agree with this post- IVF can be a challenge- but it can also be a strength.

  5. 21/10/2010 at 3:24 am

    I have a friend whose husband I was much closer to in college than I was to her … and after her stillborn son and my own miscarriages, we connected. While that’s not the only thing we talk about (by far!) now, it “broke the ice,” so to speak. I would now consider her one of my best friends, because she “gets me” … *all* of me.

  6. 21/10/2010 at 9:49 am

    Oh my gosh…they way you described our friendship just brought me to tears. Thankyou so much!! Love xxxxxooooo

  7. 21/10/2010 at 5:08 pm

    I totally agree with what you have written. Over the past few years some of my old friendships have drifted apart but I have made so many rich new friendships that I don’t feel the loss as much as one might think. I have even hopped on a plane at one point and flown from NZ to Aussie to stay with and visit 8 friends I have made through infertility! It was fabulous and I love those girls so much! So as you say, infertility sucks at times but there are some things I wouldn’t change.


  8. 21/10/2010 at 9:57 pm

    I agree with you certain things happen in our lives that can break or make a friendship *hugs*

  9. 21/10/2010 at 11:10 pm

    I really like your post about friendships, its also important to remember that friends come and go in our lives and that it’s not always to be blamed on something, so just cherish the ones that you have and learn from the ones you’ve lost!
    ICLW 107

  10. 21/10/2010 at 11:51 pm

    I couldn’t agree more, this past couple of years have showed us who our real friends are and also brought so many amazing people into our lives that we would have never known if we hadn’t gone through this infertility journey and for those people I am thankful, they are the ones that have encouraged us when we’ve been at our darkest moments and have understood in a way that others just can’t. Beautifully written post!
    ~ICLW #8

  11. 22/10/2010 at 12:56 am

    Excellent post! It is so very true. There are people that I miss so much that I drove away in some way or another when I was in the midst of IF angst. Still, I have some amazing friends that I could not imagine life without thanks to IF.


  12. 22/10/2010 at 1:25 am

    I get how you feel about Anxious Mommy I feel that way about Venting Vagina. She has been such a positive addition to this life.

  13. 22/10/2010 at 1:41 am

    It’s true, it is hard on everyone when a couple does IVF. The friends don’t understand the stress, no matter how hard they try. That is why it is so amazing that there is this community online who truly gets it. I can say I never lost any friends during IVF, but I know for a fact I pulled away. They just welcomed me back when it was over.

    ICLW #8

  14. 22/10/2010 at 2:19 am

    Well said. I have met so many wonderful people because of my loss, and although I wish it hadn’t happened this way, I am thankful to have them in my life now.

  15. 22/10/2010 at 6:25 am

    Great Post! This is So True. And I’m sure it can help others have someone to relate to, or at least understand:)

    I have made some Great blogger friends since starting my blog, and they helped me get through the hard times and the good times. Blogging can be a place to find people who can relate to their situation. I definitely recommend bogging while going through infertility.

    Just read a bit about what all you’ve been though, I can tell it has a long hard journey for you:( You are an inspiration to me that you find the strength to keep on trying.(even though it must be harder than I could imagine) Don’t Give Up:)
    Hopeing & Praying your 4th FET works!

    will be thinking about you!


  16. 22/10/2010 at 7:14 am

    Wonderful post. Echoing onetokeep, it never fails to amaze me at how people react; my very best friends have been made online in the autism community, and yet, some folks in the same online community can be callous, in spite of shared situations that should provide common ground.

    ICLW. 🙂

  17. thecrazycatwoman
    22/10/2010 at 7:31 am

    I met a woman at an interstate work meeting who I immediately bonded with because of our shared history (keen cyclists, IVF, miscarriage). While everyone else talked about professional stuff during morning tea/lunch break we stood in the crowded room and talked about IVF. It is always such a relief to get a chance to talk about it with someone who understands.

    I do feel like many of my fertile friends have been drifting away lately (or I’ve been distancing myself from them). It is so great to feel *understood* both by the occasional infertile who I meet in real life and by online friends.

  18. 22/10/2010 at 9:30 am

    I whole heartedly agree! My cousin and I became so much closer when we were both going through infertility! Good luck with this next FET!! I can’t even imagine doing IVF 14 times! I really hope this is the one for you!! Happy ICLW! (#72, 106)

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