December 23, 2005

Congratulations, you’re infertile!

Since we’re coming up on the end of the year, it seems an appropriate time to recap the stupid, idiotic amusing things people have said this year in relation to infertility. Please feel free to add your own in the comments section…

The first one that comes to mind is from a co-worker of mine who was trying to get pregnant at the time. (She’s just had her baby, by the way.)

Her first child was a “surprise” since they weren’t even trying, so having to actually make an attempt to get pregnant was a bit of an adjustment for her. She started trying last December. One day in March, we were having a conversation about how unfair it is that some people are able to have baby after baby without even trying, and others do everything they can and still have no luck. It’s at this point that she says, “Yeah, they just have no idea what it’s like for those of us who have to try so hard!”

HELLO??? “Try so hard”??? You’ve had a lot of sex for four months. I’ve spent (at that point) 25 months jamming dozens of needles into my body, having at least 18 dates with the wand, taking pills that bring hot flashes and mood swings that make R consider temporarily moving back in with his parents, R has had vericocele surgery, we’ve lost a baby through miscarriage and are still childless. There is no “us.” We are not in the same category, not even close. Of course, she got pregnant the next month…

Then there was the comment by my best friend. I have to issue a disclaimer and say that with the exception of this comment and the timing of her letter right before Valentine's Day to let us know she was pregnant, she has been phenomenal through all of this. But her comment comes close to erasing all of the phenomenal-ness.

We were out of state, waiting to hear whether our birth mother was going to take her baby home from the hospital. We were 1,500 miles from all our family, in an unfamiliar town, in an unfamiliar apartment, scared out of our minds that huge heartbreak was headed our way. She had just gotten home from the hospital two weeks before with her daughter, conceived the month after she got married and without intending to try.

We were on the phone, and I’m telling her about our birth mom’s baby being born, how the social worker is trying to reach the birth mom but the birth mom is shutting everyone out and we don’t know what’s going to happen. Best friend’s baby is wailing in the background, and she says, “Are you really sure you want one of these after all?”

WTF! You have GOT to be kidding me. I didn’t hang up on her, but I did cut the conversation off and end the call. Granted, I know her body was still going through major hormone fluctuations and she was sleep deprived, but still. If she had been anyone else, that would have been a friendship-ender.

The last comment that comes to mind for now – and the one that prompted this post – was one made by the phlebotomist at the lab today. (More to come later on why I’m back at the lab for the THIRD. TIME. in two weeks.)

She’s trying to pick out a vein, and she’s chatting with me. I’m a very familiar face by this point since I’ve been there so much recently, and she knows this will be my 12th and 13th vial drawn, so I guess she feels comfortable getting a little personal.

“You don’t look sick,” she says. I probably should have just smiled and not responded, but I tend to be pretty open about our infertility. And, I have to admit, sometimes when people who don’t know me pry a little bit, I like to have a little fun by being blunt and watching their response. So I said very honestly, “I have infertility.”

Her response (I’m not kidding): “Oh, how exciting! Congratulations!”

Huh?? This time, I was the one caught off guard, instead of the other way around. She knew I wasn’t there for a pregnancy test.

It turns out her brother and sister-in-law struggled with infertility and went through IVF around this same time last year. They had their baby during the end of the summer. So I guess in her mind, the phlebotomist automatically equates infertility tests with success and a baby at the end of the process.

Naive, but cute.

1 comment:

fisher queen said...

I just got a "congratulations" when I said we were about to do our first IVF. ?

Then of course there's the litany of assvice: you're under too much stress, if you adopt..., you'll have twins if you do IVF.

Then two comments from a fertile friend: "a miscarriage at five weeks wouldn't be that bad", and, "we're trying for a girl this time". Apparently the fertiles can control the sex of their babies. She also asked me if I was sure I wanted one. Her experience with a baby was so bad that she's conceived another one! Why would I want to do that? Why are we friends again?

Ignorance is bliss. It's not her fault she doesn't know. I try to inform her, but it is exhausting. Anyway, sorry for the babble.