I have found myself suddenly able to handle all the obnoxious, nosy and innapropriate probing into my plans for procreating. I am not sure how or why but this past week I have been handling them like a pro (if I don’t say so myself). Instead of letting them upset me, I have decided I am going to use these moments to educate those around me of our struggles in IF world.
A couple of examples from just this week. One lady I saw at Storytime who was juggling three beautiful girls all with about a year age gap leaned over and said ‘you better get started on another child if you want him to have a playmate’. I smiled patiently and said very calmly with little emotion ‘I know- I am five failed IVF cycles into trying to make that happen. Hoping one of these days it will work’. That shut her up pretty quick and I wasn’t even emotional or mad about it. Just hoped my bluntness saved some other poor lady from her insensitive comments.
A few days later I was pushing my son in the swing at the park and the lady pushing her daughter with another baby nuzzled into her front pack carrier struck up a conversation with me. Not sure how the conversation turned to a friend of hers she was meeting for a drink tonight but she said “ugh kind of dreading this drink. I haven’t seen her in a while and I know she has been trying to have a baby. She is usually such a downer and it is all we talk about.” My response was simply “I have struggled with infertility, currently on my 8th IVF cycle and honestly until you are a Mom and in this exclusive club your life feels like hell. I don’t blame her at all. Please wish her luck for me. “Then I plucked up my son and I headed away towards the slides.
In the past these type of comments would send me into an emotional tailspin of calling my husband or twin sister, feeling down for my own situation and angry at these insensitive people. Instead- I have decided that I am going to calmly and politely educate these women one by one. I am not ashamed of my infertility and am determined to help spread our battle-no matter how awkward I make someone feel. It kind of makes me feel like I have a little power back. Maybe I can change my small part of society for other women struggling around me.
Side note: I imagine this feeling will ebb and flow. Some days the pain is too acute to have the strength not to feel hurt by comments. But when it is not this is my plan!