I can't tell you how many times someone has told me "Just relax, you'll get pregnant."
I wish that were true. Sadly, it's not. I'm so tired
of my own complaints and negativity and there just isn't any progress, frankly. And relaxing won't help my chromosomally abnormal eggs, or my overactive immune system, which together seem diabolically determined to prevent me from procreating.
For the record, we're giving IVF another try. Different doctor, different medication protocol, and new test results gave us some new ideas on what might be going on with me. My husband is very patient and I'm grateful again that he lived frugally and carefully before we met, so that this is financially possible for us. We'll try again in August and I'll keep you posted.
It is a hard thing to address with
people. I want to talk about it a lot. It is THE thing
going on in my life right now. It consumes me. It ranks right up there with jiu jitsu (in fact, jiu jitsu is my only escape from the barren wilderness of infertility. It's the only time I am not thinking about how much I want to be pregnant.) My thoughts and my plans
and my entire life revolve around making a baby right now. And a lot of
times, I need to vent and I have trouble doing that because people don't know what to
say, and sometimes they say or do the complete wrong thing (on accident) and more often they just don't say anything at all, and I don't want to force them to talk about something uncomfortable.
I get that IVF and all of infertility is
confusing. It's a lot to remember and it's a lot
to absorb, and I've had months and months of research and learning to get it
all straight. I've earned my Google M.D. But I do get so discouraged when
people, especially those people very close to me, don't ask me what I'm going through.
So here's a primer on dealing with people in your life who may be having trouble getting pregnant, from my point of view at the moment.
1. Do not call them up and crow in their ear "I don't know how your babymaking is going, but we just found out we got pregnant without even trying!" You might just be catching them at a particularly low moment, and you might be inviting mental fantasies of punching their fist through your fat head, no matter how much we love you (we do!) and no matter how sincerely happy we are that you got pregnant easily (we are). Try saying it gently, after finding out how their day is going and how their fertility journey has been lately.
2. Do not tell them just to relax. Really, the only way that being nervous, concerned, uptight or stressed out will stop healthy people from getting pregnant is if it stops them from having sex. I know you're trying to help, and you're not sure what to say-- but "just relax" is condescending, unhelpful, and hurtful. Instead, try "I'm sure this is very frustrating and painful. I wish I could say something to make it better." And then ask some followup questions. Your friend isn't talking to you because you're a medical doctor so don't feel like you need to have a solution. They want someone to listen, some sympathy. Give it and don't make them feel like you must think they're stupid.
3. Along these same lines, don't tell them they just need to get drunk, adopt a puppy, adopt a baby, or have sex around the time of ovulation. Getting drunk doesn't make you fertile and it's not even funny any more. Adopting a puppy implies that you can supplant the desire for a baby to cuddle with a furry baby. And no, having another non-potty-trained citizen in the household doesn't increase the odds on getting pregnant. And goodness, I think we're well aware of the connection between sex and ovulation, thank you.
4. Stop asking us why we don't just adopt! For one thing-- it is actually less expensive to do IVF. Yes, even to adopt a baby from another country. It's ridiculously expensive to adopt a baby unless you are ready to take on an older child in foster care who was (usually) placed there by the State because of abuse or neglect. And there's nothing wrong with not being interested in adopting.
5. Tell them you love them and you want to be there for them, you're not sure how to help support them, but you're ready to listen.