Infertility is becoming more of a hot topic recently. People are becoming more aware that it isn’t something we only read about in fairytales. You know, the ones about the old couple who make a wish on a flower and suddenly have a child with supernatural powers who marries frickin’ royalty at the end. A lot of men and women are starting to talk more about this issue, and those who begin talking about this realize they aren’t alone. It’s a very important reality.
My husband and I have been going through another case of infertility. Our first child was what I fondly like to call “sheer luck,” since we found out we were pregnant while going through a series of tests.
Now we are back to trying and testing for another child. We have been diagnosed with “unexplained infertility.”
I won’t go into much detail about what this means for us, but I will give you this: it’s like a depression that doesn’t give you any right path to solving it. Only guesses and hope.
I’ve had a lot of support, luckily, mainly from friends and family who have gone through similar situations. However, I find the hardest part of infertility is the people who are simply not aware of this. Here are the 10 types of people whom I would just love to punch in the throat:
The Textbook Junkies
These people mean well by going onto Dr. Google or other basic textbooks on infertility and like to recite what is simply the tip of the iceberg on the subject of getting pregnant:
“You’re more likely to get pregnant after your first child.”
“If you are ovulating then you are fine.”
“You have to be a certain age, weight and health style to be considered infertile.”
Sometimes the people who say these things aren’t just Joe Shmoes. They are your own doctor when you express concerns about having trouble conceiving and don’t understand that not everyone’s body fits into textbooks. Luckily, this is why we have fertility specialists.
The “You Need to Relax” Guru
I want to give the middle finger to every person who says this. When we were having issues again with conceiving, I began brining up my concerns to a few friends and family about how this looks like a repeat of our last pregnancy.
“Oh, you’re just stressed. You need to relax.”
I hate to break it to these people, but stress is just part of an everyday feeling. I’m stressed that this bill didn’t get paid on time. I’m stressed that the dog was sick last night and barfed in the bedroom. I’m stressed because the toddler thinks ketchup should be painted on my walls and carpet. And I’m stressed that I’m back in the saddle again with no explanation of why it’s taking over a year. No amount of yoga and massage classes are going to help someone with real infertility.
The “Fate” Fairies
These people like to speak on behalf of God or any creator that is the cause of infertility. When bad things happen, no one wants to hear that it was “meant to be.” Nothing is meant to be. Even the Pope himself said that God gave us the tools on this Earth to be smart and not leave it by chance! Why should I just accept this condition when I know there are ways to overcome this? Whether it’s medicine, surgery, or adoption, the ball is still in my court, so I’m going to do my best to take control.
The Witch Doctors
These people are almost believable depending on your level of desperation.
“If you drink this tea three times a day, hop backwards on a full moon and use these oils on your dried-up uterus, you will get pregnant.”
No prayers or sacrificial lambs to the Venus of Willendorf will cure infertility. Those that claim it did are pawns of the scheme or simply got lucky.
The “Have you Tried?”
These people make you feel like you aren’t infertile, but just idiots when it comes to sex education. Yes we did it this way. Had our feet that way. With or without alcohol that time around. No we haven’t used birth control in over two years. Would you like me to describe the shape and sensation of my husband’s penis while you’re asking? Didn’t think so.
The Amnesia A-Hole
You will go to these friends or family and tell them you’re going to be tested, and they, for lack of a better term, don’t seem to give a flying fuck. They will just shrug their shoulders and say “sorry.” Two days later, they ask you if you’re pregnant yet. Helloooooo! It’s even worse when you tell them you have an important doctor’s appointment coming up or procedures being done and they don’t even ask how it all went.
These people are looking out for any sign that you’re pregnant, but sometimes being too damn hopeful can be a bad thing. For once I want to hear that being tired is a sign of lack of sleep that night. My skin is breaking out because of that new lotion. I feel nauseous because I ate a questionable chicken nugget yesterday. Hate to tell people this, but pregnancy symptoms and everyday symptoms go hand in hand. The difference? A positive blood test from the doctor or, for those starring in I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant, a child coming out of you!
The Grateful Dread
These people seem to think that because someone is infertile it means they aren’t happy with what they have.
“You already have one child.”
“Stop bitching. You have a roof over you head.”
“At least you don’t have x, y, or z.”
People going through infertility never said anything about being ungrateful. Is it so wrong to keep fighting for your own happiness?
The Fertile Myrtle
OK, so it isn’t their fault they don’t have the same struggle as you. It’s not like they said, “I’m going to have all the babies I can possibly pop out of me but leave you all dried up.” The ones that do get on your nerves are the ones who say, “Gee I wish there was a way to stop getting knocked up,” or, “It’s not that hard! If I can do it, so can you!”
The Lifetime Special Couple Who Claim Infertility (but really haven’t experienced it)
“Oh yeah, I know what you’re going through. We tried for six months before we got pregnant. It really tested our relationship.”
Go fuck yourself.